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Europa League: Shakhtar to play Istanbul Basaksehir

Friday, August 5, 2016



On August 5, Nyon hosted the UEFA Europa League play-off round draw

At this stage, Shakhtar Donetsk will lock horns with Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey.

The matches will be held on 18 and 25 August. Shakhtar will play the first leg away.

Istanbul Basaksehir is quite a young club. Its history dates back to 1990. Previously, it was called Istanbul BB, and its greatest success is reaching the Turkish Cup final in the 2010/11 season. The club acquired its current name Istanbul Basaksehir in 2014, which is reflected on the club crest.

Last season, the Istanbul side won the 4th place in the league and got the right to start in European competitions. In the Europa League 3rd qualifying round, Istanbul knocked out Croatia’s Rijeka (after a 0-0 stalemate in Istanbul, the Turks drew 2-2 away and advanced further through the away goals). The Bosnian Edin Višća got himself on the scoresheet in the return leg.

In general, Istanbul-based team features many familiar names. Those are a graduate of Fenerbahce and Turkey national team goalkeeper Volkan Babacan; the well known for his performances in Moldova and Russia Alexandru Epureanu; the former Braga Brazilian Mossoro, alongside the captain Emre Belozoglu, whoneeds no introduction.

The head coach is a 53-year-old Abdullah Avci, who used to manage Turkey national team. The team play their home games at the Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadyumu. It was opened in 2014 and has the seating capacity of just over 17,000. 

Photo courtesy of Istanbul Basaksehir