Fenerbahçe cautious following away win against Czech team

Fenerbahçe cautious following away win against Czech team

Fenerbahçe cautious following away win against Czech team

Fenerbahce's players celebrate a goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg football match FC Viktoria Plzen vs Fenerbahce SK in Plzen, Czech Republic, on March 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO / RADEK MICA

A cautious Fenerbahçe coach, Aykut Kocaman, told a press conference that his team would still have to work hard to win the second leg in Istanbul, after defeating 1-0 Czech side Viktoria Plzen in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 tie.

“It was only a first half. We are one step beyond. But we will prepare for the Istanbul game, keeping in mind the fact that they will be willing. It is very important for our club and for Turkish football for us to be in the last eight,” Kocaman said.

Fenerbahçe brought back a clear win from the Czech Republic on March 7 with a late goal from Cameroonese striker Webo, gaining a huge advantage after dominating their rivals for most of the game.

Deprived of its tandem midfielders Emre Belozoğlu and Raul Meireles, Fenerbahçe started the first half with a cautious display in the beginning, against a team that was seeking to continue a seven-match winning run. Belozoğlu was ineligible to play as he had previously competed with Atletico Madrid in the Europa League this season. Meireles, on the other hand, was suspended for three games.

The Turkish side, however, took possession of the ball and instead tried to maneuver it to the African striker duo Moussa Saw and Webo.

The game’s first goal attempt came in the 34th minute from Brazilian midfielder Christian Baroni, who challenged Victoria Plzen’s goalkeeper Matus Kozacik with a shot just outside the penalty area.

The Czechs had their own opportunity two minutes later when Frantisek Rajtoral stole the ball from Selçuk Şahin and fired a powerful shot that hit the crossbar. The Fenerbahçe defense only managed laboriously to clear the ball from outside the area.

The Turkish side also missed a golden opportunity in the 42nd minute. Dutch star and former Liverpool player Dirk Kuyt found the ball just in the middle of the field after Sow’s perfect pass, but then sent the ball wide.

However, Fenerbahçe managed to secure the advantage later on with Webo’s crucial strike.