Ten-man Beşiktaş Vanquishes Olympiacos to Advance to Last Eight in Europa League

Istanbul’s Beşiktaş, the sole Turkish team left in European competition, beat Greece’s Olympiacos 4-1 late on March 16 to qualify for the quarterfinals of the UEFA Europa League.

Beşiktaş began the game at home with intent, racing out to a 2-0 lead within the first 25 minutes, with Cameroonian Vincent Aboubakar scoring on a header from inside the box before Dutchman Ryan Babel found the back of the net with a clean inside-foot shot.

Ominous clouds soon began massing on the horizon, however, when Olympiacos’ Tarik Elyounisi scored to bring the Greek champions within a single goal, while the home side’s problems were compounded when Aboubakar was sent off with a straight red eight minutes later.

Instead of collapse, however, Beşiktaş ultimately cruised to victory, with Babel scoring his second in the 75th minute before Cenk Tosun capped off the evening with another strike six minutes from time.

Beşiktaş will learn the identity of its quarterfinal opponent in a UEFA draw that will start at 3 p.m. Turkish time on March 17. The remaining teams in the competition are Ajax of the Netherlands, Anderlecht and Genk of Belgium, Celta Vigo of Spain, Lyon of France, Schalke of Germany and Manchester United of England.