Bitter pills

BATE and Dinamo begin with defeats in the group stages of the European Cups

BATE and Dinamo begin with defeats in the group stages of the European Cups. BATE footballers were the first to receive a bitter pill, as they lost with few chances in an away game to Germany’s FC Bayer Leverkusen, 1:4.

Belarusian players fail to impress

A victory was not really on the cards against such a team, though Bayer is not Barcelona, they are a serious and successful team with no international stars, but well trained in the German way. It seems a paradox however, that the actual line-up of the team does not have many Germans, but such are the ways of modern multinational football. BATE supporters always nursed the hope that they would be in a position to cheer their team to victory, but alas, it was not to be.

Alexander Yermakovich, the BATE head coach, noted that the rivals kept a constant pressure on the other half of the field, not allowing BATE’s players to pass quickly from defence to attack, which is one of the main components of their game plan. The Bayer football players were quick and sharp, giving the Belarusians no chance of controlling the ball. In the middle of the first half, Alexander Hleb suffered an injury that turned out to be muscular damage, further medical examination will show how much time will be needed for rehabilitation for the highly skilled halfback, said Alexander Yermakovich. His German colleague, Roger Schmidt, underlined that the victory over BATE is important for Bayer at the start of the group stages of the Champions League. Though the German club was the favourite in this match, they needed to prove themselves in practice. Ahead of them lie meetings with ROMA and Barcelona.

The second disappointment came to Dinamo. The champions of the Czech Republic, FC Viktoria Plzen, confidently defeated Minsk Dinamo at the home Doosan Arena, 2:0. In the 36th minute, Tomás Horava pleased the Plzen supporters with a goal, while Milan Petrzela distinguished himself in the 75th minute. It was a disappointing score, underlining the need for Dinamo players to be more aggressive in their approach to attacking the ball. According to the Dinamo head coach, the opposition showed that they are a highly skilled team and successfully used any opportunities near Alexander Gutor’s net. Speaking of the Minskers game, the coach noted that his team did not have enough accuracy when closing their attacks and players did not manage to use their scoring chances. Vuk Rasovic also said that before the game, the Dinamo players knew that the Czech team was confident in set pieces, but still failed to break through. In the second half, Dinamo fought to win the ball back, but were unsuccessful, missing a second chance at the goal, they lost 0:2. However, the Serbian expert assured the fans that in the return game with Viktoria in Borisov, Dinamo will show a completely different approach.

By Yegor Glebov
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