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Belarusian Premier League roundup: BATE Borisov pick up win, end early-season drought

FC BATE vs FC Rukh: Belarus Championship

MINSK, BELARUS - APRIL 4: Players of FC BATE and FC Rukh vie for the ball during the Belarus Championship football match between FC BATE and FC Rukh in the town of Borisov, some 70 km east of Minsk, on April 4, 2020. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Belarusian Premier League - the only active European top-flight league at the moment - continued on Saturday despite the coronavirus pandemic.

FC Rukh 0-1 BATE Borisov

With an early goal from midfielder Stanislav Dragun, BATE Borisov, Belarus’ most successful team (15 league titles) and a regular face in European competition, earned their first win of the season. Kirill Alshevsky, who took over at the helm prior to the season, had started his spell on a two-game losing streak.

BATE, despite not winning the possession battle decisively, generated twice as many shots on target as the visitors, registering a total of 11 shots throughout 90 minutes at Borisov Arena.
A winner of 13 straight Belarusian Premier League titles - spanning from 2006 to 2018 - pressure began looming over BATE after starting the 2020 campaign with back-to-back lackluster results. BATE, who lost to Arsenal in Europa League’s Round of 32 in April 2019, were outscored 5-2 in the first, two games of the league.

Dinamo Minsk, the second most successful Belarusian side, also picked up their first three points on Friday, following a slower-than-usual start to the season. Meanwhile, defending champion Dinamo Brest fell 2-1 to Slavia-Mozyr, dropping to eighth on the table.

Elsewhere in Belarusian Premier League

Shakhtyor 0-0 Nerman

Dinamo Brest 1-2 Slavia-Mozyr

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