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Sports News of Sunday, 14 June 2020


Kevin-Prince Boateng returns to Super Lig action in Besiktas loss to Antalyaspor

Besiktas forward Kevin-Prince Boateng Besiktas forward Kevin-Prince Boateng

Kevin-Prince Boateng was back in action for Besiktas from the resumption of the Turkish Super Lig, but he was on the losing side in 2-1 defeat to Antalyaspor at Vodafone Park on Saturday evening.

Football in the Turkish top-flight had been on hold since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic which has affected more than 170,000 people to date in the country.

The last game Besiktas played before the lockdown was against Istanbul rivals Galatasaray which ended in a goalless draw.

On Saturday however, they started on the back foot with Sinan Gumus and Amilton Silva scoring for the visitors in the 15th and 35th minutes of play, respectively.

Adem Ljajic scored the consolation goal for Besiktas in the 68th minute after coming off the bench.

Boateng was on the pitch for 65 minutes and had a decent outing, with a total of three shots, two of which were blocked.

He also produced 45 touches and 30 accurate passes at an impressive 93% success rate, the fifth-highest behind Franco-Cameroonian Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Egypt international and Arsenal loanee Mohamed Elneny, Mali winger Abdoulaye Diaby and Ljajic.

The 33-year-old Ghana international made one key pass, played two successful long balls and won six of 10 total duels. He was also fouled by the opposition three times.

Boateng – who is presently on loan from Italian Serie A side Fiorentina - has now made seven appearances, scoring two goals. His first was on his debut in a 3-0 win over Gaziantep while the second was in a 2-2 draw at home to Trabzonspor.

Elneny played the entire game but was booked in the 32nd minute for a foul. The 27-year-old had 103 accurate passes and 118 touches, both the highest of any Besiktas player.

Diaby, meanwhile, made 28 touches, 21 accurate passes and was flagged offside three times before going off for Nkoudou at the start of the second half.

Besiktas have now lost nine games in the Super Lig this season, winning 13 and drawing five.

They remain in the fifth spot on the table, but could see their five-point gap away from Europa League qualification widen should Sivasspor see off Denizlispor at the Yeni Sivas 4 Eylul Stadium on Monday night.

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