Edin Višća was once again the Turkish side's late hero as his 88th-minute penalty gave them the edge in this last-32 tie.
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İstanbul Başakşehir earned a narrow lead to take to Denmark next week as Edin Višća again came to the rescue.
Match at a glance
The hosts had the better of the first half and adopted a direct approach, although the breakthrough they sought almost arrived through inadvertent means when Višća got in the way of a hopeful long-range shot, sending the ball ricocheting onto the post. Despite the early scare, Copenhagen rallied, although wayward shooting from Mohamed Daramy and Rasmus Falk ensured a quiet night for home keeper Mert Günok
If the opening 45 minutes were characterised by a lack of shooting accuracy, there were fewer chances to capitalise upon after the break. Demba Ba had the best of them, coming agonisingly close to connecting with a cross from substitute Robinho. Višća sealed the win by emphatically converting his spot kick after Guillermo Varela was adjudged to have impeded Ba inside the penalty area.
View from the stadium: Görkem Kirgiz
The hosts tried their best to apply consistent pressure against a Copenhagen side who clearly neither wanted to concede nor take too many risks. Until the penalty, they almost succeeded – but Başakşehir got what they wanted from an evenly matched contest.
Edin Višća, İstanbul Başakşehir winger: "It is a good result but nothing is finished for us. We expected a tough game and Copenhagen really showed they are a compact, good team who play very well. We have played a lot of games and are tired. They are strong and tough and 0-0 would have been okay. I believe we can reach the quarter-finals in Copenhagen."
Okan Buruk, İstanbul Başakşehir coach: "It was a very difficult game. Copenhagen always play a 4-4-2 formation and on the defensive side they played very well today. Normally we create a lot but today we didn't. It was very important to not concede – it's been a great night for us."
Ståle Solbakken, Copenhagen coach: "It was an even game but they had a couple more chances than us. Maybe they were one goal better than us."
Martin Škrtel, İstanbul Başakşehir defender: "We won but we have to say it was a tough game against good opponents. They are well-organised and press well but we scored the goal and didn't concede, which is good before the second game. Nothing is finished yet and it will be a very difficult game there. We will be ready."
- This was Başakşehir's debut in the round of 16 of UEFA competition.
- Višća has scored four goals in his last three UEFA Europa League games.
- Başakşehir are 11 home games (W9) unbeaten, conceding only seven goals in that time.
- Eleven of the Turkish team's 13 goals in this season’s competition have come after half-time.
- Başakşehir have won five of their last seven games in the UEFA Europa League. Prior to that, they had only won three of 22 matches in European competition.
- Copenhagen have not kept a clean sheet in ten matches.
İstanbul Başakşehir: Mert Günok; Júnior Caiçara, Škrtel, A. Epureanu, Clichy; Aleksić, Mahmut Tekdemir (Gulbrandsen 85), İrfan Can Kahveci; Višća (Azubuike 90+1), Ba, Crivelli (Robinho 74)
Copenhagen: Johnsson; Varela, Nelsson, Bjelland, Bengtsson; Pep Biel (Bartolec 89), Zeca, Stage; Daramy (Kaufmann 61), Santos (Fischer 82), Falk