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BATE Borisov defeated Lille 3-1 on the road in France on Wednesday. The same day, CFR Cluj-Napoca defeated Braga 2-0 on the road in Portugal.
All together now: Who? And...who?
BATE, the reigning champions of the Belarusian Premier League, overcame two rounds of qualifying to reach the Champions League group stage for the second straight season. Last season's run ended in the group stage despite draws with AC Milan and Viktoria Plzen.
The Belarusians' current run is already looking more promising. Aliaksandr Volodko, Vitali Rodionov and Edgar Olekhnovich all scored in the first half before Lille grabbed a late consolation goal through Aurelien Chedjou.
Playmaker Aleksandr Hleb—whose name will sound familiar to fans of Arsenal and Barcelona—revealed the secret to BATE's first-ever Champions League win (via UEFA.com):
It was our first win, a historic one, and we beat a very strong team. We were very motivated for this game and watched lots of videos beforehand, so we were very well prepared and played the way we wanted to. The first goal was a breath of fresh air for us – we were very happy that it came at a good moment and it gave us confidence for the rest of the game.
Cluj, the reigning Romanian champs, overcame Slovan Liberec in the competition's third qualifying round, before beating Braga on Wednesday. This is the club's third appearance in the Champions League after group-stage exits in 2008-09 and 2010-11.
The win over Braga was notable for the fact that Cluj scored with their only two shots on goal. Rafael Bastos scored both, in the 19th and 34th minutes.
Braga registered 38 shots, including 10 on target, but Cluj keeper Mario Felgueiras (a Portuguese national, by the way) made 10 saves.