BATE’s successful kick off
BATE Borisov opens Champions League group round with sensational match, smashing Lille in France
By Dmitry Baranovsky
Lille, having won bronze in the French national championship, was considered to be a favourite in Group F. Moreover, the team enjoyed home support. The French squad began the match confidently, pressing forward; however, the Borisov players responded calmly, organising a counterattack in the 6th minute, resulting in a goal by Alexander Volodko.
The early goal was completely unexpected by the hosts, destroying their feeling of superiority and disturbing their strategy. Their confusion helped BATE score twice as a result before half time. In the second half, Lille’s coach rallied them, and they became more aggressive, realising a corner kick. However, it was impossible to make up the lost ground, allowing BATE to enjoy a clear victory.
In previous years, the Borisov club has twice taken part in the group stage of the most prestigious tournament but has never enjoyed a win. “We trained vigorously for this match, including psychologically,” notes BATE player Vitaly Rodionov. “We didn’t expect to earn such an advantage before half time but our squad has really matured. Experience acquired over many years is beginning to yield fruit.”
Commenting on the match, BATE Borisov head coach Victor Goncharenko is delighted by the ‘historic’ success but has warned BATE fans against presuming too much, saying, “It’s too early to say that BATE will go through to the next stage. We’ve won one match but still have five to play. Nevertheless, a small step has been made and we now need to reinforce this in the next games.”
BATE will play its second match in Minsk, on October 2nd, facing Munich Bayern: the absolute favourite of Group F.