Title hopes rekindle as Basaksehir slip up again

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Updated: April 28, 2019

For months now Besiktas fans have accepted the apparant fact that the Black Eagles would be finishing the 2018-2019 season without a trophy.

Being banned from the Turkish cup and eliminated from Europe left only the Turkish Süper Lig to aim for this season, hoever for months now it seemed that Besiktas wouldn’t be playing a big role in the title race this season. But that could change, pending their own results.

Basaksehir looked unbeatable for the past few months and nothing looked to stand in their way from lifting their first ever Turkish league title. Until their recent stumbles, first a 1-1 draw at home against Kayserispor didn’t seem as to big a deal. But the fashion in which they drew may have betrayed some cracks in the armor starting to show, as they needed a 97th minute penalty to salvage a point at home.

Fast forward to their matchday 28 derby against Besiktas at Vodafone Park where Basaksehir would suffer their first defeat of the 2019 calendar year, thanks to a sublime Burak Yilmaz strike in the 52nd minute.

Coming off that defeat Basaksehir looked to rebound with back-to-back home games. Their lead on Galatasaray had shrunk down to 5 points, while their lead on Besiktas had shrunk down to 8. No big deal.

But then Caykur Rizespor came to town, another last grasp draw with a penalty in 96th minute, close call. Surely they’d rebound against Göztepe? Who have had the poorest record in the league since the winter break.

Nothing turned out to be further from the truth however as things went from bad to worse for the once comfortable league leaders following a shock defeat at home at thands of Göztepe on Friday: 0-2.

With that result Besiktas can come within 3 points of the leaders headed in to the final 4 matches of the seasson, to think that following their 3-3 draw with Fenerbahçe just a few weeks ago the gap had already increased to 13 points.

But first, Besiktas must defeat in form Ankaragücü at Vodafone Park. If they can bring that to a success they will travel away to Galatasaray next week for a match that will more than likely decide which of the two sides will finish among the top 2 and at least secure a Champions League qualifier ticket.

Burak Yilmaz, who has scored an impressive 9 goals in 11 matches since joining Besiktas in the winter break, will have to be especially careful not to get booked against Ankara, as he would miss the all important derby with Galatasaray should he see a yellow card.

But if Besiktas manage to come out victorious this weekend at home against Ankaragücü, they will at least for a week rekindle their title ambitions.

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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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