Admir Mehmedi equaliser keeps Bayer Leverkusen's qualification hopes alive
Admir Mehmedi struck a second-half equaliser against Champions League Group E rivals BATE Borisov in Belarus to keep Bayer Leverkusen's hopes of securing a place in the knockout stages alive.
Leverkusen forward Mehmedi fired home in the 68th minute after BATE striker Mikhail Gordeichuk had given the home side a flying start with the opening goal after just 69 seconds, while a point for the Belarussian side also keeps their outside chances alive.
The result confirmed Barcelona's place in the last-16 before they kicked off their match against Roma on Tuesday night.
BATE were handed the early advantage courtesy of a mistake in the second minute from Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Gordeichuk received Aleksandr Volodko's pass on the left edge of the penalty area and cut inside to fire in a right-footed shot that Leno let slip through his grasp.
The Germans responded when midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, included in the 40-man shortlist for UEFA's Team of the Year, volleyed just over from 25 yards in the 15th minute and Andre Ramalho's header was comfortably held by BATE goalkeeper Syarhey Chernik.
BATE defender Maksim Zhavnerchik lashed a 25-yard shot wide before the break and at the other end Calhanoglu drilled a long-range effort just off target.
Leverkusen pair Javier Hernandez and Karim Bellarabi peppered Chernik with shots from outside the area as the visitors pressed for an equaliser.
Calhanoglu was the provider when Leverkusen levelled in the 68th minute, picking out Mehmedi on the edge of the area from the right and the latter side-footed the ball sweetly home on the volley.
Leverkusen's Borges Wendell forced a fine save from Chernik with an angled drive in the 88th minute and Vladlen Yurchenko's stoppage-time effort for BATE was blocked as the game ended all-square.