Beşiktaş runs as Fenerbahçe, Galatarasay chase
Beşiktaş players celebrate after beating Akhisar Belediyespor to remain at the top seat in Turkey’s Spor Toto Super league for a fourth week in a row. DHA PhotoBeşiktaş has defended its top seat in Turkey’s Spor Toto Super league for a fourth week in a row, beating Akhisar on Dec. 21 in an Istanbul game.
“We were excellent in the opening 25 minutes, but our performance dipped in the second half,” said coach Slaven Bilic in a post-game interview, as he complained of a loaded schedule and a considerable number of injured players.
“It was a difficult, but valuable victory for us because we were facing a rested and energetic side,” he said.
“Despite being a little tired, the team looked great in the first 25 minutes and managed to finish well. In addition to a busy Turkish Cup schedule, we’ve got four more Super League matches until the end of the season’s first half. If we want to remain at the top, we must maintain our concentration and effort.”
The team was again without Demba Ba while Gökhan Töre was ill, but both managed to make a late appearance.
Beşiktaş enjoyed a winning header by Cenk Tosun, who has been shouldering the scoring load in the absence of Ba and Mustafa Pektemek, the team’s two strikers.
Beşiktaş kept the pressure on after the restart, as Jose Sosa doubled the Black Eagles’ advantage with a well-placed free-kick at 68 minutes. This was his first goal for the Istanbul side.
The visitors reduced the deficit to one through Bilal Kısa seven minutes later, but a last minute goal by Töre, who was sick before the game and replaced Kerim Frei in the 61st minute, put the game out of reach.
Beşiktaş also enjoyed having Ba back, as he was able to play in the last 10 minutes of the game.
Beşiktaş will play against Adana Demirspor tomorrow in a Ziraat Turkey Cup match.
Fenerbahçe, the defending champions who are one point behind Beşiktaş, beat Kayseri Erciyesspor in the opening game of the week on Dec. 19, thanks to a penalty kick by Emre Belözoğlu.
Galatasaray, facing reshaping under coach Hamza Hamzaoğlu who replaced Cesare Prandelli, managed to remain in the race, only one point behind Fenerbahçe, showing the stamina to twice come from behind against Mersin İdmanyurdu. The Istanbul side’s 3-2 home victory was crucial only two weeks before the Beşiktaş game.
Galatasaray will face Diyarbakır Büyükşehir today in the cup clash.
Black Sea giants Trabzorspor suffered another draw, 3-3 against Bursaspor, in a game that they were lucky to avoid losing to a goal-hungry rival.
Last place Balıkesirspor beat Istanbul side Kasımpaşa 5-3, in their second win this season before the end of the season’s first half.
Gençlerbirliği showed no mercy to Torku Konyaspor, which conceded five goals without seeing their opponent’s net in the Ankara game.