After the return match in the Serbian capital, Borisov’s head coach, Alexander Yermakovich, declared the defeat by Partizan (1:2) as far from a disappointment. Importantly, the Belarusian team is now through to the group stage of the Champions League, thanks to a single goal in their away match; at home, they won 1:0.
Borisov BATE is among the top 32 clubs in Europe for the fifth time and is to play in Group E, alongside Spain’s Barcelona, Italy’s Roma and German Bayer (from Leverkusen). The Belarusian team is already familiar with experienced Barca, having met in the 2011/12 Champions League. At that time, the dangerous Catalonian squad smashed our club at home — 5:0. No doubt, the forthcoming European Cup is likely to present another challenge for BATE.
Minsk Dinamo’s away match within the Europa League’s play off round saw it lose to Salzburg — 2:0. However, across two matches, the Germans lost in after-match penalties — 3:2. As a result, Dinamo goes through to the next round for the second time. Belarus’ vice champions proved to be stronger than the Austrian champion.
Monaco hosted the draw for the group stage of the Europa League, with Minsk Dinamo placed in Group E, alongside Spain’s Villarreal, Czech Viktoria Plzen and Austria’s Rapid. All the teams are strong, with Villarreal demonstrating steady success in the Spanish championships, and having played once in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League.
Viktoria Plzen is the Czech champion and a holder of the Super Cup, while Vienna’s Rapid has been Austria’s champion 32 times.
Irrespective of the draw results for BATE and Dinamo, fans are expected to enjoy an interesting football autumn. Lionel Messi is expected to take part: the best European football player of the 2014/2015 season.
By Igor Grishin