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.

Yuri Puntus will lead his side into Europe
Yuri Puntus will lead his side into Europe ©Domenic Aquilina

Cagey half

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.