STSL: Beşiktaş: 1 Gençlerbirliği: 0

Updated: February 22, 2016

The Black Eagles did what they set out to do tonight, conquer the first place in the standings with a match in hand. It wasn’t easy though as today’s opponent, Gençlerbirligi, put up a tough fight.

The visitors started pressing high, but Beşiktaş with Marcelo back after his suspension managed to come out of the pressure quite well. The Black Eagles dominated the first half in terms of possession and had their best chance of the match in the 16th minute when Olcay struck the woodwork after an excellent Ismail cross.

Beşiktaş had their best spell between minute 15 and 25 when they piled on the pressure, but Gençlerbirligi’s goalkeeper Hopf did a good job to ease the pressure on his defence every chance he got to relieve the stress from his defence.

Quaresma proved a terror to the visitor’s defence throughout the match and the first half and seemingly could only be stopped by fouls. But referee Özkahya kept his cards in his pocket during the first half, despite plenty of professional fouls to break down attacks from the Ankara visitors.

Despite a good first half the match remained scoreless and the Black eagles continued their search for the opening goal in the second half.

After 52 minutes, Ricardo Quaresma crossed in the ball for Mario Gómez, but the German top scorer’s header was saved very well by goalkeeper Hopf. After Olcay’s sitter in the first half this was definitely the best chance of the match thusfar.

On the hour mark Cenk Tosun came in to replace a bleak Olcay and he immediatly showed himself as he set up Sosa in the box with a splitting through pass, Sosa picked up another assist to his name by squaring it to Mario Gómez who rifled it in to the back of the net for his 16th Süper Lig goal of the season.

Mario Gómez has won the Black Eagles a total of 18 points with his 16 goals so far this season.

Mario Gómez has won the Black Eagles a total of 18 points with his 16 goals so far this season.

After the liberating opening goal it seemed as if the Black Eagles took their foot of the gass pedal, and for the first time in the match Gençlerbirligi found themselves on the ball for longer periods of time. Beşiktaş foolishly invited pressure from the visitors, but luckily they couldn’t really trouble goalkeeper Tolga Zengin.

Beşiktaş tested Hopf a few more times, including from a Cenk Tosun freekick but it were the visitors who almost snatched a point in the first minute of extra time as Ahmet Calik fired it at goal after a set-piece, but his shot went just wide, Gençlerbirligi’s biggest, and only chance of the second half.

With a match in hand and a point lead at the top, Beşiktaş travel to rivals Fenerbahçe next week Monday. And they’ll do so at full strength, apart from Luiz Rhodolfo who is out injured for an extended period of time. Can the Black Eagles put a down payment on their title aspirations with a good result against their closest rivals? Fenerbahçe will feel the bulk of the pressure as they need to win this match in order to stay firmly in the lead, a draw would benefit Beşiktaş most but a victory would put them firmly in the driver’s seat with the possibility to increase their lead to 7 points if they end up beating Trabzonspor in their postponed match which is scheduled for the 15th of March.


Stadium: Başakşehir Fatih Terim

Officials: Halis Özkahya, İsmail Şencan, Mehmet Cem Hanoğlu, Hakan Yemişken (4. official)

Beşiktaş: Tolga, Beck, Delgado, Marcelo, İsmail, Atiba, Oğuzhan (86′ Kerim), Olcay (60′ Cenk), Sosa, Quaresma, Gomez (76′ Necip)

Reserves: Boyko, Serdar, Necip, Tosic, Tolgay, Kerim, Cenk

Head coach: Şenol Güneş

Gençlerbirliği: Hopf, Uğur, Ahmet O., Ahmet Ç., Kulusic, Stancu (65′ Aydın), Hleb (67′ İrfan), Campos, Doğa (82′ Landel), Selçuk, El Kabir

Reserves: Ferhat, Sergei, Dimitriadis, Hakan, Aydın, İrfan, Landel

Head coach: İbrahim Üzülmez

Goal: Gomez (64′)

Yellow card: Olcay (48′), Uğur (57′), El Kabir (68′), İrfan (85′), Quaresma (89′)

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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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