Czech champions Viktoria Plzen appear to be through to the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League, thanks to their 1-0 UEFA Champions League victory over BATE Borisov on Wednesday night. Thanks to a nasty draw that put Plzen and BATE in a group with AC Milan and Barcelona, they were always fighting for third place. Plzen have that all but locked up with a win in this match unless BATE can pull off a miracle and defeat Barcelona.
The lone goal was a great one, and well deserved for Plzen after a very well-played first half. Milan Petrzela, arguably the man of the match, provided the assist with a run to the byline and a cutback towards the penalty spot. BATE's defenders were caught flat-footed and Marek Bakos was left wide open for a tap-in in the 42nd minute.
The second half wasn't nearly as well-played as the first, with Plzen playing to hold onto their lead and BATE struggling to break them down. The side from Belarus failed to put together attacks and constantly looked disconnected, despite Plzen's back line looking disorganized. Their manager will likely be very disappointed with their inability to score, and they're now almost certainly out of Europe.
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