Fireworks for Besiktas in the season openerArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: A late scare from ABC/UMinho never burdened Besiktas, as the Turkish champions threw off the VELUX EHF Champions League season with a 33:31 win

Fireworks for Besiktas in the season opener

In the first game of the season Turkish side Besiktas beat ABC/UMinho 33:31 in Group D in Izmit.

• ABC’s return to Europe’s top competition after a 16-year hiatus was an unsuccessful one

• It was a game with a fast, freewheeling style of play, in which Besiktas finished with a 63% shot efficiency, while ABC had a 67%
• Ramazan Döne, Besiktas’ right back, was the game’s top scorer, with an impressive nine-goal tally
• The Turkish side will face HBC Nantes in the next game, while ABC/UMinho will host TTH Holstebro


Besiktas Mogaz HT (TUR) vs ABC/UMinho (POR) 33:31 (21:18)

It may not have been Istanbul for Besiktas, as the Turkish champions played their home opener against ABC/UMinho in Izmit, 100 kilometers away from home, but the “Eagles” managed to earn an impressive win against their Portuguese counterparts, 33:31.

Amazing attacks in the first half

Almost four months have passed between KS Vive Tauron Kielce’s dramatic win last season and the first goal scored by Pedro Spinola for ABC that marked the start of this year’s VELUX EHF Champions League. But it was sure worth it! There was no shortage of fireworks in the first half between Besiktas and ABC/UMinho, as both attacks were in majestic form in the start of the game, with 75 per cent and 78 per cent shot efficiency. While Braga started better and led the way in the first ten minutes, Besiktas were helped by a flawless first half from Ramazan Döne and clawed back to power to a 21:18 lead after 30 minutes.

Braga make an unexpected comeback

A blitz start by Besiktas in the second half saw the Turkish team extend their lead to what seemed an unassailable 27:21 for the Portuguese side. However, the unexperienced ABC never panicked and with a sturdy defense were back in business, after a 6:2 run between the 38th and the 48th minute, that saw the Turkish lead diminish to 28:26.

Besiktas’ advantage was enough

While the first 45 minutes underlined both teams’ amazing attacks, the final part of the game was more a clash of goalkeepers and defenses. With only six goals scored in the last 12 minutes, Besiktas’ advantage proved to be decisive, as ABC’s last-ditch efforts to claim at least one point were not enough. A 33:31 win was what Besiktas expected and the Turkish side equalled their point tally from last season, when they won only one game in a star-studded group.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / bc