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Friday, 16 September 2011

Besiktas beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 5-1

In the middle of a diplomatic row between Turkey and Israel, Istanbul’s Besiktas defeated Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv in the opening day of the UEFA Europa Cup group stage with an impressive score line of 5-1.

Portuguese striker Hugo Almeida started things of for Besiktas, netting a goal in the third minute and again the 28th minute. Maccabi tried in vain to fight back in the second half, scoring a goal in the 48th minute but Besiktas quickly stepped up a level just two minutes later with a goal from Aurelio in the 50th minute and defender Egeman Korkmaz in the 53rd minute. The tie was settled with Edu scored late on in the 88th minute to seal victory for Besiktas.

Security was extra tight for the match, 2,000 policemen were deployed around the stadium due to the current crisis between the two countries. Turkey demands an apology from Israel for the attacks that left nine Turkish people dead last year. Israel has so far refused all moves from Turkey leading to an intense standoff between the two countries.

Very few Maccabi fans turned up to the match for fear of safety reasons. The atmosphere inside the stadium was tense, with the Besiktas fans making their views heard right from the kick off. Outside the stadium a group of around 300 protesters made their feelings known to the Israelis who turned up for the match. Overall there was plenty of security and everything panned out in a good way, no serious incidents were reported.

Following the result, Besiktas are currently leading Group E with three points followed by Stoke City and Dynamo Kyiv. Maccabi are bottom with zero points after the first match. Besiktas next travel to Stoke on September 29th for their next match in the competition.

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