Experience is never wasted
Fifth year in a row sees Belarusian football fans with major football tournament to follow in autumn
By Yuri Keberov
BATE Borisov has ensured itself a place in the Europa League and may also get through to the Champions League Group Stage. To achieve the latter, the Belarusian team needs to defeat its next rival in the play-offs. After a rather smooth away game, blusterous Debrecen FC hoped (not without reason) to achieve the same at home. However, it ended up losing before the eyes of its fans. Putting aside all patriotism, we must admit that the overall result between the Belarusian and Hungarian champions was fair.
“We lost because we faced a very good team,” explains Hungarian head coach Elemer Kondas. Not everything went smoothly for BATE during the first game but, in the return match, the Belarusian club saw everything fall into place. The Hungarian squad were like boy sailors facing Belarusian ‘boatswains’, hardened by stormy seas. The Hungarian team has determination and ambition and plenty of desire, yet lacks experience. In the decisive moments, this swayed the result, and BATE defeated Debrecen.
After receiving a fateful blow in the 25th minute (with Dmitry Mozolevsky scoring), Debrecen became nervous and its play deteriorated in the second half of the game. The second goal in the Hungarian net followed a second yellow card shown to the Hungarian player. Being one man down, they found it difficult to score three times (necessary to bring the score into their favour). This fact was understood by Elemer Kondas, wearing a pink shirt, and by Hungarian fans who were sometimes exasperated by some of the referee’s decisions, and, even, the Hungarian footballers.
“We’ve shown that we’ve learnt from the experience we’ve accumulated in recent years, in matches of a similar level. Despite a less than successful result in the first game, the team didn’t feel nervous and were confident. They defended well, while finding holes in their rival’s game, scoring as a result,” notes the head coach of BATE Borisov, Victor Goncharenko. It’s difficult not to agree. BATE’s current play significantly differs from that of 7-8 years ago, having enjoyed dynamic games against icons such as Real, Juventus, Barcelona, Milan and PSG. Undoubtedly, this rich experience has proven useful.