Ten-man BATE hold AEK in Athens
Thursday, November 5, 2009
AEK Athens FC 2-2 FC BATE Borisov
All-square after four goals in the first half, AEK failed to make the extra man count after a 76th-minute red card for Igor Shitov.
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AEK Athens FC and FC BATE Borisov shared four goals to draw 2-2 in a game which did little to change either side's chances of reaching the round of 32 from Group I.
Ismael Blanco gave AEK a first-minute lead but BATE hit back with goals from Vitali Rodionov and Aleksandr Volodko before Gustavo Manduca levelled seven minutes from the break. BATE's Igor Shitov received a 75th-minute red card but hung on for a draw which leaves both clubs on four points, trailing Everton FC on six and Benfica SL on nine after the Portuguese side's win at Goodison Park.
The goals started rolling in straight from kick-off, with Blanco collecting Krisztián Németh's clever flick to beat the offside trap and keeper Sergei Veremko with less than 15 seconds gone. BATE shrugged off the setback and were in front 25 minutes later after Rodionov pulled a goal back with a cool finish on the break and Volodko had struck a freakish effort.
AEK keeper Sebastián Saja sprinted out of his area towards the right to clear but he only found Volodko, who rocketed the ball in from over 30 metres before Saja could scamper back. Having veered the way of the Belarussian champions, the contest swung back towards the hosts when Nacho Scocco curled over a free-kick from the left and Manduca sent a looping header into the far corner.
AEK stuck to the task after the restart and Manduca was nearly celebrating another after the Brazilian curled a left-foot shot on to the bar, while Nemeth beat two BATE defenders in a confined space near the edge of the box before unleashing a powerful angled shot which Veremko did well to block. The momentum was clearly with AEK and Shitov's dismissal for a second caution was followed by Sanel Jahić and Scocco both being denied by the woodwork in a vain late flurry.