Cyprus climb courtesy of win in Belarus

Belarus 0-3 Cyprus The hosts had two players sent off in the closing stages, by which point they were three goals down, as Cyprus moved into third place in Group 1.

Cyprus's Nikos Englezou scores the opening goal
Cyprus's Nikos Englezou scores the opening goal ©Pressball

Cyprus shot up to third in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 1, winning 3-0 against nine-man Belarus in Minsk to avenge a 3-1 reverse in the corresponding home fixture last October.

Belarus went close through Anton Saroka early on, but Nicos Englezou exploited a mix-up in the home side's defence to give Cyprus a 13th-minute lead, and they had the better of the chances from then on. Nestor Mytidis had twice gone close before putting his side 2-0 up five minutes after the interval, finishing from Pieros Sotiriou's cross.

Things got worse for the home side on 73 minutes when Aleksandr Anyukevich turned Stelious Demetriou's corner past his own goalkeeper, and while substitute Yuri Kovalev passed up an opportunity to reduce the arrears at the other end, Belarus's chance of a comeback was stymied as first Aleksei Gavrilovich (78) and then Saroka (80) were shown red cards in the closing minutes.

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