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Thursday, 27 October 2011 21:10

Simao wonder goal, Almeida strike, not enough in Istanbul thriller

Portuguese to the fore as Besiktas held 2-2 by Fenerbahce

Simao SabrosaIn the first Istanbul derby of the young season, Carlos Carvalhal’s men were held at home by their determined cross-town rivals in a pulsating encounter. The atmosphere inside the stadium was predictably electric, and play was even stopped for a few minutes as Fenerbahce fans poured into their seating area, drawing the ire and derision of the home crowd.
The opening exchanges were cagey, with neither team able to control the flow of the game. That was to be irrevocably changed in the 12th minute with a stunning goal from Simao Sabrosa. In their first meaningful attack of the game, Besiktas forced the ball up the centre of the pitch, running into a wall of Fenerbahce defenders. A failed clearance fell kindly to Simao no less than 25 yards from goal and he duly dispatched a ferocious, swerving drive into the top right corner.
The game burst into life immediately, awakening Fenerbahce’s attacking intent and the remainder of the opening half became somewhat of a personal duel between Besiktas keeper Cenk Gonen and Caner Erkin, who tormented the Black Eagles’ defence throughout the night. First the young keeper parried a thunderbolt of a strike from Erkin from 25 yards, then proceeded to foil the Fenerbahce midfielder, and others, on a number of occasions, miraculously preserving the home side’s lead into the break.

Quaresma assist squandered

The second half was raw entertainment from start to finish. Fenerbahce continued their excellent attacking play and created a number of chances that should have resulted in the equaliser during the opening 15 minutes. Besiktas came very close to extending their lead following good work from Quaresma. The Portuguese winger tore down the right and beat two defenders to the byline before cutting the ball back across the face of goal. The resulting shot from Mustafa Pektemek crashed off the woodwork and was cleared to safety.
Simao came even closer in the 56th minute, forcing Fenerbahce keeper Volkan Demirel into a fine diving save. The equaliser did finally arrive in the 60th minute courtesy of Brazilian striker Alex. Erkin’s shot cannoned back off the post but deflected into the path of Alex, who only a tap-in to finish.
Carlos Carvalhal introduced Hugo Almeida into the game as a result of the goal, the Portuguese star’s first bit of action since recovering from a hamstring injury. The change brought with it a renewed sense of vigour, and Besiktas began to press hard to retake the lead. Quaresma went close in the 63rd minute, before Almeida tried an overhead kick that was comfortably saved.

Almeida back with a bang

Chances continued to flow at both ends of the pitch, and Besiktas justly restored their lead in the 71st minute through Almeida. Quaresma left his marker for dead with some fine footwork and his cross was met with an unstoppable header from Almeida. The goal failed to demoralise Fenerbahce and they created and squandered several more good chances before levelling again in the 88th minute from a Cristian free kick. So enraged were the home fans because of the late goal, they hurled their supporters’ scarves down onto the pitch in a flurry of black and white.
In the end, it was a just result on the balance of play, but Besiktas have to feel like they let this one get away, even though Fenerbahce created more high quality chances in a thoroughly engrossing encounter at the Inonu Stadium. Besiktas will next host Sivasspor this Sunday in the Turkish Super Lig.

Watch highlights of thrilling game by clicking on screen below:
[1-0] Simao, 12
[1-1] Alex, 60
[2-1] Almeida, 71
[2-2] Cristian, 88
Nathan Motz   

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Comments (3)
3 Friday, 28 October 2011 10:14
Quaresma played terribly. The 2 skills on the video is pretty much all he did. Ruined chances throughout the game by not passing the ball, waiting to lang.

Simaoo played excellent. Great passing. Very Benfica-ious Simao yesterday. Almeida played good and will score as long as he gets crosses deliverd to him.

Great match on a very high tempo, with Quaresma, despite his assist, the weakest link on the pitch. And Alex is a true maestro.
Still tearin' it up
2 Friday, 28 October 2011 02:13
That was a superb goal from Simao. Quaresma absolutely owned his marker a couple of times and he took a very powerful shot on his left foot. He is too accustomed to trivela but he is great on both feet.. should switch them more often. Nothing like Postiga's goal from Almeida but atleast he's scoring.
Great game
1 Friday, 28 October 2011 01:40
I just watched the highlights (here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcLMw_SQIUk) and the game looks like it was amazing. Both teams were up for it and Simao's goal and the second Fenerbahce goal were great.

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