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Raúl González struck the only goal as Real Madrid CF joined Juventus in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages from Group H after defeating FC BATE Borisov.
The seventh-minute goal ensured Bernd Schuster's side put successive defeats by the Bianconeri behind them to seal their place in the next round and keep alive their hopes of winning the section going into their final game against FC Zenit St. Petersburg. The first ever Belarussian group contenders will travel to Juve, who had drawn 0-0 with Zenit earlier in the evening, sure of finishing last in the section despite a spirited second-half revival as they chased the game in Minsk.
Madrid were comfortable 2-0 winners against BATE in their opening game in the section and soon took control again here. Royston Drenthe was making inroads down the left and his sixth-minute cross was turned wide at the near post by Javier Saviola, starting in place of the injured Ruud van Nistelrooy. It was an early warning, but BATE had little time to heed it as Madrid took the lead almost immediately, Drenthe's low cross finding its way through a crowd of players to an unmarked Raúl, who had time to control then rifle in off the underside of the crossbar. It was the Spaniard's record 62nd goal in the UEFA Champions League and took him level with AC Milan's Filippo Inzaghi on the all-time scorers' list in UEFA club competition with 64 strikes.
BATE's first sight of goal came on 27 minutes, but Vitali Rodionov was flagged offside as Aleksandr Volodko shot on the turn. The home side were making little impression and though Volodko sent another effort wide, Madrid still looked the more likely scorers. Vitali Kazantsev came to BATE's rescue when he slid in to block Drenthe's strike after the winger had again broken free on the left. Viktor Goncharenko's side held Juve to a draw here on Matchday 2 and the coach had stressed BATE would not be intimidated by Schuster's illustrious collection of stars either. They were struggling, though, to put the visitors under any pressure and Goncharenko acted at the break to enliven his attack by replacing Igor Stasevich with Pavel Nekhaychik.
Still Madrid looked comfortable, the wintry conditions failing to knock them off their stride until a slip by Gabriel Heinze offered the home side an opening. Anri Khagush pounced on the loose ball and rolled it into the path of Gennadi Bliznyuk, who blazed high and wide from the edge of the area. With their hopes of securing a UEFA Cup place hanging on a draw at least, BATE were beginning to press forward in greater numbers and starting to create chances.
Heinze made amends for his earlier error with a tremendous last-ditch tackle on Rodionov then Mikhail Sivakov set up Bliznyuk who again fired wide. As BATE attacked, though, they were leaving themselves exposed and Sergei Veremko kept his side in the game when he tipped Raúl's strike on to the crossbar. Wesley Sneijder and Drenthe missed further chances, but Madrid had done enough.
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