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MTZ-RIPO into Europe after Cup joy

Published: Sunday 18 May 2008, 16.17CET
FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk have collected only their second ever Belarus Cup after a 2-1 victory over FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk that also guaranteed them a UEFA Cup berth.
by Denis Orlov
from Minsk
MTZ-RIPO into Europe after Cup joy
Yuri Puntus will lead his side into Europe ©Domenic Aquilina
Published: Sunday 18 May 2008, 16.17CET

MTZ-RIPO into Europe after Cup joy

FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk have collected only their second ever Belarus Cup after a 2-1 victory over FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk that also guaranteed them a UEFA Cup berth.

FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk have collected only their second ever Belarus Cup after a 2-1 victory over FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk.

Cagey half
The capital side went ahead with just five minutes on the clock when Vyacheslav Hleb exchanged a one-two with Aboubakar Camara before burying the ball. Instead of provoking a more open game, though, that early strike goal made for a cagey first half, with MTZ-RIPO concentrating on defence, but the action livened up again following a number of substitutions after the restart. Indeed, Ceolin Nicholas almost doubled MTZ-RIPO's lead on 66 minutes after coming off the bench, but the Brazilian missed an open goal.

Strakhanovich winner
A quarter of an hour later, it was another substitute, Shakhtyor's Valeri Stripeikis, who registered the next blow, equalising merely eight minutes after taking to the field. His joy was to prove short-lived, however, as Oleg Strakhanovich collected a pass from Hleb and restored MTZ-RIPO's advantage almost immediately. The goalscorer then received a second yellow card, but Yuri Puntus's men held on to guarantee themselves a UEFA Cup berth next term with Shakhtyor starting out in the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Last updated: 19/05/08 1.06CET

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