Beşiktaş defends league lead with two goals against Trabzon
DHA PhotoBeşiktaş maintained its lead atop the Spor Toto Super League standings on May 3 with a 2-0 victory at underperforming Black Sea giant Trabzonspor thanks to a pair of second-half goals.
Unable to penetrate each other’s defense, the two sides relied on long-range shots in the first half but failed to register anything on the score sheet.
Beşiktaş looked more attacking in the second frame, and Senegalese striker Demba Ba finally opened the scoring with a shot into the bottom left corner from inside the box in the 58th minute, just two minutes after he replaced right-back Daniel Opare.
Home side Trabzonspor searched for the equalizer after the goal, but could not breach the Beşiktaş defense.
Mustafa Pektemek sealed the victory for the visitors with a well-placed injury-time header.
“I am truly proud of players,” said coach Slaven Bilic after the game. “They did not play that well, but they managed to turn the game into our smartest match of the season by sticking to our game plan until the end. We showed a lot of character and team spirit tonight. Since converting your first chance off the bench is never easy, I take my hat off for Demba Ba.”
Beşiktaş increased their point total to 64 points, meaning they were set to remain top of the league after week 29 barring an unlikely Galatasaray victory of seven or more goals in a May 4 match with Akhisar Belediyespor.
At home, Fenerbahçe managed to survive a goal bonanza in a May 2 match to take a 4-3 decision over Balıkesirspor, mired at the bottom of the standings, reaching 63 points.
Istanbul Başakşehir drew 1-1 with Eskişehirspor in the opening game of the week, moving into fourth spot in the standings, one point ahead of Trabzon and Mersin İdmanyurdu, which beat Torku Konyaspor 3-1.
Kardemir Karabük won 2-0 against Çaykur Rizespor as the western Black Sea side attempts a late Houdini act to escape from relegation. The win brought Karabük to within four points of their rivals, who occupy the last place above the drop zone.
Kasımpaşa won 5-3 Bursaspor in the highest-scoring game of the week, while Gençlerbirliği swept Gaziantepspor away 3-0.