Three Turkish teams progress to Europa League knockout stage
AA photoTurkey will have three teams in the Europa League when the European football’s second-tier competition resumes with the round of 32 in February.
Fenerbahçe pipped Manchester United to top spot in its Europa League group on Dec. 8 after beating Feyenoord 1-0, while Osmanlıspor beat FC Zurich 2-0 at home to finish atop its group.
The two teams will be joined by Beşiktaş, which suffered a humiliating 6-0 defeat on Dec. 6 at Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League and finished third in its group for a Europa League berth, in the round of 32 draws to be held on Dec. 12.
Fenerbhaçe’s victory in Rotterdam came thanks to another bicycle kick from striker Moussa Sow.
Sow, who scored an incredible bicycle kick against United when Fenerbahçe won 2-1 back at the beginning of November, scored the winner for the visiting side in the 22nd minute.
Fenerbahçe celebrated Sow’s goal on Twitter by posting an upside down tweet in honor of the striker, as the Senegal international has become renowned for his upside down acrobatic efforts this season.
In Ankara, midfielders Dzon Delarge and Erdal Kılıçaslan were on the scoresheet as surprise package Osmanlıspor beat FC Zurich 2-0 to claim the top spot in Group L ahead of Spain’s Villarreal.
Turkish football’s representatives on the European stage will focus back on the domestic league competition before finding out their rivals in the round of 32.
Defending champion Beşiktaş hosts Bursaspor on Dec. 10 hoping to end a two-game draw streak in the Spor Toto Super League.
The game will mark the return of Bursaspor supporters to Beşiktaş’s home for the first time in eight years, with the lifting of a ban on away fans for both teams.
League leader Başakşehir will also be on the pitch on Dec. 10, visiting Gençlerbirliği. The Ankara club will do its best to maintain its three-game unbeaten record in the league.
In Dec. 10’s other game, Çaykur Rizespor will host Kasımpaşaspor in a game that will be important in the fight against relegation.
Osmanlıspor will carry its four-game unbeaten streak to Akhisar Belediye on Dec. 11, with the visiting side wanting to reflect its good form on the European stage to the domestic competition.
Also on Dec. 11, Galatasaray, which has won both its league games since losing a derby match at Fenerbahçe on Nov. 20, will try to extend its streak against visiting Gaziantepspor.
In the weekend’s other games, Konyaspor will entertain Kayserispor and Aytemiz Alnayaspor will travel to Karabükspor.
Fenerbahçe will be taking on Antalyaspor in the Mediterranean city in the week’s final game on Dec. 12.