FC BATE Borisov's UEFA Champions League bid looked all over when Ibrahim Sidibe converted a 20th-minute penalty to put visitors Debreceni VSC 2-0 up on aggregate in their third qualifying round tie. But after their visitors were reduced to ten men, BATE rallied to get the three goals they needed to advance to Friday's play-off draw.
Coach Aleksandr Yermakovich dedicated the dramatic success to former Belarusian international Valentin Belkevich, who died last week, while chairman Anatoli Kapski took the opportunity to announce his departure at the end of the year. Sergei Krivets, who headed the clincher deep in added time, said: "Football is worth playing for moments like these."
Aleksandr Yermakovich, BATE coach
This is happiness! This is happiness for the whole of Belarusian football. We dedicate this victory to Valentin Belkevich who passed away on 1 August. He was an outstanding player and we had no other choice today.
I'm grateful to the lads for their spirit. Many of them were doubtful before the game, but they came out as a warriors and were splendid. They played for our country, for our status, for our city.
Sergei Krivets, BATE midfielder
These are wonderful feelings. We played probably our best match this season. We can be happy with our performance both in defence and in attack.
Everyone looked good today, all of us. My thoughts after the winning goal? I just ran there, jumped up and it ended up with a goal. No thoughts, just emotions after that. I saw guys on the stands going mad. Football is worth playing for moments like these. We were ready to give not 100% or 150%, but much more.
Yegor Filipenko, BATE defender
We don't realise what we have done yet. We're emotionally exhausted. I think it will sink in tomorrow, that we won despite everything. I want to give special thanks to everyone in the stadium; the fans. It's because of them we got the result needed.
Anatoli Kapski, BATE chairman
This is my last season at BATE. I knew it a month ago, but I couldn't leave the team as a loser. Now I'm totally calm. We have a wonderful stadium and we have earned our fans a place in Europe this autumn [at worst in the UEFA Europa League group stage]. As for me, I'm tired to be honest and I just want to become an ordinary supporter.
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