Beşiktaş out of dark for league action
AA PhotoSpor Toto Super League leader Beşiktaş will travel to Gaziantepspor on Dec. 14 hoping that the stadium’s power system will not fail the team as the one in Istanbul’s Olympic Stadium did.
Besiktaş’s Europa League game at home to Tottenham Hotspur was suspended twice on Dec. 11 after the floodlights failed in each half before the Istanbul club won 1-0.
The lights went out eight minutes after the match started, and Swedish referee Stefan Johannesson took the players off the pitch for 15 minutes before play resumed.
Then, with just minutes remaining, the lights failed again, plunging the Atatürk Olympic Stadium into darkness once more and halting play for more than 10 minutes before the last three minutes were played.
Beşiktaş and Tottenham had already qualified for the last 32 of the competition but Cenk Tosun’s 59th minute goal gave the Turkish side top spot in Group C by one point.
According to Beşiktaş coach Slaven Bilic, the power cuts had no effect on the game’s result.
“The second power cut gave us the time to talk on team defense and save the ball,” said the Croatian after the game. “Tottenham did not seem like they were going to score, they got time for options. In a way, it was like time outs in a basketball game, but did not affect the game’s progress.”
Bilic also slammed the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) over the team’s schedule, since Beşiktaş plays on Dec. 14 while Trabzonspor, which lost 2-0 to Legia Warsaw in Europa League on Dec. 11 but still progressed, plays on Dec. 15 against Çaykur Rizespor.
“Why can’t we also play on Monday, why should we travel to Gaziantep on Saturday?” asked the coach. “We are the only club in this situation among the 80 clubs in the competition. All we wanted was an extra day of rest,” he added.
Also on Dec. 14, surprise package Mersin İdmanyurdu, which has performed beyond expectations so far to grab fourth, hosts Kayseri Erciyesspor, and Bursaspor, which is on a seven-game unbeaten run that saw the club climb into fifth spot, visits 15th-placed Karabükspor.
In Dec. 13’s games, Galatasaray, which bid a bitter farewell to European competition mid-week, losing 4-1 at home to Arsenal, travels to Torku Konyaspor in a bid to continue its close pursuit of leader Beşiktaş. In other games, Akhisar Belediye hosts Gençlerbirliği, Kasımpaşa entertains Eskişehirspor and Istanbul Başakşehir plays cellar-dweller Balıkesirspor at home.
Fenerbahçe, which sits in third spot in the league standings, was to host Sivasspor late Dec. 12.