BATE knew they would wrap up the championship with a home victory this evening and wasted little time making their mark, Vitali Rodionov turning in the loose ball after a fifth-minute shot from Sergei Kryvets had been blocked. Rodionov's fellow Belarussian international Gennadi Bliznyuk doubled the lead in the 26th with his 16th league goal of the season, although both scorers were guilty of wasting chances before Andrei Sheryakov halved the deficit (36).
BATE were content to sit back after the break and defend their lead, something they did with ease as they held on to establish a seven-point gap over an FC Dinamo Minsk team who have just two fixtures left. Like Dinamo, the Borisov side can now put a star on their badge to mark their five Belarussian titles. Coach Viktor Goncharenko said: "Everybody could see that it was a nervous performance. We won thanks to our two forward players who have the ability to score from nothing.
"Obviously I'd like to keep this quality and united squad together but I understand that this will be virtually impossible. Many of our guys will receive tempting offers. We'll try but it will be hard to keep them. Most of them have won everything they can in Belarus so it would be hard to motivate them in the future. We have already started looking for replacements, and I'm mentally prepared to start building a new team."
BATE return to UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday when they tackle FC Zenit St. Petersburg in Group H. The Russian champions trail their Belarussian counterparts by a point with three games to play, with Juventus and Real Madrid CF setting the pace at the section summit.
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