Besiktas clinch Turkish title on goal difference

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Besiktas seized the Turkish Super Lig title for the 16th time on Saturday with a 2-1 win away to Goztepe, clinching the title on goal difference ahead of their Istanbul rivals Galatasaray in a tense end to the season.

The win lifted Besiktas to 84 points, level with Galatasaray who beat Yeni Malatyaspor 3-1. Besiktas's goal difference of 45 was one better than their rivals. Third-placed Fenerbahce ended on 82 points.

Croatian defender Domagoj Vida put Besiktas ahead in the 10th minute in Izmir, only for Alpaslan Ozturk to equalise for hosts Goztepe 14 minutes later.

With the pressure rising as Galatasaray went ahead in their match, Beskitas's Algerian winger Rachid Ghezzal, on loan from Leicester City, scored the winner from a penalty in the 69th minute.

The usual wild celebrations of champions in Turkey's largest city were muted, with the country under lockdown due to a recent surge in coronavirus cases.

The victory brought relief to Besiktas after a nervous end to the season, with defeats in their previous two matches. Last weekend they lost 3-1 away to Galatasaray, who won their final six games.

Besiktas last won the Super Lig title in the 2016-17 season but their fortunes revived this season under coach Sergen Yalcin, a former star player at the club.

The team are captained by Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson, and his compatriot, forward Cyle Larin, was the club's top scorer this season with 19 goals. Cameroonian striker Vincent Aboubakar contributed another 15.

Besiktas have the chance to claim the domestic double on Tuesday when they play Antalyaspor in the Turkish Cup Final.

(Reporting by Daren Butler; editing by Clare Fallon)

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