Classy Belarus prove too strong

Belarus 5-0 Estonia
Estonia coach Jüri Saar rates Belarus as the best team in Group 6 after an impressive showing in Mogliev.

Belarus enjoyed an excellent start to their bid to qualify for the 2005 UEFA European Women's Championship by defeating Estonia 5-0 in their opening match in Group 6.

Lovely shot
The Spartak stadium in Mogliev saw an early goal as Hanna Tatarynova struck after just three minutes for the home side, latching on to a rebound after an Elis Netua shot had deflected off Liudmila Kuzniatsova. Volha Aniskoutsava made it 2-0 to Belarus in the 16th minute when she tucked away a lovely shot from ten metres following Kuzniatsova's through-ball.

Woodwork saves Estonia
Aniskovtseva was on target again five minutes later, this time from close range after Zoya Malinouskaya had created the chance with a fine run. The half ended with Belarus three goals to the good, although it could have been more were it not for Netua's shot hitting the crossbar and Natallia Ryzhevich's the post.

'Attractive football'
Yet the woodwork could not save Estonia after the break as Kuznetsova drilled in a free-kick after 65 minutes and Luchenok converted a Volha Novikava cross in added time. The Belarus coach Nikalai Kasatkin said: "We not only wanted to win, but we were striving to play attractive football."

Belarus 'favourites'
Estonia coach Jüri Saar added: "The Belarussians were hospitable only until the starting whistle. We were trying hard but it is clear that Belarus are favourites for the group." Kazakhstan and Israel complete the section.