Beşiktaş fails to win at home against Napoli
AFP PhotoA stunning strike from Marek Hamsik canceled out Ricardo Quaresma’s penalty as Napoli forced a 1-1 draw at Beşiktaş on Nov. 1 as the home side lost a major advantage to advance from the group stage in the Champions League.
Portugal winger Quaresma crashed the ball in from the spot in the 78th minute after Nikola Maksimovic handled. Visiting captain Hamsik then leveled four minutes later with a rasping drive from outside the area.
Napoli dominated possession and could have avenged a 3-2 defeat by Beşiktaş two weeks ago but Lorenzo Insigne and substitute Dries Mertens fluffed chances in injury time.
Beşiktaş is in third place in Group B on six points from four games, with Napoli having seven points on level with Benfica, which Dynamo Kiev 1-0.
Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş said Beşiktaş will keep on gihting.
“Our qualification chance is as good as anyone else’s, so we’ll keep on fighting for it until the end,” he said after the game.
“Before the match, I told my players to enjoy the game and be proud. Our joy lasted only few minutes, but we were proud at the end,” Güneş added.
Napoli goalkeeper Reina felt his side deserved more than a draw.
“There was only one team on the pitch from start to finish,” Reina said. “After conceding the goal we showed so much grit to fight back.
“This is the Napoli we all want to see. We allowed Beşiktaş very little and playing in Istanbul in the Champions League, that’s not easy.”
Napoli has looked lightweight up front in recent weeks without injured top scorer Arkadiusz Milik and the lack of a clinical finisher was underlined when Manolo Gabbiadini failed to beat goalkeeper Fabri twice from close range.
Beşiktaş was gifted a glaring chance when Kalidou Koulibaly’s poor clearance set up Atiba Hutchinson but the Canadian hit the post.
Bolstered by the addition of Mertens from the bench, Napoli stepped it up in the second half.
The Turks, however, took the lead when Vincent Aboubakar’s shot was blocked by Maksimovic’s hand and referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot.
Quaresma thumped the ball beyond Reina’s reach to delight the boisterous home supporters.
Hamsik, though, quickly silenced them with an equally powerful effort at the other end.
“We gave our heart and soul to the end to get a result and looking at the statistics we did deserve more,” said the Slovakia international.
Beşiktaş next entertains Benfica on Nov. 23.