Dream debut for Shinji Kagawa as Beşiktaş crush Antalyaspor 6-2

Updated: February 3, 2019

Shinji Kagawa has had a dream start to Beşiktaş career as he helps the Black Eagles to 3 points in impressive style.

Beşiktaş had already taken a 4-1 lead in Antalya by the time the Japanese star entered the pitch, but it took the new Beşiktaş no23 just 35 seconds to get on the scoresheet. After replacing Adem Ljajic (who had scored the opener from the spot in the 35th minute) in the 81st minute, Kagawa showed some nifty footwork before slotting it in to the bottom left corner in the 82nd minute. Two minutes later he got on the scoresheet again following a long range freekick. Kagawa’s shot first appeared to take a deflection, but the replay showed that it was simply a misleading curve that put goalkeeper Ruud Boffin on the wrong foot.

A dream debut for the Japanese star, who couldn’t hide his explicit joy after the match, “I am so happy, I didn’t expect this before the game. It’s like a dream” he said in his post-match interview with beIN SPORTS.

With that first goal, Shinji Kagawa became the first Japanese player to ever score a goal in the Turkish top flight.

Kagawa also expressed his desire to play in front of the Beşiktaş fans at Vodafone Park, “I would just like to say thank you to the Beşiktaş fans. I’m so excited to play my first match in front of our home fans”, he told beIN SPORTS, “I feel very good as the coach, the fans and the players have shown me a lot of respect”.

Despite the scoreline indicating that Beşiktaş had an easy night in Antalya, that certainly wasn’t the case as the Black Eagles struggled for much of the opening half an hour, but following a penalty foul on Gökhan Gönül by goalkeeper Boffin and the subsequent goal by Adem Ljajic (although it took him two attempts) the match turned in their favour.

Beşiktaş quickly doubled their lead following Ljajic’s opener from the spot through Dorukhan Tökoz, who finished an excellent attack involving Jeremain Lens, Adem Ljajic, Caner and Adriano before Dorukhan’s final touch sent the Black Eagled 2-0 up after 39 minutes.

Atiba Hutchinson sealed the deal just before halftime following a hard freekick by Adem LJajic which Ruud Boffin could only parry, Atiba followed up well and knocked in the third in the 43rd minute, which was also the halftime scoreline.

But Antalyaspor weren’t ready to be led to the slaughterhouse as they scored just 5 minutes in to the second half through Doukara. This led to a good 15 minute spell by thos in which they came close to scoring a second on several occassions. But a textbook counter attack in the 67th minute saw Antalyaspor defender score an own goal following Güven Yalçin’s attempted cross to his teammate.

Following the fourth goal, Beşiktaş could have scored a fifth on atleast two occassions, but Cyle Larin was unable to beat Ruud Boffin 1v1 on both occassions.
Beşiktaş would have to wait until Shinji Kagawa’s bombastic entrance in to the game in the 81st minute to get their 5th and 6th goal. Chico’s consolation goal in the 89th minute for the hosts put the fulltime scoreline of 2-6 on the scoreboard.

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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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