Friendly: Beşiktaş 1-1 Mainz

Updated: July 24, 2014

The Black Eagles finished their last friendly of the England training camp and saw it’s new striker Demba Ba make his unofficial debut for the club.

Beşiktaş started with a lineup leaning close to the lineup that Bilic likely has in his head for the rest of the season, appart from a few changes that is: Cenk Gönen; Serdar Kurtuluş, Pedro Franco, Ersan Gülüm, Ramon Motta; Veli Kavlak, Atiba Hutchinson, Oğuzhan Özyakup, Olcay Şahan, Kerim Frei and Cenk Tosun.

With this line-up the Eagles played a good first half, they created quite a few chances and really should hav escored but the German’s goalkeeper did very well to keep the zero on the scoreboard. At the other end of the pitch Cenk had little to no work in the first half. Oğuzhan was the player making the midfield work the way it should whilst Kerim Frei created danger with some good combination football. Cenk Tosun missed a great one on one opportunity. Oğuzhan should’ve done better after Olcay laid the ball off to him, but shot it wide. And Olcay himself tested the goalkeeper with a hard shot. Appart from that Pedro Franco was booked with a yellow in the first half, not too common in friendlies, for holding off Okazaki but it was still a way to go from goal and Ersan was there aswell so no ‘last man’ decided the referee.


In the second half the matched was changed up quite a bit by a handful of substitutions. The fun first half changed in to a typical friendly match in the second half as it Always does once the team starts to get changed around and the Chemistry of the first half dissapears. Right off the bat though there weren’t that many changes yet, for the Eagles only Demba Ba replaced Cenk Tosun and Tomas Sivok replaced Ersan Gülüm. As you know or may not know, Pedro Franco and Tomas Sivok had not yet played together as a defensive duo. Coach Slaven Bilic changed around a lot in these friendlies and didn’t really give a ‘set’ duo in the back the chance to get used to eachother, although it has to be said that Pedro & Ersan have good  Chemistry and they are likely the duo that will be playing most games at the start of the season.
Mainz started pushing and looked much more dangerous going forward in the second half, resulting in an own goal of Atiba Hutchinson a little under the hour after a good attack from the left. One of Mainz’ players was left unmarked at the second post and fired at goal, Cenk did well to parry it but it ricochet off Atiba in to goal. Not to worry though, just before the 80 minute mark Atiba redeemed himself. Demba Ba was fouled just in front of the penalty area and young Muhammed Demirci who had come on instead of Ozzie curled it in to the box and Atiba scored the equalizing goal.
Besides the previously mentioned players, there were significantly more substitutions: Atinç Nukan played next to Tomas Sivok for the last portion of the game and Pedro Franco moved to the defensive  midfield position. Ümit Karaal, who is left footed, played as rightback in exchange for Serdar. Ismail Koybaşi replaced Ramon Motta at left back. Pedro Franco and Kerim Frei both played the full 90 minutes however, so did Olcay for that matter.


Demba Ba didn’t see too much of the ball, but when involved in play he did well. He had a couple of nice combinations with Kerim and of course the foul that led to the freekick that led to our goal was also made on him.

All in all another good friendly match for our Eagles, though I am tad bit worried about Bilic’ constant changes to the back four. Perhaps he should’ve opted for a set back four for the majority of the last couple of friendly games just to be ready for the Feyenoord games.

Talking about Feyenoord, they also played a friendly last night: they drew 1-1 with Real Sociedad. Just like our boys they first went behind, though in the first half, and equalized five minutes from the break via Michell te Vrede who will likely be the starting center forward against Beşiktaş given that they’ve so far been unable to sign a replacement for Graziano Pellè.

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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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