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Fenerbahçe come through Plzeň inquest

Published: Thursday 14 March 2013, 22.58CET
Fenerbahçe SK 1-1 FC Viktoria Plzeň (agg: 2-1)
Salih Uçan's first goal for the Turkish outfit set them on course for victory but the visitors came the width of a post from completing a fine comeback.
by Dirk Vermeiren
from Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium

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Published: Thursday 14 March 2013, 22.58CET

Fenerbahçe come through Plzeň inquest

Fenerbahçe SK 1-1 FC Viktoria Plzeň (agg: 2-1)
Salih Uçan's first goal for the Turkish outfit set them on course for victory but the visitors came the width of a post from completing a fine comeback.

Substitute Salih Uçan underlined his status as Fenerbahçe SK's new favourite son as his goal late in the first half proved enough to hold off a valiant FC Viktoria Plzeň in this round of 16 second leg.

The 19-year-old midfielder had been on the pitch for only nine minutes, replacing the injured Mehmet Topal, when he pickpocketed the dallying Pavel Horváth and drove in. The Czech team, on top until then, got back on terms on the night through Vladimír Darida after 61 minutes – and then came close to taking an away-goals lead but the hosts held on to secure their place in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

Trailing 1-0 from last week's home first leg, Plzeň took the initiative from the off and Marek Bakoš, David Limberský and Marián Čišovský all threatened with headers. The Turkish hosts slowly came to life and, after Moussa Sow had tested Matúš Kozáčik, teenager Salih gave the goalkeeper no chance with an opportunistic effort – dispossessing Horváth following Cristian's centre and firing in. It was his first goal for the Istanbul club.

Plzeň responded well, regaining the momentum, though it was Fenerbahçe who enjoyed the better openings after the restart with Cristian twice testing the attentive Kozáčik. Darida provided the visitors with a lifeline as Jan Kovařík cut in from the right and passed to the edge of the box where the midfielder collected before dispatching a shot low to Volkan Demirel's right.

The tie was in the balance, almost tilting Plzeň's way when Limberský hit the left upright with a low rasping drive and Michal Ďuriš's header rose narrowly over. Pavel Vrba's men kept plugging away, but it was Aykut Kocaman's side who held on to progress.

Last updated: 16/03/13 0.10CET

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