RACHEL – 10-man Eagles overcome penalty and poor form to defeat Konya

10-man Eagles overcome penalty and poor form to defeat KonyaEven while playing unremarkably, BeIiktaI held off a late Torku Konyaspor offensive sparked by a penalty shot and red card to preserve its Spor Toto Super League leadership with a 2-1 victory in week 15.The Black Eagles risked falling behind from the beginning, as the home team created three good chances on goal before Gkhan Tre put the Eagleand#39s first shot into the net in the 18th minute.

They would not make it two until Jose Sosaand#39s strike in the 58th minute.Gkhan missed another golden opportunity in the 75th minute, shooting a ball fed to him at the top of the box, wasting midfielder Olcay Iahanand#39s spirited run up the left wing.

andldquoIn the first half our performance was below par We were not aggressive. We were not good technically.

We were simply no good. We scored a great individual goal,andrdquo coach Slaven Bilic said, adding andldquoThe guys from the bench reacted really well and lifted us up.

andrdquoFifteen minutes into the second half, Konyaspor tried to make a comeback with long shots by Angola winger Djalma Campos and midfielder Mehmet Guven. Campos hit the outside of the net, while Mehmetand#39s strike from outside the box was tapped over by BeIiktaI keeper Tolga Zengin.

Scoring under pressureJust like in the first period, BeIiktaI got the hint and began fighting back, replying with Sosaand#39s screaming strike past Slovenia goalie Vid Belec.andldquoIt was an important goal.

We scored while playing badly,andrdquo Sosa said. andldquoI got in good position and Olcay saw me.

It was a beautiful goal. It is not easy to get these results at this point in the season,andrdquo he added.

Falling two points behind dampened Konyaand#39s spirits, which were revived when Romania midfielder Gabriel Torje was awarded a penalty after Serdar KurtuluI fouled him in the 83rd minute. After striker Hasan Kabze drove the spot kick home, Konya attacked to no avail until the final whistle.

andldquoI congratulate our opponents, they played well. We found goals under pressure.

Winning while playing poorly is important for teams heading toward their goals, so we are happy about that,andrdquo Serdar said, noting that he did not touch Torje in the box when Konya was given a penalty.Demba Ba was back in action following a minor injury but went out in the 71st minute after failing to make his typically strong performance.

Willed to winWith the 2-1 win over Konya, BeIiktaI inched forward and is now two points ahead of Fenerbahe and three ahead of Galatasaray, which drew its match and dropped points. Fenerbahe won its fixture to leapfrog the Lions into second place.

BeIiktaI will be missing Atiba Hutchinson as it plays Galatasaray this week. The Canada defender earned one yellow for a slide tackle on Mehmet Guven at the top of the box and another for stubbornly keeping his foot in the box during Konyaand#39s penalty, something referee Halis zkahya had no patience forandldquoAt 2-0, their attacks were quite predictable, not poor but we coped with ease.

After that he gave them a penalty, which is a joke. And after that it was not only penalty but a red card for Atiba,andrdquo Bilic said, while noting Konya had good chances after the spot kick.

andldquoAt the end of the day it was a massive victory for us. We didnand#39t play good, but we got three points against a team that was playing really aggressive,andrdquo he added.

The big test will be next week against Galatasaray, but BeIiktaI did well to not crumble against Konya before that.In other Sunday matches, aykur Rizespor is trying to claw its way out of the relegation zone by stunning former league leader Akhisar Belediye Genlik ve Spor 4-0.

KasImpaIa and the Sivasspor Roberto Carlos abandoned in 17th place drew 0-0. Bursaspor came back with two late goals to defeat host Gaziantep 2-1.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman