Belarusian Premier League Round-Up: Energetik BGU Minsk Extend Perfect Start

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MINSK, BELARUS - APRIL 4: Players of FC BATE and FC Rukh vie for the ball during the Belarus Championship football match between FC BATE and FC Rukh in the town of Borisov, some 70 km east of Minsk, on April 4, 2020. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Belarusian Premier League continued this weekend, despite numerous fan groups warning fellow supporters to stay at home and try to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The country’s authorities are still taking a lassiez-faire approach to dealing with the pandemic, and the Belarussian Football Federation have made money by selling TV rights to 11 different countries. Matches in the country have taken centre stage, but attendances have plummeted as the majority of supporters have chosen to stay away.

Belarusian Premier League Round-up: Week Three

BATE Borisov Post First Points and Energetik BGU Minsk Continue to Impress

One of those eerily quiet grounds was the home of BATE Borisov. The 13,000 capacity Borisov Arena was virtually empty. However, those in attendance witnessed an important victory for the home side, who had lost their first two games of the season under new head coach Kirill Alshevsky. A 7th-minute goal from Stanislav Dragun was enough for last season’s runners-up to beat Rukh Brest 1-0.

Energetik BGU have been the league’s surprise package so far, and had picked up six points from their first two games with wins over BATE and Rukh Brest. They extended their 100% record with a 2-0 win over city rivals FC Minsk. 23-year-old midfielder Aleksey Nosko gave them the lead after 21 minutes, but the hosts were reduced to ten men in the second half when Aik Musahagian was given his second booking of the afternoon.

Despite having the numerical advantage for the final 20 minutes, FC Minsk couldn’t find an equaliser and were instead undone on the counter-attack. Jasurbek Yakhshiboev’s left-footed strike from inside the area secured another three points for Energetik, who are now the only team in the league with a 100 per cent record.

Champions Become Slavia Mozyr’s Latest Scalp

Last season’s table-toppers Dynamo Brest suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Slavia Mozyr. After seeing off BATE Borisov last week, the less-fancied Slavia raced into a two-goal lead in the second half at Brest. Andrei Chukhlei opened the scoring with a penalty, and Aleksandar Kotlyarov made it two with 13 minutes left on the clock. Defender Igor Tymonyuk put through his own net after 85 minutes to set up an unwanted grandstand finish, but the visitors held on for a second consecutive victory.

Slutsk, who finished 11th last term, have risen to second after winning by the odd goal in five against Isloch. Goals from Souleymane Koanda, Egor Semenov and Abdoul Gafar were enough for the away side to register a 3-2 win.

Other Matches in the Belarusian Premier League

Gorodeya are in a perilous position off the pitch. They’re a small club funded by a local sugar factory, but they’ve been left with no financial support as the owner has been detained by law enforcement agencies. Despite this, they rallied and managed to put their first three points on the board with a 1-0 success over newly-promoted Belshina Bobruisk.

First-half goals from Vladislav Klimovich and Karlo Brucic were enough to see Dinamo Minsk post their first win of the season – beating Torpedo Zhodino 2-0.

Elsewhere, Vitebsk beat Smolevichi 1-0 and Shakhtyor Soligorsk played out a lifeless 0-0 draw with Neman Grodno.

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