BATE snatch draw with Milan
BATE Borisov earned one of the greatest results in their history when they held European giants AC Milan to a 1-1 draw in their UEFA Champions League Group H clash in Minsk.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic fired Milan into the lead in the 22nd minute before Renan Bressan equalised for the Belarusian champions from the penalty spot.
The result means Milan will qualify from the group stages if Barcelona overcome Viktoria Plzen in the other pool game, while winless BATE's chances of progression look improbable as they sit third in Group H with two points.
"We could have finished the game in the first half. We created many chances but our final pass often went astray," Massimiliano Allegri told SkySport.
"I'm disappointed, it's a game we should have won. Unfortunately, sometimes you concede a goal like that and then we took some risks. Things were going well but then one episode changed that and we struggled."
Ibrahimovic and Robinho were a constant threat in the first half, with Milan launching attacks from all over the park, however BATE did not roll over and gave the Italian club a tougher test than they might have expected.
Ibrahimovic showed BATE what to expect early on when he played a neat one-two on the edge of the area before firing his shot over the bar. Milan midfielder Alberto Aquilani, who is currently on loan at the Serie A club from Liverpool, then almost opened the scoring with a 20-yard volley in the seventh minute but it just missed the right post of Aleksandr Gutor's goal.
Despite Milan's early dominance, the home side held their own and Maksim Skavysh's 20-yard shot tested Italian goalkeeper Christian Abbiati. Antonio Nocerino's header was then blocked by BATE defender Artem Radkov as the seven-time European champions really started to control the play.
Ibrahimovic then went close twice in two minutes when his fierce strike deviated in the air, with Gutor doing well to punch it clear. However, the striker finally broke the deadlock after some great play with Robinho in the 22nd minute.
Ibrahimovic dispossessed Antonio Nocerino in midfield and passed to Robinho who raced up the right wing and played the ball back to the Swede, who slotted the ball across Gutor and into the back of the net.
BATE almost hit back immediately when a great delivery from Artem Kontsevoy picked out Skavysh in the six-yard box, who powerfully headed the ball and forced a great save out of Christian Abbiati. Milan remained a constant threat on the counter-attack, though, with Thiago Silva caught offside as the Serie A club looked to double their lead.
Robinho was lucky to avoid punishment when he appeared to elbow BATE defender Marko Simic in the 39th minute. However, it seemed justice had been served moments later when the Milan striker missed a golden opportunity to score when he raced into the area and beat the entire BATE defence only to fire his shot against the post.
After the break, BATE upped the tempo and were rewarded when Milan defender Ignazio Abate leaned on Kontsevoy in the area to concede a penalty. Bressan stepped up and fired a powerful spot-kick low into the bottom corner to beat Abbiati and level the score in the 55th minute.
Milan almost went back in front in the 76th minute when Kevin-Prince Boateng's shot from the right byline was blocked by Gutor as both sides refused to sit back. In a dramatic final few minutes, BATE nearly snuck an injury-time winner after a great piece of counter-attacking play, but Skavysh's shot was blocked by Abbiati to leave the match level.