Europa Conference League roundup: Late Tosun strike sees Besiktas draw in Brugge


Europa Conference League roundup: Late Tosun strike sees Besiktas draw in Brugge

Besiktas' Valentin Rosier and Club Brugge's Jorne Spileers fight for the ball
Besiktas' Valentin Rosier and Club Brugge's Jorne Spileers fight for the ballProfimedia
Cenk Tosun (32) made Club Brugge pay for their wayward finishing as his last-gasp equaliser earned Besiktas a 1-1 draw in their opening Europa Conference League group game. The Turkish outfit had their backs to the wall for the majority of the game and had Mert Gunok (34) to thank for his heroics, as the goalkeeper made seven saves to end the Black Eagles’ run of 11 defeats from their last 12 group games in European football.

The hosts, looking to extend a six-game unbeaten run at the Jan Breydel Stadium, enjoyed plenty of possession early on and were nearly rewarded for their dominance when Hans Vanaken rattled the woodwork.

Kyriani Sabbe then had a thunderous shot blocked, before Igor Thiago, usually so clinical from inside the area, lifted a shot wide of the near post from close range.

Senol Gunes’ side managed to weather the storm though, tightening up defensively and gaining some control in midfield. They finally tested Simon Mignolet in the 41st minute, as the goalkeeper denied Jackson Muleka, while Andreas Skov Olsen had a very tame effort comfortably saved at the other end.

The game was more open after the break, and only a point-blank range block from Mignolet stopped Vincent Aboubakar from punishing Jorne Spileers’ error, while Club Brugge’s Vanaken had a towering header saved.

Key match stats
Key match statsFlashscore

Ronny Deila’s side then somehow failed to take the lead when Thiago skewed over an open goal from just two yards, and Gunok maintained his clean sheet with a sublime stop, dashing across his line to divert Skov Olsen’s effort over the bar.

It was surely only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken, but a last-ditch block from Eric Bailly prevented Hugo Vetlesen from scoring when Skov Olsen had another low shot tipped around the post.

 The Danish then turned provider as the breakthrough finally came in the 77th minute though, crossing for Vanaken to volley back into the far corner.

Vanaken hit the woodwork for a second time minutes later and that miss proved costly as Tosun rose off the bench to clip home an 88th-minute equaliser from Aboubakar’s pass.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Mert Gunok (Besiktas)

See all the match stats here.

The other late Conference League results:

Dinamo Zagreb 5 Astana 1

Zorya Luhansk 1 Gent 1

Lugano 0 Bodo/Glimt 0

Maccabi Tel Aviv 3 Breidablik 2

Plzen 1 FC Ballkani 0

Slovan Bratislava 2 Klaksvik 1


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