Beşiktaş improves cushion over Başakşehir with tight win
AA photoThe Turkish Super League’s defending champions, Beşiktaş, narrowly beat cellar-dweller Adanaspor late on April 24 to increase its cushion over its closest follower, Medipol Başakşehir, to seven points, just a week before the duo meets for a crucial clash.
A tired Beşiktaş, which exited the Europa League after losing to Olympique Lyon on penalties on April 20, started the game in attacking mode and took the lead after 11 minutes with Vincent Aboubakar’s classy flick.
However, visitor Adanaspor answered through Roni in the 24th minute. Anderson Talisca fired Beşiktaş back on top at the outset of the second half with a shot from outside the box, but Magaya Gueye brought the sides back to level terms once again in the 66th minute.
With 10 minutes to go, a header from defender Dusko Tosic, who missed a penalty in the Lyon shootout, put Beşiktaş back in front for good.
“We created a lot of scoring chances but also made serious defensive mistakes at the back,” Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş said after the game. “Therefore, it was not an easy game for us at all. Since the race is still on, we are not the champions yet. However, we are slowly and surely getting there.”
The Beşiktaş win carried the Istanbul side to 64 points, seven above Başakşehir, which was held to a draw by Çaykur Rizespor on April 22 away. A group of Başakşehir players attacked journalists after the game with the club declaring that it had delisted players Yalçın Ayhan and Ufuk Ceylan and would wait for a Turkish Football Federation (TFF) decision for a final decision on Turkish international goalkeeper Volkan Babacan, who was also involved in the incident but did not hit anyone, according to a victimized journalist’s remarks.
The crisis comes before the team hosts Beşiktaş on April 30 in the hottest game of the title race with just six matchdays until the end.
The other two title race suspects, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, met on April 23, with visitor Fenerbahçe’s Josef de Souza scoring the only goal of the game in injury time.
Third-placed Fenerbahçe climbed to 53 points, 11 behind Beşiktaş, while Galatarasaray came closer to being mathematically eliminated from the title race by remaining on 49 points.