BATE Borisov held Bayer Leverkusen to a 1-1 Champions League draw which does little for either side’s chances of progressing from Group E but confirms Barcelona’s place in the knockout stages.
A shocking error from goalkeeper Bernd Leno allowed Mikhail Gordeichuk to open the scoring with the hosts’ first attack of the match.
Javier Hernandez missed a great opportunity to equalise on the stroke of half-time as his run of seven consecutive matches with a goal came to an end in Belarus.
Admir Mehmedi’s looping volley levelled the score in the second-half, but the Bundesliga side could not find a winner that would have probably been deserved on the balance of play.
The draw sees both sides remain outside of the top two positions and means holders Barca have qualified for the last 16 before their match with Roma later on Tuesday.
BATE took a shock lead in only the second minute when captain Aleksandr Volodko found Gordeichuk on the left channel and – after Giulio Donati failed to make a challenge – his tame shot rolled straight through the legs of Leno.
Leverkusen dominated possession as they attempted to find a route back into the match, but failed to trouble Sergei Chernik for much of the first half.
A good spell of pressure just before half-time saw Hakan Calhanoglu drag a shot wide from the edge of the area, before Hernandez had a penalty claim turned down for a theatrical fall over the leg of Maksim Zhavnerchik.
The home goalkeeper was then finally called upon to make a crucial save. In-form Hernandez should have scored from six yards after collecting a cutback from Mehmedi, but Chernik got down quickly to make the stop with his legs.
Hernandez was just wide with a long-range effort early in the second half after creating the opportunity for himself with a good solo run, before Karim Bellarabi volleyed straight at Chernik as the visitors continued their momentum from prior to the interval.
Another Bellarabi shot was deflected wide and Mehmedi had an effort that Chernik comfortably dealt with.
The equaliser was coming and it duly arrived on 68 minutes. A Calhanoglu chip picked out Mehmedi and his looping volley found the far corner, even though he may have been trying to cross for Hernandez at the far post.
Leverkusen’s play dropped off after the equaliser, however, with Chernik’s save from Wendell their only decent effort of note in the closing stages as BATE held on for a point that keeps them a point adrift of the Germans, who have to play Barca on matchday six.
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