Beşiktaş breathed a sigh of relief after it saw off Austria's LASK Linz in their UEFA Europa League third-round qualifier Thursday. Though LASK Linz won the match 2-1, Beşiktaş's last-minute away goal was enough to put the Turkish powerhouse across the line 2-2 on aggregate. The Black Eagles had won the first leg in Istanbul 1-0. Beşiktaş now faces one last challenge before it can head for the Europa League group stages. It will take on Serbia's Partizan in the playoffs.
After the second leg match against Linz, coach Şenol Güneş said: "This match taught us a lesson. Our rival pressed on us using physical power. It seems they planned to assume control and attack fast. We had expected this but when we conceded the first goal we panicked. In short, my players and I must take lessons from this match. We have so much to do. Now we want to win the playoffs and go through to the Europa League."
LASK Linz coach Oliver Glasner said, "We saw how football can be cruel because we did not deserve to be eliminated."
Meanwhile, the other Turkish team in the competition, Medipol Başakşehir was eliminated after suffering a 1-0 defeat to English side Burnley in extra time. The first leg in Istanbul last week had ended in a 0-0 draw.
Beşiktaş, meanwhile, traveled Friday to eastern Turkey's Erzurum. It will face Büyükşehir Belediye Erzurumspor in the game week 2 match of the Turkish Super League on Sunday.
The Black Eagles beat Akhisarspor 2-1 in Istanbul on Aug. 12 in the first match of the new season. The newly-promoted Erzurumspor, on the other hand, opened its season with a 3-2 away defeat against Konyaspor.
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