Linfield FC will travel to Belarus in good heart next week after sharing a UEFA Champions League second qualifying round draw with FC BATE Borisov.
The Northern Irish champions might have been celebrating a first-leg victory had they managed to hold on to the early lead given to them by debutant Daryl Fordyce, but a Renan Bressan penalty levelled the match seven minutes before half-time.
If Linfield's game plan had been to contain the visitors nobody had told Fordyce, who marked his competitive debut in Europe's premier club competition with a goal from the hosts' first attack. Michael Carvill did well to beat Maksim Bordachev on the right flank and when Jim Ervin crossed, the 24-year-old bundled in from close range.
BATE were restricted to pot-shots from long range as Linfield defended in numbers before Viktor Goncharenko's side broke through. David Armstrong handled Aleksandr Pavlov's cross and Bressan levelled from the spot.
The visitors started the second half brightly and forced Alan Blayney into a fine save when he flicked Bressan's 25-metre free-kick around the post five minutes after the interval.
Although BATE continued to dominate they were unable to find another route past Blayney and were briefly given cause for concern by speculative attempts from Chris Casement, on 58 minutes, and Fordyce with seven minutes left, which were both saved by Aleksandr Gutor.
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