Fatigue-hit Beşiktaş held to draw at home
AA PhotoFatigue took its toll on Beşiktaş over the weekend following a triumph against Liverpool in the Europa League, as the club failed to beat cellar-dweller Balıkesirspor in the Spor Toto Super League.
Beşiktaş was held to a 2-2 draw in Ankara’s Osmanlı Stadium, which hosted the game because Beşiktaş’s new home Vodafone Arena is still under construction.
The only winner of the three title contenders in Week 22 of the league was Galatasaray, which won 3-1 at home against Kayseri Erciyesspor on Feb. 27, with Fenerbahçe drawing 1-1 at Torku Konyaspor.
Galatasaray leads the league with 51 points, followed by Beşiktaş at 48 points and Fenerbahçe at 47.
Beşiktaş coach Slaven Bilic said he was “disappointed” with the result.
“The Liverpool game we played three days ago was tiring both physically and mentally,” the Croatian told a post-game press conference.
Beşiktaş beat Liverpool 5-4 on penalties on Feb. 26 to advance to the Round of 16 in the Europa League.
Squad not ready
“We tried hard to mentally prepare our players after Liverpool game, since it was already a tough job to prepare them physically,” he added. “We did not play well, but we were ahead twice. However, we could easily have been beaten. We will now concentrate on the upcoming games.”
Beşiktaş’s first goal in the game came from a penalty shot.
In the 34th minute, Beşiktaş winger Gökhan Töre crossed from right and Balıkesirspor’s Aykut Çeviker handballed in the box, which sent the referee pointing the spot. Senegalese striker Demba Ba scored from the penalty kick.
In the second half, visitor Balıkesirspor winger Ermin Zec equalized the situation, putting the ball into the empty net in the 50th minute.
Three minutes later, Beşiktaş defender Daniel Opare helped the Black Eagles take the lead once again. Getting the ball in the byline, Opare finished with his right foot inside the box.
Töre brought down Berkan Emir in the area in the 82nd minute and the referee awarded Balıkesirspor the penalty. The final goal of the game came from Venezuelan midfielder Ronald Vargas.
Beşiktaş’s Colombian center back Pedro Franco was sent off after a foul on Balıkesirspor forward Sercan Yıldırım in injury time. Galatasaray will host First Division club Manisaspor tonight in Istanbul’s Türk Telekom Arena in a Ziraat Turkish Cup quarterfinal clash first leg, before traveling to archrival Fenerbahçe for an important league game on March 9.
Fenerbahçe’s opponent in the cup quarterfinals will be Mersin İdmanyurdu, and the first
leg will be played in Mersin tomorrow.
Also tomorrow, Bursaspor will host Gençlerbirliği in the Ziraat Turkish Cup, while Sivasspor travels to Kayserispor on March 5.