Europa League, first qualifying round, first leg: Derry City 0-2 Dinamo Minsk
Ten-man Derry City slumped to a first-leg loss to Dinamo Minsk in the first round of the Europa League qualifiers.
The Candystripes paid the price for a sluggish start as Nino Galovic's second minute goal put Minsk ahead before Vladimir Khvaschinski sealed a 2-0 win.
Derry will visit Belarus for the return leg on Thursday, 19 July.
The match was held at a poorly attended Brandywell Stadium as supporters held a protest over the club's decision to increase ticket prices.
Given the low-key atmosphere inside the ground, it was perhaps no surprise that the Candystripes made a disastrous start - falling behind inside the opening two minutes.
New signing Danny Seaborne conceded a free-kick and the Derry defence failed to clear the danger after the initial effort struck the wall and Minsk captain Galovic fired the rebound into the bottom corner to give his team an early lead.
The Belarusian side could easily have doubled their lead ten minutes later but Ger Doherty produced a diving save to deny Khvaschinski's header and from the resulting corner Seidu Yahaya's effort was over the crossbar.
Derry began to push higher up the field and were almost rewarded with a spectacular equaliser when Jamie McDonagh beat his marker on the right wing and his cross found substitute Ronan Hale, whose audacious overhead effort flashed over the bar.
Kenny Shiels' men made a bright start to the second half, which featured a driving run and cross by Conor McDermott but his delivery was too high for Ally Roy.
Minsk gradually began to take control of the tempo as the first-half exertion of the Derry players started to tell and the visitors eventually doubled their lead in the 64th minute.
Darren Cole, who had produced a goal-saving block just minutes earlier, lost possession under pressure and his mistake was punished by substitute Filipp Ivanov, who crossed into the path of Khvaschinski for a simple finish.
Derry's task became even tougher in the closing stages when McDermott was shown a second yellow card.
The Belarusian side sensed their chance to effectively end the tie ahead of the return leg and they pushed forward in search of a third goal but Doherty produced two excellent saves to deny Anton Saroka and Artem Solovei in the final minutes.
- 2McDermottBooked at 81mins
- 6SplaineBooked at 45mins
- 8HaleSubstituted forHaleat 6'minutesBooked at 51mins
- 9RoySubstituted forPattersonat 60'minutes
- 10FiskSubstituted forPeersat 78'minutes
- 8KaplenkoSubstituted forIvanovat 29'minutes
- 5OstroukhBooked at 26minsSubstituted forBegunovat 77'minutes
- 23KhvashchinskiySubstituted forSoloveyat 67'minutes
- Nikola Popov