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Beşiktaş win in Sofia to sail into knockout stages

PFC CSKA Sofia 1-2 Beşiktaş JK
Bernd Schuster's side are assured of their place in the round of 32 after a victory which ended their opponents' chances.

Filip Hološko takes the plaudits after doubling Beşiktaş's lead
Filip Hološko takes the plaudits after doubling Beşiktaş's lead ©Getty Images

Beşiktaş JK beat PFC CSKA Sofia 2-1 to book a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 and end their opponents' hopes of qualifying.

Bernd Schuster's side knew victory would assure them of a top-two berth in Group L and always looked capable of going up a gear if goals were not forthcoming. They were after half-time, though, Tomáš Zápotočný and Filip Hološko doing the damage to leave CSKA bottom of the section despite Cillian Sheridan's consolation four minutes after entering the fray.

Beşiktaş's Matchday 1 win came via Fabian Ernst's header and the German midfielder had an early chance to pick up in Sofia from where he left off in Istanbul, Raïs M'Bolhi turning his shot behind with minimum fuss. Though the dominant visitors' patience was understandable, their hosts' looked to be wearing thin.

Restricted to only a speculative Alexandar Tonev strike until the half's penultimate minute, Sasho Hristov's side then spurned as clear an opportunity as any that had gone before. Spas Delev, having shown a clean pair of heels to the Beşiktaş defence, should have at least tested Cenk Gönen. With half-time in sight, he was finally forced into action to repel Michel's fierce strike.

CSKA failed to take any momentum into the second half, however, and found themselves facing a greater struggle just before the hour, Zápotočný's free header leaving M'Bolhi with no chance. The home custodian looked to have the odds equally stacked against him soon after but somehow tipped Ali Küçik's drive over.

M'Bolhi's fortunes soon took a turn for worse when he slipped while in possession and Hološko stroked into the empty net for a decisive second. Sheridan came off the bench and scored a copycat of Zápotočny's opener but it was not enough.