BATE 1-1 Leverkusen
Admir Mehmedi made the visitors' pressure count, but the Bundesliga side could not find a winner ahead of their matchday six date with Barcelona.
Article top media content
- BATE Borisov score early but are pegged back by Bayer Leverkusen
- Mikhail Gordeichuk's shot slips through the grasp of Bernd Leno
- Admir Mehmedi levels in the second half with a side-foot volley
- The Swiss international has scored in his last five European outings
- Final Group E games: Leverkusen v Barcelona, Roma v BATE (9 December)
Admir Mehmedi equalised as Bayer Leverkusen recovered from the concession of an early goal to draw with BATE Borisov, an outcome that does neither side much good in their bid to qualify from UEFA Champions League Group E.
BATE were given early assistance in their bid to climb off the bottom of the section. Some of the 13,000 sell-out crowd in Borisov were still taking their seats when Aleksandr Volodko worked the ball wide to Mikhail Gordeichuk and the Belarus forward, after cutting onto his right foot, got away a shot that slipped beneath the body of goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Gordeichuk's second-minute strike, his first in the UEFA Champions League group stage, lifted further an already vocal home support, who saw Roger Schmidt's Leverkusen monopolise possession for the remainder of the game.
For all of the Werkself's territorial dominance, Javier Hernández had been a peripheral figure as he sought to score for the eighth successive club match. A minute before the break, however, the type of chance he normally devours was served up by Mehmedi. Sergei Chernik, hitherto underemployed, instinctively stuck out his left leg to preserve the hosts' lead.
The second half brought more of the same: sustained Leverkusen pressure, the visitors often camped inside the BATE half, and Aleksandr Yermakovich's men defending valiantly.
The goal Bayer had long been threatening, though, arrived with 22 minutes left. Hakan Çalhanoğlu was the architect, scooping a pass over the massed ranks of BATE defenders into the path of Mehmedi, whose cross-cum-volley found the far corner. Chernik came good again late on, parrying an angled drive by Wendell as BATE clung on for a share of the spoils.
Aleksandr Yermakovich, BATE coach
It hurts a lot – to be 1-0 up, to survive for so long and then concede such a soft goal …. Leverkusen had much better chances but time and again Sergei Chernik saved us – all credit to him. Sometimes you just don't get the luck. We still hope BATE will be playing in Europe come the spring. It will be difficult to achieve but we have to believe.
Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach
It's very annoying that we didn't win. The early BATE goal threw us out of our rhythm. After this we needed half an hour to come back into the match but we still had enough chances to claim a victory that would have been well deserved. We gave them only one shot on our goal and that was their goal. That's a real pity.