Beşiktaş Clinches Süper Lig Title By The Absolute Narrowest Of Margins
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ISTANBUL - Beşiktaş seized the Turkish Süper Lig title for the 16th time on Saturday with a 2-1 win away to Göztepe, clinching the title on goal difference ahead of their Istanbul rivals Galatasaray in a tense end to the season.
The win lifted Beşiktaş to 84 points, level with Galatasaray who beat Yeni Malatyaspor 3-1. Beşiktaş's goal difference of 45 was one better than their rivals. Third-placed Fenerbahçe ended on 82 points.
Croatian defender Domagoj Vida put Beşiktaş ahead in the 10th minute in İzmir, only for Alpaslan Öztürk to equalize for hosts Göztepe 14 minutes later. With the pressure rising as Galatasaray went ahead in their match, Beşiktaş's Algerian winger Rachid Ghezzal, on loan from Leicester City, scored the winner from a penalty in the 69th minute.
The usual wild celebrations of champions in Turkey's largest city were muted, with the country under lockdown due to a recent surge in coronavirus cases.
⚫️ Besiktas fans celebrating the club's Turkish Süper Lig title in the streets yesterday pic.twitter.com/LdDDcSRzj8— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) May 16, 2021
The victory brought relief to Beşiktaş after a nervous end to the season, with defeats in their previous two matches. Last weekend they lost 3-1 away to Galatasaray, who won their final six games.
Beşiktaş last won the Süper Lig title in the 2016-17 season but their fortunes revived this season under coach Sergen Yalçın, a former star player at the club.
The team are captained by Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson, and his compatriot, forward Cyle Larin, was the club's top scorer this season with 19 goals. Cameroonian striker Vincent Aboubakar contributed another 15.
Beşiktaş have the chance to claim the domestic double on Tuesday when they play Antalyaspor in the Turkish Cup final.
(Reporting by Daren Butler; editing by Clare Fallon)