Besiktas and Antalyaspor fought out a dramatic super cup final with The Black Eagles winning (4-2) in a penalty shootout at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayaan amid concerns over COVID 19 protocols.
♪”Gol, gol, gol, gol, gol”♪ Besiktas fan’s almost deafening chants rocked the Ahmed bin Ali stadium on Wednesday night as the notoriously famous Turkish football fans egged their team on in the Super Cup final.
Besiktas captain Atiba Hutchinson opened the scoring in the 33rd minute with his team dominating most of the first half. But after the break, Antalyaspor forced their Istanbul opponents onto the back foot. Halfway through the second half the pressure paid off with Besiktas’ Atiba putting the ball in his own net in the 74th minute.
Both teams failed to convert chances for the rest of the match forcing the game into penalties. After goalkeeper Ersin Destanoglu saved Erdilman Mustafa’s kick, and Floranus Sherel hit the bar, Antalyaspor’s hopes for a maiden title were dashed with their rivals converting all their penalties to win 4-2 in the shootout. The final kick by Vida Domagoj who buried the ball in the net sparked ecstatic celebrations in the Black Eagles camp.
It’s the 10th time the Istanbul-based club lifts the trophy, which for the very first time was played in Qatar.
Fans getting riled up
After the match finished, some Anatalyspor fans clashed with Besiktas supporters. Antalyaspor fans threw plastic water bottles and other projectiles.
However, Police were quickly dispatched to the area and formed a barricade between the two groups of fans and within minutes the situation was under control.
Read also: Will Qatar have enough hotel rooms to host World Cup fans?
COVID 19 concern
Volunteers and organizers constantly instructed fans via loudspeakers to “separate and maintain social distancing protocol.” But fans were adamant about staying together and chanting in congregated groups, while only a fraction of the stadium’s capacity was used, people were not evenly spread out, resulting in sizeable groups of supporters sitting in close proximity of each other.
Organizers of the Super Cup had promised to hold the match under strict protocol procedures. Players, officials, and organizers were put in bio bubble conditions. As for fans, their number was capped at 25% of the stadium capacity (10,185) and their Etheraz status was checked.
A dress rehearsal
The Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium’s hosting of the Turkish Super Cup comes after it also witnessed Egyptian side Al Ahly’s victory over Morocco’s Raja at the African Super Cup game on December 22.
So far, Qatar has hosted numerous international football cup finals after making a bid for the world cup. These include the Club world cup in 2020 and 2021 and the Italian super cup in 2014 and 2016.
These games are going to be part of Qatar’s preparation as the country gears up to host the World Cup later this year.