Besiktas into quarterfinals of Europa League

Istanbul's Black Eagles beat Greek league leaders Olympiakos 4-1 for an aggregate 5-2 win. Besiktas now advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Besiktas' players, staff and coach Senol Gunes celebrate their win against Olympiacos at Vodafone Arena, Istanbul, Turkey, on March 16, 2017.

Current Turkish league champions Besiktas eliminated Olympiacos from the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, booking themselves a quarterfinal berth in the process.

Besiktas built on a hard-won first-leg 1-1 away draw to put four past Olympiacos at the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul.

The 5-2 aggregate score was more than enough to send the Black Eagles’ Greek opponents crashing out of the competition.

The Turkish league leaders now advances to the quarterfinals, their first showing at this level since the 2002/2003 season.


Besiktas' Vincent Aboubakar (L) celebrates his goal against Olympiacos with teammate Talisca. (Reuters)

Local heroes

​Striker Vincent Aboubakar scored the opening goal for Besiktas in the 10th minute when Anderson Talisca delivered a corner and Aboubakar rattled the net with a powerful header.

Besiktas increased their lead to two in the 22nd minute, when winger Ryan Babel, who has not scored a European goal since August 2010, placed a low shot into the net.

The Istanbul side were unable to protect their early 2-0 lead as Tarik Elyounoussi scored a volley which deflected off the back of defender Adriano and beat goalkeeper Fabri.

Olympiacos had another lifeline in the 39th minute when the referee showed Aboubakar a red card for an off-the-ball incident.

In the second half, 10-man Besiktas needed to secure their lead to avoid elimination.

The Turkish side ended the Greek league leaders' hopes by scoring twice more.

Babel scored his second for the match in the 75th minute and Cenk Tosun –  who came on for Ricardo Quaresma –  found the net in the 84th minute.

The Europa League quarterfinal draw will take place in Nyon, Switzerland at 1200 GMT on Friday.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies