Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 Sporting (aggregate: 5-4)
Sporting were eliminated from the Europa League in what was one of their worst European displays in recent memory. A Martin Skrtel header and Danijel Aleksic freekick put Istanbul Basaksehir 2-0 up at half time. However, Luciano Vietto’s second-half goal looked to be enough to see the Lisbon side through until Edin Visca fired the game into extra time.
It looked to be going to a penalty shootout until Luciano Vietto gave away a penalty in the final moments of extra time which Visca finished emphatically.
Sporting should have gone into this one confident of progression but the fact that the club has never won in Turkey before, coupled with that dubious Demba Ba penalty in the first leg giving Istanbul Basaksehir hope, meant this game was unlikely to be as straightforward as expected.
Jorge Silas made just one change from the team that won the first leg at Alvalade, with Tiago Ilori in to replace Luís Neto. Basaksehir coach Okan Buruk however made four changes to his side with Alexandru Epureanu, Azubuike Okechukwu, Danijel Aleksic, and Eljero Elia all starting.
Those four changes seemed to have worked, and Istanbul Basaksehir looked a completely different side than the one that had failed to impress at Alvalade last week.
The home side had a great chance to get back into the game within the opening ten minutes when Danijel Aleksic missed a diving header after a great cross from the left. Meanwhile, Sporting made little impact going forward, only Marcos Acuña looked likely to create anything offensively.
It was no surprise when Basaksehir did eventually get the goal that they deserved. Sporting’s defence defended a corner poorly, with the ball bouncing around before veteran defender Martin Skrtel managed to head pass Luís Maximiano.
Skrtel’s goal meant the Turkish side needed just one goal to eliminate Sporting on goal difference. That goal came just before half-time, Danijel Aleksic’s in-swinging freekick curling past the entire Sporting defence and into the far corner. For Silas and Sporting, it was a disaster of a first half, with the score at 3-3 on aggregate.
After the restart, Sporting almost got exactly what they needed when Stefan Ristovski’s cross found Luciano Vietto. The Argentinian’s header was well saved though.
That chance gave Sporting some confidence back, although Basaksehir almost grabbed a third when Demba Ba found it all too easy to find space in the Sporting box but Maximiano did well to parry both of the striker’s shots.
Sporting managed to break through via the combination of Marcos Acuña and Luciano Vietto that gave the visitors a vital goal. The Argentinian left back’s cross was fantastically met by his compatriot with Gunok able to do nothing to prevent the goal.
Chances go begging
That goal seemed to knock the wind out of Basaksehir, and Sporting had plenty of chances near the end to put the result beyond doubt but wasted their opportunities.
It was costly, as in stoppage time, Bosnian Edin Visca grabbed Basaksehir’s third with a fantastic strike to put the game into extra time. There was nothing Maximiano could have done about it but some smarter defending moments before that would have gotten rid of the danger completely.
Luciano Vietto had a good headed chance in the first period of extra time but after that Basaksehir had near total control of the first period of extra time. Meanwhile, Maximiano had to be alert to prevent a diverted cross to keep the scores level on aggregate.
In the second half of extra time, Silas made his final fourth substitution with Pedro Mendes coming on in place of the ineffective Andraz Sporar. The game looked certain to be going to penalties, but for Sporting penalties came too early when Luciano Vietto gave away a penalty in the 117th minute. There was absolutely no stopping Edin Visca’s penalty, as he blasted it into the roof of the net, putting Sporting out of their misery.
Misery was the right word, because I was a terrible performance by Sporting with little to no creativity and playing as if they had ten men on the pitch. A tie that should so easily have been wrapped up in the first half, thrown away by a dreadful a performance in Turkey.
By Richard Cole
Istanbul Basaksehir XI: Mert Gunok; Júnior Caiçara, Alexandru Epureanu, Martin Skrtel, Gael Clichy; İrfan Kahveci (Robinho, 88’), Azubuike Okechukwu (Berkay Ozcan, 77’), Danijel Aleksic; Edin Visca (Ponck, 119’), Demba Ba, Eljero Elia (Fredrik Gulbrandsen, 85’)
Sporting XI: Luís Maximiano; Stefan Ristovski, Sebastián Coates, Tiago Ilori, Marcos Acuña; Rodrigo Battaglia, Wendel (Eduardo Henrique, 90+1’); Yannick Bolasie (Gonzalo Plata, 60’), Luciano Vietto, Jovane Cabral (Idrissa Doumbia, 73’); Andraz Sporar (Pedro Mendes, 108’)
[1-0] Martin Skrtel, 31’
[2-0] Danijel Aleksic, 45’
[2-1] Luciano Vietto, 68’
[3-1] Edin Visca, 90+1’
[4-1] Edin Visca (P), 118’