The Czech international's strike ensures the visitors are on course for Europa League qualification courtesy of three points in BelarusViktoria Plzen defeated BATE Borisov 1-0 at the City Stadium, in Wednesday's night Champions League Group H encounter. A close range effort from Marek Bakos was enough to ensure the visitors recorded their first ever victory in the competition.
The match started brightly for the visitors, as in the second minute Aliaksandr Gutor was forced into a good save to deny Vaclav Pilar. The Czech Republic international picked up the ball on the edge of the area and managed to create some space before unleashing a powerful drive that Gutor did well to parry away.
The home side then started to get into the game and after ten minutes they should have taken the lead, when a magnificent break away left Renan Bardini Bressan with a glorious opportunity, but the Brazilian striker dragged his first-time shot wide.
By now the match was end to end action, and in the 12th minute the hosts were tested once again. Petr Jiracek arrowed cross was met by Bakos but the former Ruzomberok forward’s header was denied by a great save from Gutor.
On the twenty minute mark the hosts wasted another opportunity to take the lead, when Bressan found himself in space on the edge of the box but the number ten blasted straight over the bar.
However, just before half time the visitors took a deserved lead through Bakos, a great run and cross from Milan Petrzela left the Slovakian with a simple finish to put his side in front.
The second half began with the away side still controlling the game, with Frantisek Sevinsky denied by Gutor, before a David Limbersky cross found Bakos in the centre of the box, but the tall striker’s effort flew just past the post.
The visitors were starting to look dangerous on the counter attack and missed a decent opportunity to double their advantage, when just past the hour mark Daniel Kolar played in Pilar but the young forwards effort sailed just past the post.
The game started to slow down again, with the away side happy to sit back and take the result, but with just over ten minutes to go substitute Mateja Kezman found some space on the edge of the box but the former Chelsea strikers drive was denied by Marek Cech.
The visitors managed to hold on despite some late pressure from the home side, to ensure that they are now the favourites to gain third spot in the group and qualify for the Europa League.
This result ensures that Viktoria Plzen pick up their first ever win in the Champions League and that qualification to the Europa League will now go down to the final game, The Czech champions will host AC Milan in their final group game, while BATE will travel to Barcelona next time around.
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