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2016 European Championship Qualifying, Group Stage 2016
  • Stanislav Dragun (34')
  • Alexander Martynovich (65')

Slovakia stumble at home vs. Belarus to put Euro qualification in jeopardy

Slovakia surprisingly lost 1-0 at home to Belarus to hamper their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2016.

Their defeat, after Stanislav Dragun's first-half goal, coupled with Ukraine's 2-0 victory at Macedonia allowed Ukraine to climb to joint second in Group C and left Slovakia requiring a win in Luxembourg on Monday to guarantee qualification for next summer's tournament.

They remain favourites to do so - Ukraine on Monday host Spain in a far more difficult fixture, even if the latter having already qualified means that victory is not unthinkable.

Tomas Hubocan could have given Slovakia an early lead with a header from Robert Mak's cross into the penalty area, but he wastefully sent his effort wide.

Team-mate Juraj Kucka, again with a header, also missed the target when he nodded just beyond the crossbar.

Nikolay Signevich then threatened for Belarus, before in the 34th minute Dragun gave them the lead.

Reading Renan Bressan's left-wing corner, Dragun found space between two defenders and powerfully headed beyond diving goalkeeper Dusan Svento and into the back of the net.

Slovakia responded by pursuing an equaliser in the second half, but even when Belarus were reduced to 10 men when, in the 65th minute, defender Alexander Martynovich was sent off for a second bookable offence and Miroslav Stoch went close, they were unable to find one.