Football autumn arriving soon
BATE again in Champions League Group Stage
By Dmitry Baranovsky
The players won their first match in the play-off round, scoring 2:0 against Israeli Hapoel at Minsk’s Dynamo Stadium. In the second match, their task seemed simple but the team from Kiryat Shmona had its heart set on a sensational ‘comeback’.
Some say that attack is the best form of defence, so BATE was perhaps unwise in playing too safely in the first half. They may have been too confident of a win and their safe play led to little in the way of entertainment. However, in the 67th minute, Lencse was given a penalty, and events took a downturn. Feeling a chance to catch up, the hosts occupied BATE’s penalty area and, at least twice, almost scored. The fight continued until the fourth minute of additional time, when substitute Alexander Pavlov used a pass from Dmitry Mozolevsky to score; this settled matters once and for all.
“Until the middle of the second half, we had confidence but, after substitutions, our game deteriorated,” admitted BATE coach Viсtor Goncharenko, after the match. “However, my team endured, having good character. It was difficult at the end, but we stood our ground.”
This is BATE’s third time in the final stage of the Champions League, having entered in 2008-2009 and 2011-2012.