Beşiktaş defends top seat thanks to last minute penalty
AA PhotoIstanbul’s Beşiktaş barely defeated Bursaspor 3-2 at Atatürk Olympic Stadium in the Spor Toto Super League week 20 clash on Feb. 15 thanks to a last minute penalty, defending its top seat in the standings.
The leaders raised their points to 47 in the league table after the game’s dramatic ending, one day after arch-rivals Fenerbahçe won 5-0 against Gaziantepspor, continuing its chase from one point behind.
“Not too many teams can come back after conceding a goal in the 90th minute of the game,” a satisfied Beşiktaş coach Slaven Bilic said after the game.
“We hope to repeat this performance against Liverpool,” he said referring to the Feb. 19 Europe League game against the British giants.
“We showed our true colors down the stretch,” said Demba Ba.
“For me, it is going to be a fun trip to Liverpool because I love playing in England,” he said, only eight months after he left a bitter taste in the Liverpudlians’ mouth under a Chelsea jersey, killing the Mersey-side red’s hopes for the Premier League title as he found the net in a slip by Steven Gerrard at Anfield Road.
For the Feb. 15 game, Bursaspor’s French winger Cedric Bakambu scored the opening goal in the 12th minute as he chipped the ball over Beşiktaş goalkeeper Tolga Zengin, who was injured during the action and was subbed out three minutes later.
Home team Besiktas equalized the level when Senegalese prolific striker Demba Ba found the net in the 23rd minute in the six-yard box.
Bursa was dominant in the first 20 minutes into the second half, but Beşiktaş soon took grip, mainly with the help of Oğuzhan Özyakup and Kerim Frei from the bench. Hard-working winger Gökhan Töre scored from outside the box in the 87th minute.
Visitors Bursaspor’s wonderkid Ozan Tufan responded without trapping the ball in the box in the injury time.
However, Beşiktaş was awarded a penalty in the last minutes, as Bursaspor right-back Şener Özbayraklı was sent off after bringing Frei down. Ba converted the penalty successfully.
“We lost the game and a player. This is a bad day for us,” a frustrated Bursa coach Şenol Güneş said after the game in open criticism against the referee. “If this is a race between Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, we do not want to get involved in such a fight,” he said.
Hours later, Trabzonspor beat Istanbul Başakşehir 3-2, taking a step forward in the race for top five.
Earlier in the day, Çaykur Rizespor was defeated at home 0-4 by Mersin İdmanyurdu as Torku Konyaspor also won 1-0 away against Medicana Sivasspor.
Kardemir Karabükspor and Kasımpaşa failed to break the deadlock in the opening game of the week on Feb. 14.
Akhisar Belediyespor beat SAI Kayseri Erciyesspor, climbing four points above the relegation line.