Besiktas top UEFA Cup Group B

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Besiktas of Turkey got their UEFA Cup Group B campaign off to a winning start.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Turkish side Besiktas made their entrance into the UEFA Cup Group stages against Athletic Bilbao on Thursday. With former Real Madrid coach Vicented Del Bosque in charge, they dominated against their Spanish visitors from the start and deservedly took the lead on 27 minutes when former Valencia striker John Carew fed Ali Gunes, who fired past Ignacio Lafuente from a tight angle. But they couldn't add a second in the opening period and the visitors caught them cold at the start of the second half. Bilbao skipper Joseba Etxeberria's clever chip sent Santiago Ezquerro on his way, his first touch took him beyond Ramazan Kursunlu and a cool finish provided the equaliser. Del Bosque's charges regrouped though and on 63 minutes, regained the lead from a set piece. Emre Asik's header across goal from a floated free-kick dropped kindly for Norwegian international John Carew and the former Valencia striker prodded the ball into the net. Time ticked away and Bilbao pressed forward, but they were caught out at the back on the break when Spanish international Juanfran's long ball and Ibrahim Akin's youthful speed exposed Lafuente once again. The 20-year-old calmly rolled the ball into the net with just a minute to go and victory was sealed. Besiktas go straight to the top of Group B following their three-one win, but with four teams on three points in the table, there's a long way to go yet. (AP)

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