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Derry face uphill task as they lose in front of poor turnout

Derry City 0 Dinamo Minsk 2

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City have it all to do in Minsk next week if they are to keep their Europa League adventure alive.

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 prices for the game, a poor crowd of just over 1,000 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 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.

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 capitalise.

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 Derry had of getting back into the game ended with ten minutes to go when Conor McDermott received his second caution for a foul on Uros Nikilic, and City were forced to play the remainder with ten men.

Belfast Telegraph

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