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FOOTBALL >Beşiktaş out for first win against Portuguese

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Beşiktaş hopes to put an end to Porto’s record of never having lost to the Turkish opposition in eight previous matches when it visits the Portuguese side’s Dragao Stadium in a UEFA Champions League Group G opener on Sept. 13.

“The Porto game will be different,” Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneyş said, after his 10-men team managed to beat Karabükspor 1-0 in the domestic campaign on Sept. 9, adding that players were exhausted against a rival with good stamina. 

“It was important to win before the Porto game,” he said. 

Turkey’s defending domestic champion faces Portuguese opposition for the third straight season—and has failed to record a victory in those four fixtures. 

Last season, Beşiktaş was in the same Champions League group with Benfica and drew 1-1 away on match day one and 3-3 at home, coming from 0-3 down in the latter.

Porto and Beşiktaş ties are not limited to former matchups. The Portuguese side’s Vincent Aboubakar spent last season on loan at Beşiktaş, scoring 12 goals in 27 league outings and adding six more in Europe.

However, he will miss the first rendezvous as he was sent off in the group stages of last year’s campaign while playing for Beşiktaş against Olympiakos and suspended for three games. 

Beşiktaş winger Ricardo Quaresma was at Porto from 2004 to 2008, and again between 2013 and 2015, scoring 34 league goals in 155 appearances. 

Porto coach Sergio Conceiçao was on the Portugal side that beat Turkey 2-0 in the UEFA EURO 2000 quarter-finals. 

Beşiktaş defender Pepe, who marked his league debut for Beşiktaş with the opening goal in a 2-0 home victory over Antalyaspor on Aug. 13 after arriving from Real Madrid, will revisit the Europe’s top club competition for a first time in Beşiktaş jersey. 

In another game for the highly competitive Group G, Leipzig will make its European debut at home against Monaco, the semi-finalist of last season.

September/12/2017

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