• The tie is finely balanced after ŠK Slovan Bratislava and FC BATE Borisov draw 1-1
• Sergei Krivets strikes the crossbar with a free-kick as BATE go close early on
• The breakthrough comes when Slovan's Tomáš Jablonský turns into his own net
• Substitute Róbert Vittek drills in the home equaliser with ten minutes left
• The sides meet again on Tuesday to decide who will make the group stage
Slovan and BATE will resume at all-square in their UEFA Champions League play-off next week after Vittek conjured a late first-leg equaliser for the Slovak title holders.
BATE, seeking a group stage return after last season's disappointment, endured an early barrage from the hosts. Pavel Fořt was denied on the line by goalkeeper Sergei Chernik and defender Dmitri Likhtarovich, but BATE were always the more comfortable in possession and gradually their chances arrived. When Nicolas Gorosito brought down Vitali Rodionov on the edge of the area, Krivets thumped the bar with the free-kick.
Aleksandr Volodko volleyed wide for the Belarusian visitors before Rodionov cut into the box from the left, only for his right-footed effort to zip narrowly wide of the near post. The breakthrough came a minute before the interval as Rodionov put the unfortunate Jablonský under pressure and the defender turned Krivets's cross past his own keeper.
There seemed a determined attempt to push BATE back after the restart, though Aleksandr Yermakovich's team still found ways to threaten. Neat footwork from Rodionov again created space in the area but his strike flew straight at Dušan Perniš.
The home keeper was also forced into action to deny substitute Aleksandr Karnitski, while Slovan struggled to prise open the defence at the other end. That was until a pair of substitutes joined forces with ten minutes remaining. Juraj Halenár crossed for Vittek, who controlled delightfully at the front post before driving into the far corner with his second touch. It leaves the tie on a knife edge.
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