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BATE eke out Skënderbeu success

KS Skënderbeu 1-1 FC BATE Borisov (agg: 1-1, BATE win on away goals)
Anri Khagush's 29th-minute strike proved crucial for the Belarusian champions in Albania.

BATE's Egor Filipenko (No21) in action against Skënderbeu
BATE's Egor Filipenko (No21) in action against Skënderbeu ©Lysien Nurishmi

Anri Khagush's 29th-minute strike spelled away-goals success for FC BATE Borisov, with KS Skënderbeu falling agonisingly short in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round.

A goalless draw in Belarus last week ratcheted up the tension, and both sides took a cautious approach in the first half. It was something of a bolt from the blue, then, when Khagush opened the scoring, heading the ball just under the crossbar from Aleksandr Volodko's cross. It was to be the cue for an aerial bombardment.

Within minutes, BATE's Sergei Chernik had pushed Gerhard Progni's shot from distance on to the upright and – sensing the goalkeeper's unease – Skënderbeu tried their luck from range repeatedly. That approach finally bore fruit on 67 minutes when Marko Radaš's drive from 30 metres squirmed through Chernik's hands.

Skënderbeu had no choice but to keep on pushing, but while chances came at both ends, there were to be no further goals. BATE's reward is a meeting with Debreceni VSC.