FC Shakhter Karagandy completed one of the big surprises of the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round by beating FC BATE Borisov 1-0 to secure a 2-0 victory overall.
Viktor Kumykov's Kazakh title holders have never participated in the group stage of a UEFA competition but they put themselves in a strong position to take BATE's scalp when winning 1-0 in Belarus last week. They would have lost that advantage had Sergei Krivets converted a second-half penalty but he was foiled by home goalkeeper Aleksandr Mokin and Igor Zenkovich made BATE pay when he made it 1-0 on the night with eight minutes remaining.
Almost 19,000 spectators turned up to see if Shakhter could hold off a BATE side who took part in last term's group stage. They breathed a collective sigh of relief when Vitali Rodionov put a good chance over the crossbar in the 31st minute and an even greater opportunity went begging for the visitors when Krivets failed from the spot after 68 minutes after Mokin had brought down Rodionov. Krivets hit his kick down the middle and Mokin held his ground to deny him.
At that stage, the closest Shakhter had come was a long-range Gevorg Ghazaryan strike that whistled over the bar early on but, in the 82nd minute, they capitalised on a goalkeeping mistake to put the result beyond doubt. Andrei Gorbunov missed his kick in the centre of the pitch when trying to intercept a long ball from home captain Andrei Finonchenko as Shakhter broke following a BATE corner. Substitute Zenkovich duly picked up the loose ball and rolled it into the empty net.
Shakhter's reward will be a third qualifying round tie against the winners of the KS Skënderbeu v Neftçi PFK contest, with the first leg at home next week.
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