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Dublin: 11°C Saturday 19 September 2020

Watch: Dramatic 95th minute equaliser denies Dinamo Minsk first title in 13 years

An incredible stoppage time equaliser meant BATE Borisov denied Minsk their first league title since 2004.

BATE claimed their 12th consecutive title in dramatic fashion on Sunday.
BATE claimed their 12th consecutive title in dramatic fashion on Sunday.
Image: DPA/PA Images

FOOTBALL CAN BE a cruel, unforgiving mistress, but even so Dinamo Minsk will feel an inescapable sense of injustice waking up tomorrow morning with the sting of regret and defeat looming in their midst.

Supporters of Dundalk know all too well the pain of defeat caused by Belarusian juggernauts BATE Borisov, with the side denying the Lilywhites a place in the Champions League third qualifying round back in 2015, before Stephen Kenny’s side got revenge a year later.

Now, however, that same ruthless winning mentality which has seen the club win an impressive 11 domestic league titles in a row reared its head once again on Sunday afternoon in the dying seconds of the final day of the season in Belarus.

Having won their own final game of the campaign 4-1 against Vitebsk, Minsk looked on course to secure their first league title in well over a decade, as attention quickly turned to BATE’s fixture with FC Gorodeya 2oo miles away.

Source: It's Time To Sport/YouTube

That 2004 success saw Minsk pip BATE to the title by five points and with Borisov trailing 3-1 with 12 minutes to go on Sunday, it looked like they would at long last exact revenge on their rivals.

Two goals down, BATE needed just one point to snatch the title and with time running out the champions went for the jugular.

A 78th minute strike from Vitali Rodionov halved the deficit before Mirko Ivanić popped up with an inconceivable leveler in the fifth minute of stoppage time to deny Minsk and spark scenes of delirious jubilation from the travelling BATE supporters inside the minuscule 1,000-seater stadium of their opponents.

With their 12th consecutive title secured, Borisov have moved to within two championships of equalling the European record held by Lincoln of Gibraltar, who claimed 14 titles in a row between 2003 and 2016.

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Aaron Gallagher

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