Year by year

 This season was one of the most thrilling years in BATE's history. A poor start and amazing spurt in autumn, bad performances and sudden renaissance were dramatically woven into one season. A unique story for the Belarusian football that has not been repeated since.

Frustrated hopes

After winning the title previous season, the coaching staff of the Yellow Blues prepared thoroughly for the new quest. Transfers were needed for that and several strong players joined the team. The biggest signing was Valeri Stripeikis who at the moment was the best goalscorer of all times in Belarusian football. Defender Aleksandr Sednev was another important newcomer. Youngsters Oleg Shkabara and Dmitriy Rubnenko were also considered to be a good addition to the squad.

In the preseason BATE played a lot of good matches, which made pundits claim the Yellow Blues as the main contenders for the title. But already in the Commonwealth of Independent States Cup the team played below usual standards, although no dedicated preparations were made for this tournament. However, already in the quarterfinals the Yellow Blues lost to the FC Lokomotiv Moscow reserves.

In spring troubles continued. BATE got eliminated from the cup by archrivals FC Dinamo Minsk and started poorly in the league. The Borisovites played several unnecessary draws and celebrated their first convincing victory only on matchday 9, when FC Neman Grodno was beaten 4-0. After that FC Slaviya was humiliated 7-0 (hat-trick by ex-Slaviya player Valeriy Stripeikis).

After that the situation worsened again. FC Dinamo Minsk turned out to be stronger in the Vysshaya Liga match in Borisov again. A goal by Stripeikis was cancelled out by the double by ex-BATE star Nikolai Ryndiuk. Thus after the first round BATE was just in the fifth spot in the table with seven points away from FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk (who were third in the table) and ten points away from FC Torpedo-SKA Minsk (who were second).

Reset

In order to reset the whole system, BATE head coach Yuri Puntus chose for the squad revolution. Veterans Igor Chumachenko, Valeriy Stripeikis, Aleksandr Sednev and Vitali Rogozhkin had to leave the club. The main stake was put on the youth. To a large extent it was a desperate move that was made more to ensure a better team next season. For that the result of 2003 season had to be sacrificed.

But BATE was not going to die quickly. And against the predicaments of the moaners, this decision proved to be of great worth. BATE gained confidence from match to match and started to demonstrate stylish attacking abilities adored by the fans. The last loss happened in Gomel, where BATE conceded two goals before the break and FC Gomel managed to get fifth clean sheet in the games against the Yellow Blues.

On the next matchday the Borisovites won FC Zvezda-VA-BGU thanks to a late goal by Valeriy Tarasenko in 89th minute. After that the Borisovites grabbed three points in the matches against FC Torpedo Zhodino (3-0) and FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk (4-1).

4th of October the magnificent clean sheet series of BATE started. It delivered 24 points to the club. The victims were FC Lokomotiv Minsk (4-0), FC Neman Grodno (3-0), FC Slaviya Mozyr (5-0), FC Torpedo-SKA Minsk (2-0), FC Dnepr-Transmash Mogilev (2-0), FC Dinamo Brest (1-0), FC Darida (2-0). But the greatest gem in the collection was the last matchday against FC Dinamo Minsk.

Silver medals won in Belarusian Clasico

Despite a fantastic winning streak, BATE remained in the fifth spot in the table for a long time as too many points were dropped in the first round. Only on matchday 26 the Yellow Blues managed to change the position for a higher one. Before the last matchday the layout for the medal battle was intriguing. FC DInamo Minsk were second with 64 points. BATE were one point away and third. FC Torpedo-SKA Minsk and with FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk had both 61 and shared fourth spot.

Torpedo and Shakhtyor played against easy opponents (FC Zvezda-VA-BGU Minsk and FC Neman Grodno respectively) and won their last matches. BATE had to face FC Dinamo Minsk, and depending on the result of the last matchday the Yellow Blues could be in any place from 2nd till 5th.

Everything was decided on 9 November in Dinamo stadium. The first half of the Clasico ended without goals. But after the break BATE was unstoppable. Oleg Strakhanovich, the best player of the second part of the season broke the deadlock with a fantastic shot. After that Oleg Shkabara made a double and Pavel Shmigero put a great exclamation mark in the match with the fourth goal. This amazing victory brought BATE silver medals of the Championship. The club from Borisov was on the pedestal for the sixth time in six years in the Vysshaya Liga!

Statistical highlights of the fastastic rise from the deep by BATE are tremendous:

- 12 wins in a row (14 including Belarusian Cup matches);

- 8 clean sheets in a row (goal difference - 29-0);

- Oleg Strakhanovich made a difference in 10 matches in a row recording 14 points (7 goals and 7 assists);

- Yuriy Puntus was named Best Belarusian Coach for the fourth time in the last five years;

- Seven BATE players were included into the list of 22 best Belarusian Championship players.

Besides that BATE qualified for the spring part of the Belarusian Cup, and Belarusian U-21 national team, which had a lot of BATE players in the roster managed to qualify for the final stage of U-21 EURO-2004.

 

  • LAST MATCH

    Belarusian Championship
    Matchday 21

    14 september 2019, 20:45
    Borisov-Arena

    Referee: Shcherbakov D.

    BATE
    BATE
    (Borisov)
    2:1 Gorodeya
    Gorodeya
    (Gorodeya)
     

    Дублеры

    BATE — Gorodeya

    4 : 0

  • Next Match

    Belarusian Championship
    Matchday 18

    25 september 2019, 20:45
    Brestski Sports Complex (Brest)

    Dinamo Br
    Dinamo Br
    (Brest)
    VS BATE
    BATE
    (Borisov)

    Дублеры

    24-09-2019, 14:00

    Brest. Training centre "Krasny dvor"

  • UPCOMING FIXTURES

    Belarusian Championship
    Matchday 23

    28 september 2019, 20:45
    Borisov-Arena

    BATE
    BATE
    (Borisov)
    VS Neman
    Neman
    (Grodno)

    Belarusian Championship
    Matchday 24

    05 october 2019
    Slutsk. Gorodskoi Stadium

    Slutsk
    Slutsk
    (Slutsk)
    VS BATE
    BATE
    (Borisov)

    Belarusian Championship
    Matchday 25

    19 october 2019
    Borisov-Arena

    BATE
    BATE
    (Borisov)
    VS Gomel
    Gomel
    (Gomel)

Belarusian Champ.

Team Pld Pts
1 Dynamo Br 20 51
2 BATE 19 46
3 Shakhtyor 19 46
4 Dinamo Mn 20 40
5 Torpedo-BelAZ 21 35
6 Isloch 21 34
7 Gorodeya 20 30
8 Slutsk 21 26
9 Slaviya 20 23
10 Minsk 22 23
11 Neman 21 23
12 Vitebsk 20 21
13 Gomel 21 18
14 Energetik-BGU 21 16
15 Dnyapro 20 16
16 Torpedo Mn 20 6
Full table