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Walters completes Stoke comeback against Beşiktaş

Stoke City FC 2-1 Beşiktaş JK
Jon Walters' 77th-minute penalty earned the Potters a victory that lifts them to the top of Group E, with the Black Eagles having led early on.

Walters completes Stoke comeback against Beşiktaş
Walters completes Stoke comeback against Beşiktaş ©UEFA.com

Stoke City FC came from behind to beat Beşiktaş JK 2-1 and leapfrog their opponents at the top of UEFA Europa League Group E.

Substitute Jon Walters' 77th-minute penalty settled an entertaining contest that began with two early goals as Roberto Hilbert put the visitors ahead after 14 minutes and Peter Crouch equalised 60 seconds later. It was Stoke's third home victory in their maiden UEFA Europa League campaign and continued this season's superb run at a ground where none of Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC have managed a victory.

Stoke's visitors in this competition will have to cope with an aerial bombardment the like of which they do not face in their domestic leagues, and Carlos Carvalhal's side had a let-off from the first corner when Robert Huth rose above Rüştü Reçber but failed to get his header on target.

The two opening goals underlined the contrast in styles. Five Beşiktaş players had touches as they worked the ball across the pitch before Ricardo Quaresma split the home defence with a cute pass behind Huth. Full-back Hilbert, bursting into the space behind the German, stabbed a low finish past Thomas Sørensen.

The lively Beşiktaş supporters – numbering some 1,700 – were not celebrating long as Crouch made it 1-1. Stoke's record signing has previous against Beşiktaş, having struck twice in an 8-0 Liverpool defeat of them in 2007, and he stuck out a long leg to steer the loose ball into the net after Ryan Shawcross had flicked on Dean Whitehead's corner.

Although the visitors had a spell of possession at the start of the second period, Stoke began making chances. Rüştü turned a Walters shot on to the crossbar, before Shawcross and Rory Delap both flashed efforts over. Quaresma's deflected shot looped on to the post at the other end but it was Stoke who grabbed the winner, Walters sending Rüştü the wrong way from the spot after Crouch went down under a Tomáš Sivok challenge.