Besiktas snatch late winner
Besiktas snatched a dramatic last-gasp 2-1 victory over Marseille to keep their UEFA Champions League dreams alive.
By Stephen Bramley
Last Updated: 28/11/07 10:21pm
Besiktas snatched a dramatic last-gasp 2-1 victory over Marseille to keep their UEFA Champions League dream alive.
Striker Bobo, who scored the winner against Liverpool earlier in the competition, popped up in the 88th minute to give the Turkish champions a chance of reaching the knockout stages of the competition for the first time.
But they must beat Group A leaders Porto on Tuesday week to qualify along with either Marseille or Liverpool, who crushed the Portuguese champions 4-1 at Anfield.
It was a dramatic finale to a tense night in Istanbul as Marseille looked to edge closer to a place in the last 16 themselves only to hand Besiktas a victory they barely deserved on their second-half showing.
Tello had fired the home side into a first-half lead with a superb free-kick, but Rustu made a real hash of Marseille substitute Taye Taiwo's long-range effort to level in the 65th minute.
But with the fanatical home crowd roaring on their side Bobo weaved in from the right and fired a late winner to sink the visitors.
The French giants must now ensure they secure at least a point against Liverpool in the final round of matches to maintain their own interest in the competition.
Besiktas, hammered 8-0 in their last outing on Mersyeside, made all the early running, Tello firing inches over the bar after only two minutes.
But despite showing plenty of attacking intent the home side never seriously threatened Steve Mandanda's goal.
Marseille, looking for only their second away win in eight years in the Champions League, gradually began to get into the game after 20 minutes and Julien Rodriguez headed just over.
Both sides were forced to make early changes. Cisse had to leave the field for Besiktas with a head injury and was replaced by Koray Avci, while Samir Nasri was replaced by Djibril Cisse.
The changes did not disrupt a fast flowing and entertaining game and after plenty of huffing and puffing Tello finally forced Mandanda into action in the 23rd minute with a low shot which the Marseille keeper saved comfortably.
But three minutes later the French keeper was left helpless as the talented Tello curled a stunning left-foot free-kick into the net to give the home side the lead.
Marseille came close to equalising only seconds later when Rodriguez beat Rustu to a corner and agonisingly over the bar.
And after half-an-hour Ronald Zubar produced a terrific volley which was only inches wide of the former Barcelona keeper's left-hand post.
Mathieu Valbuena then saw his low shot deflected wide with Rustu at full stretch.
But the home side finished the half as they had started and twice Serdar Ozkan went close after some excellent build-up play.
However, Marseille came close to leveling in added time when former Liverpool striker Cisse made his first contribution but his effort was deflected wide.
Marseille coach Erik Gerets made a change at the break as he took off Zubar and brought on Nigerian international Taiwo and five minutes later replaced Zenden with 17-year-old striker Andre Ayew.
And the double change certainly seemed to pick up the French side who streamed forward in the opening minutes of the half.
In fact had Cisse controlled the ball in the 48th minute when well placed Marseille could have been level.
Mamadou Niang also had a good chance but fired across Rustu and wide of the goal.
But after dominating the first quarter of the second half Marseille got the goal their pressure deserved when Rustu fumbled Tiawo's wicked shot and the ball flew into the net.
The goal finally brought a response from the home side who until that point had struggled to break out of their own half, Delgardo forcing Mandanda to move swiftly to save at his near post.
Both sides had their chances in the last 15 minutes, but with the draw looking likely dreadful defending from the visitors allowed Bobo to sneak in and break French hearts with his late winner.