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Khlebosolov penalty seals victory for Belarus

Greece 2-3 Belarus
Belarus made the perfect start to their Group 1 qualifying campaign thanks to a last-gasp penalty by Dimitri Khlebosolov.

Belarus's Sergei Politevich (left) and Giannis Skondras line up before the match
Belarus's Sergei Politevich (left) and Giannis Skondras line up before the match ©Paraskevi Pappa

Having finished third at this summer's final tournament in Denmark, Belarus set out on the road to Israel 2013 with a 3-2 victory against Greece courtesy of Dimitri Khlebosolov's added-time penalty.

Khlebosolov's superb solo effort put the visitors ahead on 13 minutes, with Oleg Patotski doubling their advantage soon after. Giannis Potouridis pulled one back from the spot and when Kostas Fortounis equalised three minutes from time Georgios Georgiadis's side were seemingly headed for a point. However, Tassos Lagos fouled Artem Skitov inside the area and Khlebosolov converted the penalty to seal a last-gasp victory for Belarus.

The visitors began on the front foot and were ahead early on, Khlebosolov dribbling his way past three defenders and beating Kostas Lambrou from close range. Five minutes later Yuri Shukanov's side extended their lead through Patotski, who pounced on the loose ball after Lambrou failed to collect Yuri Kendysh's strike.

Pavlos Mitropoulos and Fortounis came closest to pulling one back for Greece, who were given a way back into the match when Igor Kuzmenok felled Apostolos Giannou inside the penalty area. Potouridis kept his cool to send Georgiadis's side into the break on a high.

The hosts came out firing after the break and piled men forward in search of an equaliser. Apostolos Vellios headed wide and later tested the reflexes of Andrei Scherbakov from a Fortounis corner. Greece got the equaliser they were craving when the lively Fortounis found a way past Scherbakov with three minutes remaining, but Khlebosolov denied them a share of the spoils at the death.

Both nations return to qualifying action on 2 September, when Greece visit Cyprus and Belarus host Bosnia and Herzegovina.