By Igor Grishin
BATE footballers draw with Slovan Bratislava in Champions League play-offs
The rivals didn’t show high speed for most of the match in Bratislava, ‘accelerating’ only seldom. Midway through the first half of the match, the hosts got a few chances to attack Sergey Chernik’s goal after mistakes by the Borisov defence. However, the BATE goalkeeper was alert all the time. The guests also had their chances, but Sergey Krivets and Vitaly Rodionov missed the target. Only at the end of the first half of the match, one Belarus counterattack finished with a goal, when Slovan’s Tomáš Jablonský made a mistake in his struggle against Vitaly Rodionov and turned the ball into his own net.
After the break, the Slovan FC footballers tried to win back but BATE head coach Alexander Yermalovich’s team stood strong keeping their rival away. However, close to the final whistle they let their guard down, probably, thinking that victory was already in their pocket. Because of this, they could not only let victory slip away but even lose to the Slovaks. At first, Róbert Vittek sent home an equaliser with ten minutes left to play. Three minutes later the same player hit the net again, but fortunately, for the guests, was flagged as off-side. The draw gives the 10-times champions of Belarus a good chance of progressing to the group stage of the most prestigious continental tournament.