Roma came to win but was beaten
A true football favourite arrived in Borisov for the match, but Belarusian champion BATE managed to defeat Italian Roma
BATE Borisov’s Nikolay Signevich celebrates first goal in Roma’s goal, scored by his teammate Igor Stasevich
The head coach of the Rome club, Rudi Garcia, for whom the match against BATE was his 100th in this position, will probably hope not to meet the squad from Borisov again anytime soon. In fact, BATE defeated his team three years ago, when he was head coach of Lille (BATE won the match, in France 3:1).
Roma was missing some of its star players, since Francesco Totti, Seydou Keita and Edin Dzeko were injured during an A series match against Carpi. Meanwhile, the strong-voiced Belarusian fans and unfamiliar, severe weather went against the Italians. Despite Roma being the favourite, and the pre-match announcement by Garcia of the team being ready for victory, the Borisov squad simply outperformed its rival.
The Belarusian team is beyond playing safely, hoping for a draw; rather, it plays aggressively, to win. Last autumn, fans were wondering where BATE’s fighting spirit had gone to, following five defeats across six matches (2 goals to 24).
Photo: Alexander Kulevsky
Though it began with defeat from Leverkusen 1:4, the tables are now turning. Filip Mladenovich scored beautiful goals, sending the ball past Wojciech Szczęsny, while Igor Stasevich did brilliantly as halfback, as did other Belarusian players in defence.
Of course, there were some mistakes, especially in the second half, but we can overlook those. BATE chased off Rome’s ‘wolves’, while claiming three goals.
In the third round, BATE will face powerful Barcelona, which will be a real challenge. However, it if can bring some of the fire it showed against Roma, the Champions Cup holder will certainly give the Spanish squad some exercise on the pitch. No one is born a master.
By Kirill Karin