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Alumona strikes late to sink AEK

FC BATE Borisov 2-1 AEK Athens FC
Substitute Aleksandr Alumona scored a late winner within seconds of coming on as the Belarussian champions rallied to beat ten-man AEK.

Aleksandr Pavlov scored BATE's first against AEK Athens
Aleksandr Pavlov scored BATE's first against AEK Athens ©Getty Images

Substitute Aleksandr Alumona scored a late winner within seconds of coming on the pitch as FC BATE Borisov rallied to beat ten-man AEK Athens FC in Minsk and register their first points in UEFA Europa League Group I.

Ismael Blanco converted a 31st-minute penalty for the Greek visitors, but Aleksandr Pavlov equalised six minutes after half-time and things went from bad to worse for AEK almost immediately when defender Daniel Majstorovic was dismissed for a second yellow card. Dušan Bajević's side looked to have earned a draw until Alumona popped up to head an 85th-minute clincher for the Belarussian champions. In a turbulent finale, AEK's Nicolas Arce was also red-carded for a rash challenge, while Bajević was sent from the dugout. The result took BATE level on three points with AEK and three behind section pacesetters Everton FC and SL Benfica.

Heavy pitch
Both teams struggled with a heavy pitch and first-half opportunities were rare, although Pavlov showed willing with a volley that swung wide of the far post. AEK offered plenty of neat footwork and attacking intent, getting their reward midway through the half when BATE defender Sergei Sosnovski hauled down Krisztián Németh just as the striker was wriggling free. Blanco dispatched the penalty without fuss, his low drive into the left-hand corner giving keeper Sergei Veremko no chance.

Red card
However, the situation unravelled for AEK within ten minutes of the restart. Dmitri Likhtarovich fired in a shot from outside the area which goalkeeper Sebastián Saja failed to hold; Vitali Rodionov's follow-up was blocked, but the ball squirted free for Pavlov to turn in from a tight angle. Two minutes later, Majstorovic picked up his second booking for a foul on Sergei Krivets. BATE wasted no time applying the pressure and it finally paid off when Alumona nodded in a corner to earn the points.