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Stalemate enough for BATE to oust Vardar

FK Vardar 0-0 FC BATE Borisov (agg: 2-3)
Last week's 3-2 home victory proved to be sufficient for BATE to progress to the third qualifying round and a tie against Debreceni VSC.

BATE goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov in action against Vardar on Wednesday
BATE goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov in action against Vardar on Wednesday ©Radovan Vujovic

FC BATE Borisov are a step closer to another UEFA Champions League group stage appearance after a goalless draw against FK Vardar in their second qualifying round second leg.

Having led 3-2 following last week's opening instalment in Belarus, where they scored twice in added time, Viktor Goncharenko's side can now look forward to a tie against Debreceni VSC following events in Skopje.

They had several chances, however, in the first half at a packed National Arena Filip II Macedonian to extend their aggregate lead, Marko Simić putting the first of them wide after seizing on a mistake by Miroslav Vajs on the edge of the penalty area.

Artem Kontsevoi then rattled the woodwork and Vardar goalkeeper Kostadin Zahov thwarted Aleksandr Volodko following Aleksandr Yurevich's measured pass. The hosts' best opening came moments later, when Aleksandar Temelkov headed Dragan Georgiev's free-kick narrowly wide.

The second half started with Zahov keeping out a Vitali Rodionov effort with his head as the visitors sought the relative sanctuary of a two-goal overall advantage.

BATE keeper Andrei Gorbunov was finally pressed into service for the first time midway through the second half, saving well from Predrag Randjelović, though his most significant act would come in added time in keeping out Jovan Kostovski's header to prevent the Macedonian team from progressing on away goals.