UEFA Champions League – Beşiktaş looks like they have life.
Beşiktaş had their UEFA Champions League dreams look like a nightmare, at least in the first two games. Although they had played well against Manchester United, and were average against CSKA Moscow, they could not find ways to win, or even get a draw. The Black Eagles travelled up to Germany to take on defending champions of the Bundesliga, VfL Wolfsburg. It looked like a mismatch, considering that when Wolfsburg was in pot 4 of the Champions League draw, they were the team everyone wanted to avoid. It wouldn’t quite turn out that way.
The first half saw possession and most attacks come from the Bundesliga champions. While he had been a dangerous forward during the Bundesliga last season, Edin Dzeko couldn’t find the net. Headers from the Bosnian just couldn’t find the net. His strike partner, Grafite, wasn’t even much of a factor in the first half. Marcel Schafer started much of the attacks, but Beşiktaş held their ground. Beşiktaş had their chances, but it seemed as though they were kicking the ball around, instead of attempting an attack. When Beşiktaş did attack, through balls ended up back in possession of Wolfsburg, or shots were too strong and went out for goal kicks. The half would end 0-0 but it seemed that Wolfsburg were the side most likely to break the deadlock.
The second half would feature more of the same. Rustu Recber had a Croatia moment (Euro 2008 reference), and left the net wide open, but Wolfsburg’s Christian Gentner could not get the shot on goal. Tomas Sivok blocked the shot. Another attempt by Edin Dzeko had him try to shoot from a tight angle, but the shot went off the post and out. Matteo Ferrari was covering Dzeko the entire match, and did a good job shutting him down. The match had to be temporarily halted due to smoke from flares spreading out onto the field of play. The flares were lit by the visiting Beşiktaş fans, and the Germans didn’t like that. The visiting fans could be heard, at times, over the home fans, at least from my viewing of the match. There was a chance for Beşiktaş to have a clear attempt on goal. Nihat Kahveci tried to get a through ball to Bobo, who was in the clear if the pass was successful, but was intercepted. That happened at approximately the 68th minute. The last fifteen minutes would have Wolfsburg on the ropes. Grafite struck Ibrahim Kas with a backfist, and the referee produced a straight red. Wolfsburg would have to go the rest of the way with ten men. Beşiktaş looked to take advantage, but the match continued to be a stalemate. The match ended with a 0-0 draw.
Beşiktaş looked like they sputtered on offense, but defense-wise; they were up to the challenge. Matteo Ferrari, as mentioned previously, shut down Edin Dzeko throughout the match. Tomas Sivok saved the match for Beşiktaş with his block. The Black Eagles looked lethargic on the offense, as shots were struck too hard, or passes were easily intercepted by their opponents. But the draw will suffice, and the two clubs will meet again in two weeks in Istanbul.