FC Viktoria Plzeň striker Marek Bakoš maintained his prolific form by scoring the only goal in Minsk, leaving FC BATE Borisov needing "a miracle" to deny the Czech club third place.
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FC Viktoria Plzeň players know they took a huge step towards securing third place in Group H and with it UEFA Europa League football in the new year after winning 1-0 away to FC Bate Borisov. Things are trickier for the Belarusian side – if they fail to win at FC Barcelona on matchday six they are out regardless of what happens in the Plzeň-AC Milan game.
Milan Petržela, Plzeň midfielder
It was a very tough game in the second half when they put us under pressure, but we had a lot of breaks and it's a shame we didn't score another goal. The whole team worked very well and we are happy to take home three points. BATE are very good on the ball, and link up well, but we were solid in defence and didn't allow them any scoring chances. We are not through [to the UEFA Europa League] yet because there's one game left and both teams have a chance but we are closer to it than BATE. The only difference between the two teams was the goal.
Marek Bakoš, Plzeň forward
We came to Minsk to get the result we needed so we're very happy to have collected three points. But we had to worry until the final whistle as we couldn't score a second goal despite having many chances. The feelings are positive at the moment. It would be a miracle if BATE win at Barcelona. Rubin Kazan did it but I really hope BATE won't and we will get into the Europa League. It's the best season of my career so far.
Renan Bressan, BATE midfielder
I'm disappointed. We lost and squandered a great chance to claim the first Champions League group stage victory in the history of Belarusian football. Although we can still qualify for the UEFA Europa League, we know how difficult it will be to get a positive result at Barcelona. There is nothing we can do about it now. We just have to keep on working and go there to try and win.
Aleksandr Gutor, BATE goalkeeper
I can't say what didn't work for us. We were eager to win, showed good movement but just couldn't take our chances while the other team did.