Başakşehir storms Akhisar to remain at summit of Turkish Super League
ISTANBULIstanbul underdog Medipol Başakşehir thrashed Akhisar Belediyespor 5-1 at home on Oct. 30 to remain atop the Turkish Spor Toto Super League, as its closest rival Beşiktaş dropped two points against Gençlerbirliği in Ankara.
Başakşehir has won seven of its first nine games of the season, remaining unbeaten for the past 18 matches from last season.
Its 19-year-old star Cengiz Ünder, who came from second-tier Altınordu during the summer transfer window, shone in the 5-1 win with one goal and two assists.
Edin Visca scored two to double his total number of goals this season, equaling matters with his team mate Mossoro, who also scored one goal against Akhisar.
Başakşehir has now scored 22 in its first nine games, two more than defending champion Beşiktaş.
“We are the leader, we have conceded the least number of goals and scored the most. This makes us happy. We will see where this story leads,” said a proud Başakşehir coach, Abdullah Avcı, after the game.
His team faces another tough test this week when it faces third-place Galatarasaray, three points behind Başakşehir, which is on 23 points so far.
Galatasaray narrowly edged out Adanaspor 1-0 away on Oct. 29.
Earlier on Oct. 28, Beşiktaş shared the points with Gençlerbirliği at the 19 Mayıs Stadium in Ankara.
In the first half, Beşiktaş fell short of its best performance as Genclerbirliği’s 25-year-old forward Serdar Gürler found the net in the 27th minute.
The first half ended with Genclerbirligi up 1-0, but before long Beşiktaş’s 22-year-old Portuguese attacking midfielder Anderson Talisca equalized the score at 1-1.
Although it pushed Genclerbirligi to the limit and sought the winning goal toward the end of the game, Beşiktaş had to settle for a draw.
Along with ending its three-game winning streak, Beşiktaş also conceded its first goal in four matches.
Talisca found the net for the fourth time this season, but he was later injured, joining his teammate, defensive midfielder Necip Uysal, who also got injured in the 16th minute and had to leave the pitch.
Reports say both could be out of action for months, joining Turkish international defender Caner Erkin in Beşiktaş’s physio room.
All three players are set to miss the club’s crucial Champions League home game against Napoli on Nov. 1.