Dinamo wins while BATE misses out

First matches of third qualification round for Europa League and Champions League arouse varying emotions

Deserved win for Dinamo

The Minsk squad have played their first match away, against Swiss Zurich. Despite bookmakers’ forecasts of a 1:4 victory to the hosts, the Swiss team failed to perform well. On the contrary, Belarusians were the first to make an attack at goal. Nevertheless, the Swiss players ‘didn’t delay with the reply’ and only goalkeeper Alexander Gutor’s swift reactions in the middle of the first half saved Dinamo from the goal.

Dinamo stronger in first game, leaving fans in anticipation
Dinamo stronger in first game, leaving fans in anticipation. Photo Dmitriy Tkachev

No other close goals were attempted, but for Armando Sadiku’s kick hitting Sergey Politevich’s hand in the penalty area (unnoticed by the referee). However, in the 63rd minute, Swiss Amine Chermiti played with his hand during an attack and received a penalty from Norwegian referee Tom Hagen. Dinamo’s Fatos Beqiraj made a powerful kick into the hosts’ goal and took the Minskers into the lead.

Zurich rapidly changed their strategy but failed to hold their nerve. No further serious attempts were made on the Minsk net, while Dinamo played strongly. On August 6th, the squad is due to face its return match in the 3rd qualification round of the Europa League, in Brest; no doubt, they will approach the meeting with optimism. 

Failing to celebrate victory

In the same round of the Champions League, Videoton drew against BATE at Szekesfehervar’s Sostoi Stadium,1:1, leaving fans with a sour taste in their mouths. Internet news is already reporting that BATE has held preliminary talks to sign Alexander Hleb. Clearly, after the match in Hungary, the Borisov team is in need of Hleb, who remains one of the top Belarusian players. BATE lacked cohesion and speed, while making many faults in its passes. Its poor performance continued on from its first match against Dundalk, failing to accelerate beyond second gear, despite Videoton being less than a formidable rival. If the Hungarian team pushes BATE out of the Champions League it will be a disgrace hard for the Belarusian team to live down.

By Kirill Karin
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