Anticipation for BATE
Borisov team begins Champions League qualification tournament by defeating Finnish SJK 2:0
It’s hard to say whether the victory implies that BATE is strong or that SJK is weak. It was expected that the Finnish would do better, being known as skilled and ambitious, yet the team failed to score. Some might say that BATE was lucky in its draw but it’s perhaps fairer to praise our players than to criticise the Finns.
BATE heads to Seinäjoki with comfortable advantage
BATE’s strength has time yet to be proven in the Champions League, but its performance in the national championship is a reasonable benchmark. One way or another, fans will be delighted to learn of BATE’s success against SJK, showing that the squad is robust and determined: all the more so since the Borisov club was not performing with an optimal line-up.
BATE had opportunities to score at least five times during the match, but only managed to hit the back of the net twice. However, we cannot help but feel confident regarding the return match. Further rivals will pose more challenges, and it’s yet unclear how well BATE can perform, but our hopes are with them.
Alexander Yermakovich, BATE head coach:
A third goal would have been to our advantage. I wish they had scored more. There were opportunities for it to happen, as our rival played predictably, and failed to take advantage when Vitaly Gaiduchik caused a deflection. Fortunately, Vitaly corrected himself. Let’s hope that we’re saving our goals for the next match.
Of course, we should enhance our performance. I liked SJK’s style of play, as they handled the ball well, with short and medium distance passes. They have many tall footballers, giving us cause for concern, but we coped during the match. We played fairly well today, but shouldn’t relax. The Finns may yet cause us trouble, at the return match.
By Alexey Grishin