Despite a 1-0 loss against Benfica on Tuesday, Fenerbahçe is keeping its hopes up before its Champions League third qualifying round second leg match in Istanbul. Coach Philip Cocu and fans believe that the Yellow Canaries can win the revenge match. In Lisbon, Benfica earned a narrow victory in a match it controlled as Franco Cervi's deflected strike after 69 minutes handed them the advantage over Fenerbahçe, with both teams entering in this round of the qualifying process. When the teams played in the European Cup first round in 1975 Benfica won 7-0 but this time the Turkish side can hope to stage a second-leg comeback to secure a playoff. Losers of the tie will move into the UEFA Europa League group stages.
Fenerbahçe coach Cocu said: "We knew that the match would be difficult. I believe we played very good in the first half of the match. And we made a good defense in the second half. But we lost the ball too many times. We will play the second match at home and it's not a much bad score."
In the other matches in the Champions League qualifiers, Standard Liege fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Ajax Amsterdam. Stanislav Dragun's header earned Belarusians BATE Borisov a 1-0 win at last season's Champions League group qualifiers Qarabag. Dinamo Zagreb won 2-0 at Astana, who reached the group stage in 2015, with goals from Mario Budimir and the impressive Dani Olmo to put one foot in the playoffs where Young Boys await. Elsewhere, Malmo drew 1-1 with Vidi and Red Star Belgrade was held by Spartak Trnava with the same scoreline.
After Fenerbahçe, the other Turkish teams in Europe, Medipol Başakşehir and Beşiktaş, will take on their rivals in the Europa League third qualifying round today. Başakşehir will take on the victor of the Olympiacos-Luzern game if they manage to eliminate Premier League club Burnley in the third qualifying round today. Beşiktaş will also play its 207th match against Austria's LASK Linz in the Europa League's third qualifying round. The Black Eagles won 79 matches, lost 83 and drew in 44 in 206 matches in total in Europe. Under coach Şenol Güneş, Beşiktaş won 31 of its 28 matches, lost 10 and drew five. The revenge match will be played on Aug. 16 in Austria. Beşiktaş had defeated Faroese club B36 Torshavn 6-0 in the second leg match of UEFA Europa League second qualifying round in Istanbul on Aug 2.
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