Belarusian football fans are anticipating an exciting autumn, with two clubs qualifying for group rounds in most prestigious European Cup tournaments. BATE Borisov has appeared in the Champions League previously, but the achievement is a turning point for Dinamo Minsk.
BATE football players play worthily to full stadium at Borisov-Arena
Belarusian Shaktyor Soligorsk lost to Dutch PSV Eindhoven, although the team put up a good fight before being knocked out. Nevertheless, even Belarusian two lucky squads are able to ensure enough interesting moments.
For example, even now BATE is seriously considering its chances to continue its struggle in the play-offs. In Group H, the team from Borisov will face Portuguese Porto FC, Ukrainian FC Shakhtar from Donetsk and Spanish Athletic Club: all serious opponents obliging BATE to play at the top of its game. BATE played very confidently during the whole group stage and smashed ŠK Slovan Bratislava at their return match hosted by Borisov-Arena: fans little doubted their success in continuing in the Champions League, despite the transfer of leading player Sergey Krivets (into French FC Metz). BATE has stated, with modesty, that they know they have a long road to travel this season and won’t be giving way to undue pride. “It’s very good that we’ve got into the group. However, there’s no euphoria, as we do understand perfectly well that the season isn’t over yet,” note BATE footballers.
Meanwhile, Dinamo Minsk have also been playing well, defeating worthy rival Portuguese Nacional CD while fighting for the place in the group stage of the Europa League, winning the return match 3:2, having come back from equal score. Vladimir Zhuravel’s wards have managed a first in club history in reaching this stage of the top tournament: their most significant achievement to date had been winning the USSR Championship in 1982. Since then, they’ve employed 18 coaches and it seems that they’ve finally found the correct formulae. Dinamo has definitely left a good impression by their result and good game.
The Minsk squad was recently just two points behind BATE in the Belarusian championship, despite having failed to defeat Slutsk. They are now facing Italian ACF Fiorentina, Greek FC PAOK and French En Avant de Guingamp in their group.
Of course, fans are hoping to see BATE go further in the tournament than ever before this season. The second half of September will see BATE facing Portuguese Porto in an away match while Dinamo will be playing against PAOK in Thessaloniki.