fk viktoria plzeň coach pavel vrba said that his tournament newcomers were determined to show they are "not here just to get beaten" ahead of hosting fc bate borisov.
fk viktoria plzeň coach pavel vrba said that the uefa champions league newcomers were determined to do more than just to make up the numbers in group h as he targeted a winning start against fc bate borisov. his bate counterpart viktor goncharenko believes a visit to the czech champions is not the ideal way to start but considers it vital to take points off their fellow outsiders.
plzeň coach pavel vrba: "i think the first match is always the most important – we're playing at home, we want to earn some points and we want our opponents in the group to feel we can seriously do something and are not here just to get beaten in every game.
it will be more than difficult. i saw bate in two matches against sturm and they played better away, switching from defence to counterattacks, but i believe we can defeat them. bate are a good example of a team who play european competition regularly; economically they have no equals in belarus but i think they would have a tough job here in the czech republic, where we have more teams on a similar level.
it is something tremendous to be among the 32 best clubs in europe. we want to enjoy the champions league but at the same time we want to advance. it will not be just a walkover. it is important to make a good impression and i will be more than happy if we have something to play for going into the last game."
bate coach viktor goncharenko: "this group has two clear favorites: ac milan and barça. they have won the champions league many times and we are aware of their strengths and will try to make their lives harder. matches against barcelona and milan are football holidays for us and it is the highest reward for all of us in the club for the hard work we do during the season. we are successful as a club because of our good organisation and the work with a team that keeps wanting to improve and move on to a higher level.
it is most realistic for us to gain points against viktoria plzeň, but why should we be satisfied with a battle for third spot in the group? matches with plzeň will be of the highest importance but we also want to take some points against the giants. plzeň are a good team, they came through three qualifying rounds, have good individuals but also play well as a team. they have fast, counterattacking players. we have followed them closely in europe as well as in their league match with olomouc.
as with all the teams, plzeň also have their weaknesses, which we have to punish tomorrow, if we want to be successful. playing the first match away to plzeň is not the best situation; we would be better off playing away against one of the two big clubs, but this is how the draw panned out and we have to deal with the situation."
renan bressan's second-half equaliser denied the czech club an opening victory in their first uefa champions league group stage match.
fc bate borisov bounced back from the blow of conceding a goal on the stroke of half-time to deny fk viktoria plzeň a victory in the czech champions' maiden group stage encounter.
bate coach viktor goncharenko had highlighted the importance of taking something away from prague, where plzeň have set up temporary home in group h. renan bressan's 69th-minute equaliser ensured goncharenko was not disappointed after the prolific marek bakoš had added to his six goals during qualifying in the final seconds of the first half.
the visiting players looked as if they may still have their minds on prague's picture-postcard spires as they failed to find any rhythm early on. václav pilař's pacy raids down the left promised much for plzeň, and after one burst brought the hosts a corner, david bystroň rose highest but headed over the crossbar.
with vitali rodionov injured, mateja kežman was employed as bate's sole striker, and though service was infrequent, the serbian set plzeň pulses racing when he darted on to a marko simić through ball only to hit the side netting. plzeň coach pavel vrba's concerns would have swelled still further when mikhail gordeychuk fired a shot that deflected off marian Čišovský and arced narrowly wide of the far post.
as the belarusian titleholders looked to be easing their way into the match, plzeň wrested back the initiative with the last kick of the half. pilař flicked the ball into the equally impressive petr jiráček, whose fluid turn and instant cross found bakoš lunging from close range to turn the ball in.
with bate still stunned, plzeň sought to press home their advantage. david limberský's shot was blocked after pavel horváth's cleverly engineered set piece found the midfielder in space in the box, and the impish pilař tested aleksandr gutor in the bate goal having turned delightfully away from his marker.
bate eventually regained their poise, and manufactured an equaliser when filipp rudik spied bressan's run behind the plzeň back four and the brazilian slipped the ball through marek Čech's legs. jakub hora could have won it for the hosts in the final minute, but the substitute slashed wide from the edge of the box. bate welcome holders fc barcelona in two weeks' time, when plzeň travel to ac milan, the group favourites having drawn 2-2 at camp nou.
yardımcı hakemler: michael annonier (fra), christophe capelli (fra)
4. hakem: pascal vileo (fra)
çizgi hakemleri: wilfried bien (fra), nicolas rainville (fra)
plzeň: marek Čech (gk), václav pilař (dk. 88 jakub hora), david limberský (dk. 78 petr trapp), pavel horváth (c), milan petržela (dk. 69 michal Ďuriš), david bystroň, petr jiráček, marek bakoš, daniel kolář, františek rajtoral, marián Čišovský
yedekler: michal daněk (gk), radim Řezník, františek ševinský, vladimir darida
teknik direktör: pavel vrba (cze)
bate: aleksandr gutor (gk), aleksandr volodko, renan bressan (dk. 72 artyom kontsevoi), mikhail gordeychuk (dk. 83 maksim volodko), maksim bordachev, yegor filipenko (c), marko simić, dmitri baga, dmitri baga, filipp rudik, mateja kežman (dk. 76 alex porfirio)
yedekler: pavel chesnovski (gk), oleg patotski, artyom radkov, kirill aleksiyan