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Basaksehir, sole team to carry Turkish flag in Europe

Basaksehir bag Europa League last 32 ticket, while Galatasaray, Besiktas, Trabzonspor eliminated before new year

Fatih Erel and Can Erozden   | 14.12.2019
Basaksehir, sole team to carry Turkish flag in Europe

ISTANBUL 

A 90th-minute goal in the last match of the UEFA Europa League group stage decided Basaksehir's fate, which is being left the only team to represent Turkey in European club competitions in football.

Basaksehir, led by manager Okan Buruk, the former Galatasaray midfield man during the clubs glory days, made history as they beat the German Bundesliga league leaders Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 at Borussia-Park on Thursday night to advance to the UEFA Europa League's Round of 32.

The very late winner scored by Basaksehir's French forward Enzo Crivelli brought the Round of 32 ticket for the Istanbul team as they guaranteed to play European games in 2020, for at least one more round.

The Group J winners with 10 points, Basaksehir are in the knockout stage for the first time in history. Following Thursday's win, Basaksehir dumped Monchengladbach out of the Europa League.

The possible opponents of Basaksehir in the next round are APOEL, AZ Alkmaar, Bayer Leverkusen, Cluj, Club Brugge, Copenhagen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Getafe, Ludogorets, Olympiacos, Rangers, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sporting Lisbon, Wolfsburg and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Having a $67.6 million market value, Basaksehir are among the seeded teams for Monday's draw at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

In addition to the Istanbul club, Ajax, Arsenal, Basel, Benfica, Braga, Celtic, Espanyol, Gent, Inter Milan, LASK, Malmo, Manchester United, Porto, Salzburg and Sevilla are in the seeded clubs' pot.

Galatasaray face big failure in Champions League

The defending Turkish champions Galatasaray bottomed the UEFA Champions League Group A, an embarrassing performance for this tournament's regular.

The 2000 UEFA Cup and Super Cup winners qualified for the CL groups 16 times in history.

Galatasaray were in the same group with two European giants, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Real Madrid.

The Lions were thrashed in the away matches against Real Madrid (6-0) and PSG (5-0).

PSG and Real Madrid were this group's top two teams to be in the last 16.

Galatasaray earned only two points and scored one goal in six matches.

Club Brugge of Belgium went to the Europa League after securing third spot with 3 points in the Group A.

Galatasaray also could not win any European matches in their last 13 games.

Besiktas return Super Lig

The other Turkish clubs in the UEFA Europa League, Besiktas and Trabzonspor are set to concentrate on the Turkish Super Lig as they have been eliminated in the group stage.

Besiktas came last in the Group K won by Braga from Portugal.
The top two clubs in this group, Braga and Wolverhampton Wanderers made their ways to the last 32.

Slovan Bratislava had 4 points in six matches meanwhile Besiktas got 3 points. Both teams were eliminated from Europa League.

Besiktas had one win and five defeats, an unsatisfying performance for the Black Eagles.

In the 2017-2018 season, Besiktas had an impressive run in the Champions League when they were among the best 16 teams in this competition.

Besiktas had won their group to qualify for the last 16 in the 2017-2018 Champions League season but were eliminated by German powerhouse Bayern Munich by 8-1 on aggregate.

Trabzonspor exit without a win

Trabzonspor ended the Europa League Group C with five losses and one draw.

The Turkish team faced Swiss club Basel, Spain's Getafe and Krasnodar from Russia in this group but couldn't get a win in this phase.

Trabzonspor were in the last place in this group with one point. Basel and Getafe booked their places each for the last 32.

Group C saw a nail-biting competition for top spots as winners Basel earned 13 points and Getafe had 12 points.

Third-placed Krasnodar got 9 points, but similar to Trabzonspor, the Russians have been eliminated from Europa League as well.

In conclusion, Turkish teams totaled a very forgettable performance in the group stages, with 4 wins, 4 draws and 16 losses.

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