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Beşiktaş fail to advance in Europa League after penalty shootout against Lyon

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
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Beşiktaş fail to advance in Europa League after penalty shootout against Lyon

Lyon ended the Europa League dream of Turkey's Beşiktaş with a penalty shoot-out in Istanbul Thursday, with the French side pulling into the semi finals despite travelling with virtually no fans after first leg clashes between supporters.

With the result ending 2-1 to Beşiktaş on the night and 3-3 on aggregate, the match went to penalties as the clock ticked well past midnight.

Matching each other penalty for penalty until number six, Dusko Tosic saw his effort saved by Lyon's Anthony Lopes but Christophe Jallet skied over the crossbar for Lyon.

But on number eight, Matej Mitrovic's effort was saved for Beşiktaş and Maxime Gonalons then made no mistake to put Lyon through and plunge the Turks into despair.

The first leg tie last week in Lyon had been marred by angry clashes between fans that resulted in a delay to the start of the game and led to both sides receiving bans -- suspended for two years -- from their next European competition.

As a precaution, Lyon advised fans not to travel and only a dozen Lyon fans made the journey to Istanbul, comfortably and safely seated in the VIP section as Beşiktaş fans happily snapped up their seat contingent.

The tension was on the pitch rather than the stands as both sides scrapped energetically for the semi-final berth.

Adding further spice, the game took place days after a disputed referendum in Turkey that has led to daily protests in the Beşiktaş district of the city, a well known opposition hub.

- Frenetic finale -

Carrying a 1-2 deficit into the home leg but with the crucial away goal, Beşiktaş could count on the fanatical support of some 40,000 of its famously passionate fans.

Roared on by the packed Vodafone Arena on the shores of the Bosphorus just opposite a former palace for Ottoman Sultans, Beşiktaş drew first blood as Brazilian Talisca scored after a corner in the 27th minute.

But Lyon's highly regarded Alexandre Lacazette equalised 10 minutes later with an exquisite chip over Fabricio in the Beşiktaş goal.

Lacazette nearly put the game beyond Beşiktaş' reach after the break, hitting the woodwork with a pearl of a shot and watching the ball cross across the goal.

Causing near pandemonium in the stadium, Talisca pulled Beşiktaş level on aggregate with a powerful header that beat the stranded Lopes in the Lyon goal on the 57th minute.

In a heart-stopping end to normal time, Beşiktaş' Ricardo Quaresma hit the outside post with a daring angled shot and Ryan Babel failed with the rebound. For Lyon, Lacazette hit the crossbar.

Beşiktaş had the running for most of the extra time but failed to convert chances. Fabricio denied Lyon's Corentin Tolisso with a spectacular one handed save.

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