Matías Delgado says Beşiktaş JK are ready to avenge their defeat against FC Porto on Matchday 2 as they bid to reach the knockout stages for the first time.
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Beşiktaş JK midfielder Matías Delgado says his team are ready to avenge their defeat against FC Porto on Matchday 2 as they bid to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League for the first time.
'Our turn to win'
Ricardo Quaresma's goal two minutes into added time ensured the Portuguese champions left Istanbul with a 1-0 win at the start of October. Two months on, Delgado insists it is time to right that wrong at the Estádio do Dragão. "We didn't deserve to lose that night," he told uefa.com. "Everybody saw we performed very well. Now it is our turn to win."
Beşiktaş are bottom of the section on six points and must win in Porto to advance to the knockout phase. That they have a chance at all is of immense credit to Ertuğrul Sağlam's side, who bounced back from a competition record 8-0 loss to Liverpool FC to beat Olympique de Marseille 2-1, thanks to a late goal of their own. As a consequence, confidence is sky-high once more.
"When Marseille came to Istanbul before Matchday 5, they were only thinking about beating us," Delgado said. "They were expecting a bad team because we had conceded eight goals at Anfield. They never expected such a well-organised side. Regardless we only had one aim: to win. With that motivation and morale from our passionate supporters, we scored the opening goal.
"We sat back to much in the first 25 minutes of the second half and they equalised as a result. We deserved to score the winning goal in the last minutes of the game which made all Beşiktaş fans and certainly us very happy. With that triumph, I think we proved the strong bond between the players."
Delgado joined Beşiktaş in June 2006 for €4.4m after three successful years with FC Basel 1893. The former CA River Plate and Chacarita Juniors player took time to adapt to the demands of Turkish football, but is now flourishing in his second season in Istanbul. After playing on the right wing under Jean Tigana last season, Delgado is now producing his best form as playmaker for Sağlam.
"When our coach joined the club [in the summer], we discussed my position a lot. He chose to put me behind the striker, especially behind Bobo which is where I like to play. When I play in that position, we generally win. I hope it continues like this." Delgado turns 25 next Saturday, four days after the most important match of his career so far. No prizes for guessing what would make the ideal present. "We can win at Porto," Delgado said. "Needless to say it will be like a final. I hope it will be a good game."