Doing their best

Dundalk defeats and ousts BATE in return match of 3rd qualifying round of Champions League
Following recent 1:0 victory at Borisov Arena for BATE, the team should not have let their guard down in the away match. Alexander Yermakovich’s squad started by surrendering initiative to the hosts; at first, this tactic worked, and BATE didn’t allow its rivals to approach the net, while making some sharp counter-attacks themselves. However, attempts by Vitaly Rodionov, YuriKendysh and Alexey Rios all missed the target. Shortly before halftime, the Irish team stepped up and, in the 44th minute, David McMillan caught goal keeper Sergey Veremko with a short-distance kick, taking the score to 1:0.

BATE defeated by Dundalk

As soon as the second half began, Alexander Hleb was brought in to replace Alexander Karnitsky but failed to score and Belarus’ champions, while having various chances at goal, did not make good use of them. Meanwhile, Dundalk, realising that victory within grasp, switched to counter-attacking, again and again. This proved effective, with McMillan scoring for the second time around the 60th minute, making use of BATE’s slow defence.

Sensing the threat of defeat, Yermakovich brought in Mikhail Gordeichuk, who had scored in the first, home match, following a pass from Hleb. Sadly, this time, no goals resulted. Shortly before the end of regular time, Vitaly Rodionov breached the rules in the hosts’ penalty area, provoking a long dispute between the players and with well-deserved warnings being given. Once play resumed, Yuri Kendysh made a mistake near his penalty area, ceding the ball to Robert Benson; in one-to-one play with Veremko, he delivered the final blow: a third goal for the Irish.

Dundalk continues through to the next round of the Champions League qualifying play-offs, while BATE will enter the Europa League group stage.

By Igor Svitov
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