Champion steps aside European cups… for a while

BATE finishes its performances for the Champions League with a defeat from Athletic

BATE finishes its performances for the Champions League with a defeat from Athletic. The home victory would have enabled the team to pass to the Europa League but Borisov’s footballers missed the chance.
BATE finishes its performances for the Champions League with a defeat from Athletic. The home victory would have enabled the team to pass to the Europa League but Borisov’s footballers missed the chance.

M. Gordeychuk in action
M. Gordeychuk in action

Although Athletic demonstrated superiority over the first half of the match, it ended with a nil draw. However, in the beginning of the second half, Spaniards’ playing advantage resulted in a goal. BATE’s second striker, Nikolay Signevich, came off the substitutes’ bench then to continue the match and it was actually the reliable action of 22 year old goalkeeper Artem Soroko (who made his debut in the Champions League) which saved our footballers from another smash. As a result, Spaniards scored twice — taking a revenge for their loss in Borisov and winning a ticket to the Europa League’s play-off.

BATE finished its European season with a single win in six matches: during the first lap’s match against Athletic (2:1). Four out of five defeats were truly major — 0:6 and 0:3 (against Porto), 0:7 and 0:5 (Donetsk Shakhtar). Borisov’s team missed just two goals in its match against Basques.

As a result, BATE missed 24 goals — setting an anti-record for a group stage of the Champions’ League. In the past, 22 goals were missed by Zagreb Dinamo (3 scored and 22 missed in the 2011/12 season) and Denmark Nordsjaelland (the 4-22 goal difference in the 2012/13 season). BATE’s goal difference made 2-24.

As far as statistics is concerned, BATE’s halfback Dmitry Likhtarovich (coming off the substitutes’ bench in a match against Athletic) reached Alexander Hleb in the number of played European Cup matches: both performed in 92 matches of Champions League and Europa League, setting a record among Belarusian footballers.

Meanwhile, BATE has again become the Belarusian football champion and, next season, shall take part in the Champions League matches.

By Yegor Glebov
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