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Draw looms large for Galatasaray's Arda

Arda Turan turned attentions to Friday's draw after scoring in Galatasaray AŞ's 5-1 win against OFK Beograd to earn a play-off place. "The most important thing is we're through," he said.

Galatasaray celebrate in Belgrade
Galatasaray celebrate in Belgrade ©UEFA.com

Galatasaray AŞ playmaker Arda Turan is looking forward to Friday's UEFA Europa League play-off draw after scoring in the Turkish side's 5-1 third qualifying round second-leg win against OFK Beograd that took them through 7-3 on aggregate.

OFK had come from 2-0 down to earn a shock 2-2 draw in Istanbul last week, but Frank Rijkaard's team were quick to ensure there would not be another upset at the Omladinski stadium. Mustafa Sarp and Harry Kewell put the visitors 2-0 up by the midway point of the first half and though Danilo Nikolić pulled a goal back on 32 minutes, his dismissal 12 minutes after the restart for pulling down Kewell in the area turned the tie definitively Galatasaray's way.

The Australian converted the resulting penalty before further goals from Arda (71) and substitute Mehmet Batdal (81) completed a comfortable evening. "We played well, better than in Istanbul where we made a lot of tactical mistakes," Arda said. "Here we tried to correct those mistakes. It was harder to play in Belgrade because of the temperature and humidity, but we gave everything and the most important thing is that we are through to the play-off."

Rijkaard was delighted with his side's desire to make amends after a disappointing first leg at the Ali Sami Yen. "This was a very important match for me," he said. "We tried to control the game throughout the 90 minutes. In the first match OFK surprised us with their play and finally with the result. We were in shock. Here we quickly went 2-0 up, but OFK didn't back down and pulled a goal back. The penalty was the turning point."

OFK coach Dejan Djurdjević added: "This was a great experience for my team and I'm satisfied because we played a good game and the fans were pleased. This match has made a big impression on the players, and I don't think it will affect their morale. Galatasaray showed today what a great club they are and how experienced their players are."