To say this UEFA Nations League campaign has been a disaster for Slovakia would be a serious understatement.
Having been relegated from League B in 2020, most expected the Falcons to easily be promoted straight back to the second-tier.
On the contrary, Slovakia have lost three of their five matches in this group, with three different managers at the helm.
Štefan Tarkovič was sacked following June’s home defeat to Kazakhstan, Samuel Slovák was then an unsuccessful caretaker and Francesco Calzona got off to the worse possible start on Thursday.
In that one, Erik Jirka had seemingly snatched a point at home to Azerbaijan, slotting home a 93rd minute penalty.
Nevertheless, there was still time for the visitors to go straight up the other end and win it, doing so with the last kick of the game.
So, Slovakia have actually slipped down to third in Group C3, below both the Kazakhs and Azerbaijanis.
Overall, the Falcons have won just 10 of their last 31 competitive fixtures, despite qualifying for and claiming a victory at Euro 2020 in this period.
The only good news for Calzona is that his team are up against the group’s whipping boys in this final match.
Belarus have just two points to their name, holding the section’s other two teams to draws in Novi Sad during the summer.
Thursday’s 2-1 defeat in Nur-Sultan, Pavel Savitsky heading home an equaliser in vain, means the White Wings are guaranteed to finish bottom.
So, in March 2024, Georgy Kondratyev’s team will face the relegation play-outs, needing to win to avoid dropping back into League D.
Their two-legged opponents will be Northern Ireland/ Cyprus, Lithuania or Gibraltar.
Here, due to Belarus’ involvement in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the visitors are not allowed to enter Slovakia.
The fixture has therefore been moved to Bačka Topola in Serbia and, even so, the nominal home side should cruise to victory, despite their own glaring issues.