Football season closes

BATE Borisov loses away match to Dutch Alkmaar in last game of Europa League’s group stage

By Yuri Karpenko

Following the match, our Belarusian team had mixed feelings about their play, although BATE’s head coach, Victor Goncharenko, asserted that the squad had nothing to feel sorry for. After the match, he noted, “We find ourselves in a position where anything we say will look like an excuse. There’s no need for explanations. We’ve had a really tough season and, frankly, we’re exhausted. The extra effort required from our side wasn’t there but we have met our original targets: we’ve won another World Championship and reached the Europa League play-offs. It’s understandable that our team lost their concentration somewhat. We’ll have to analyse our inter-season training soon. Probably, the reason for our failure is rooted there… or in our tough schedule.”

BATE halfback Renan Bressan was also upset, saying, “We are very disappointed, as we hoped to end the season differently. However, we’ve achieved a great deal this year.”

Meanwhile, the national football team of Belarus (with 660 points) has jumped to its highest ever position in the FIFA rankings: up two places on November. A series of confident performances have led to FIFA raising its rating to 38th, up from 78th since August 11th. The national squad is now enjoying a winter break, having been placed second in the qualification group of the European Championship. The team played six matches without a single defeat, scoring nine more goals than it conceded.

The second half of 2010 has abounded in successful matches for our squads, with the junior team reaching the 1/8 finals of the continental championship. Meanwhile, BATE went through to the 1/16 finals of the Europa League.

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