Champions League

Besiktas stuns Benfica in high scoring thriller

2016-11-23 22:39
Goal (AFP)

Istanbul - Another late goal for Besiktas, another heartbreaking draw for Benfica.

Vincent Aboubakar scored an 89th-minute equalizer as Besiktas rallied from an early three-goal deficit to draw Benfica 3-3 on Wednesday and remain with chances of advancing to the knockout round of the Champions League.

Aboubakar scored from close range after a remarkable crossed-foot cross by veteran winger Ricardo Quaresma.

The draw left Benfica and Besiktas with eight points each, one more than Napoli, which hosts already eliminated Dynamo Kiev later Wednesday in Group B.

In the last group round on Dec. 6, Benfica hosts Napoli and Besiktas plays at Dynamo Kiev.

Again, it was a disappointing finish for Benfica against the Turkish side, which scored deep in injury time to earn a 1-1 draw when they met in Lisbon in their group opener. That goal was by forward Talisca, who is owned by the Portuguese club and is on loan to Besiktas.

Benfica scored three goals in the first 31 minutes on Wednesday— including one after three consecutive headers struck the woodwork — but couldn't hold on to the victory that would have propelled the club into the next round.

Goncalo Guedes opened the scoring for the visitors after dribbling past the goalkeeper in the ninth minute, Nelson Semedo added to the lead with a stunning long-range shot in the 25th, and Ljubomir Fejsa scored after his teammates were denied by the woodwork three times on the same play.

Kostas Mitroglou first hit the crossbar with a firm header off a free kick cross, then again off his own rebound, and midfielder Eduardo Salvio struck the post with his attempt in front of the goal. The ball bounced back toward the centre of the area and Fejsa, returning from a ligament injury, finally found the net with a low left-footed shot.

Besiktas got on the board with a remarkable side-volley by Cenk Tosun, and moved closer with a penalty kick converted by Quaresma in the 83rd after a hand-ball inside the area.

It nearly got the equalizer on an 88th-minute header by Aboubakar that prompted a spectacular save by Benfica goalkeeper Ederson, but the forward came through one minute later after the defence failed to clear Quaresma's right-footed cross from the left-flank. The veteran sent the ball into the area by crossing his right foot behind the left.

The goal allowed Besiktas to keep alive a 15-game unbeaten streak at home.

Benfica made it the quarter-finals last season, when it was eliminated by Bayern Munich.


Read more on:    besiktas  |  benfica  |  champions league  |  soccer


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