Beşiktaş defends its cushion atop Turkish Super League with home win
ISTANBULBeşiktaş beat Çaykur Rizespor, the relegation-threatened Black Sea side 1-0 in a tight game in Istanbul, defending its cushion with the remaining contenders on March 4.
The Super Toto Super League leader started fast after the kick-off but had to wait until the 41st minute to take the lead when right back Gökhan Gönül blasted one in from inside the box after a cross from left back Adriano.
The packed crowd saw no other goal at the Vodafone Arena as Beşiktaş ran out with all three points.
Çaykur Rize, which was silent for most of the game, missed two chances in the last quarter.
“Our rival was patient and we played a game that matched it. But we were slow. We failed to make quick passes,” said Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş after the game.
Güneş also said he would be speaking to Ricardo Quaresma, who reacted badly on the bench when he was substituted on the 63th minute to be replaced by Tolgay Arslan.
Beşiktaş now faces a Europa League Round of 16 two-round clash against neighboring Greece’s Olympiacos.
European football’s governing body UEFA will not allow away fans to attend either of the matches, the Turkish club announced last week.
According to a statement on Beşiktaş’s official website, the decision was taken by UEFA after Greek league leaders Olympiacos requested that the two matches be played without away fans’ attendance to avoid disturbances.
The statement added that the decision was mutually taken by both teams and UEFA for “security reasons.”
On March 27, UEFA fined Beşiktaş 60,000 euros by for setting off fireworks in a Champions League match against Dynamo Kiev. The fireworks caused damage inside the Ukrainian team’s stadium.
Beşiktaş will go to Piraeus, Athens for the first leg of the two-leg clash on March 9. The return leg in Istanbul will be on March 16.
Olympiacos advanced to the last 16 by eliminating another Turkish league side, Osmanlıspor FK.
Turkish title-holders Besiktas are currently unbeaten at home in seven matches played in European competitions this season, including the UEFA Champions League.