Derry City have it all to do in Minsk next week if they are to keep their Europa League adventure alive.
Derry City 0
Dinamo Minsk 2
Despite a spirited performance by Kenny Shiels’ team, they were ultimately undone by the quality in the final third from the Belarusians, who will see this as a job well done.
After weeks of controversy over ticket proves for the game, a poor crowd of just over one thousand showed up for the tie, and they saw the visitors take the lead within the first two minutes.
Minsk were on the front foot immediately and they won a free kick on the edge of the area when Danny Seaborne pulled Uladzimir Khvashchnski back.
Uros Nikolic’s shot was blocked bravely by Rory Hale but the Minsk man retrieved possession and played it wide to Artsem Hurenka. The winger’s cross was pinpoint as it found Nino Galovic unmarked at the back post and the Minsk captain controlled the ball before firing it past Gerard Doherty and into the net from close range.
A bad start only got worse for Derry as Rory Hale, who blocked Nikolic’s shot, was too dazed to continue and had to be replaced by brother Ronan after just six minutes.
It was almost 2-0 on 13 minutes as Hurenka again delivered a pinpoint cross and Khvashchnski arrived with a diving header but was denied a goal by a brilliant save from Doherty who somehow tipped the ball behind for a corner.
Derry were out of the blocks quickly in the second half and when Conor McDermott raced to the byline and his cross took out goalkeeper Harbunou, the crowd rose in anticipation of a Derry goal, but somehow Ronan Hale was unable to get the vital touch needed to put the ball into the gaping goal.
Minsk were far from impressive in the second half as Derry showed more enthusiasm, but the visitors cut Derry open impressively to double their lead just after the our mark.
Just moments after Gerard Doherty almost spilled a shot from Anton Saroka over the line, Minsk burst through with Pilip Ivanou racing in on goal, before he unselfishly squared the ball for Khvashchnski to tap in a simple second.
Any hope that Derry had of getting back into the game ended with ten minutes to go when defender Conor McDermott, already on a yellow card, received a second caution for a foul on Uros Nikilic, and City were forced to play the remainder with ten men.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Conor McDermott, Danny Seaborne, Aaron McEneff, Aaron Splaine, Jamie McDonagh, Rory Hale (Ronan Hale 6’), Ally Roy (Rory Patterson 60’), Ben Fisk (Gavin Peers 78’), Darren Cole, Dean Shiels.
Dinamo Minsk: Andrei Harbunou, Nino Galovic, Yury Astraukh (Behunou Raman 78’), Seidu Yahaya, Mikita Kaplenka (Pilip Ivanou 29’), Uros Nikolic, Anton Saroka, Maksim Zhaunerchyk, Uladzimir Khvashchynski (Artsem Salavei 66’), Artsem Hurenka, Maksin Shvetsou.
Referee: Nikola Popov (Bulgaria)
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email [email protected] or [email protected] at any time.