Match Report: Hearts 0-4 Istanbul Basaksehir

10 August 2022

Hasan Ali Kaldirim’s first-half strike set the visitors on their way, with Youssouf Ndayishimiye, Stefano Okaka and Berkay Ozcan goals enough to seal victory, though the Jambos passed up some good chances of their own.

Despite the visitors piling on the pressure in the opening stages, it was Hearts who carved open the game’s first chance on 15 minutes after a quick breakaway saw Andy Halliday do so well to get around his man and into the box, but as he looked to the pull the trigger he had the ball stolen away from him with a great last-ditch tackle.

That move seemed to spark the Jambos into life and moments later Barrie McKay played a wonder through-ball to split the visitors’ defence but it was just too far ahead of Lawrence Shankland, who had sprung the offside trap, and Muhammed Sengezer was quick off his line to gather.

Craig Gordon had to be alert in the 20th minute to push away Danijel Aleksic’s powerful header, before saving again from a header, this time from Leo Duarte, from the resulting corner.

Three minutes later, Hearts had an effort cleared off the line. McKay’s short corner saw Michael Smith swing a cross into the box and Stephen Kingsley managed to outjump the goalkeeper, sending the ball towards Peter Haring but his header was acrobatically cleared stopped from crossing the line.

The deadlock was broken after 26 minutes and it was courtesy of a stunning strike. Hearts were unable to clear their lines and gifted the ball back to Istanbul Basaksehir at the edge of the box. From there, it was moved across to Ali Kaldirim, and he smashed a left-foot shot into Gordon’s top left corner.

Gordon was at his best to deny Bertrand Traore with a stunning reaction save after the visitors had worked their way into the Hearts box, and although Aleksic had the follow up on a plate he blasted over the bar.

Hearts started the second period brightly, with Shankland presented with the ball inside the box only two minutes in. He elected to shoot early, and it didn’t trouble Sengezer.

Fortune favoured the Jambos minutes later, when Traore danced through the Hearts defence and pulled the trigger on 18-yards but his shot flew past Gordon and came crashing back off the bar.

There was another sigh of relief just before the hour mark when Nathaniel Atkinson’s clearance from a cross rebounded straight off a visiting player and towards goal, but thankfully the ball spun away from the target.

Josh Ginnelly was introduced shortly after and nearly made an instant impact after getting to the second ball from Alex Cochrane’s cross, but he sliced his effort wide.

Substitute Ndayishimiye doubled Istanbul Basaksehir’s lead on 68 minutes, meeting a cross into the box unmarked and bulleted a header home from close range.

It was 3-0 with fifteen minutes remaining when Okaka bulldozed his way through the Hearts defence before seeing his heavily deflected shot bounce up and away from the outstretched hand of Gordon, and into the back of the net.

Okaka nearly got his brace three minutes later, meeting a cross into the six-yard box but his deft header fell inches wide of Gordon’s right-hand post.

The fourth did come in the 82nd minute, when substitute Ozcan weaved into the box and saw a shot take a big deflection off a maroon shirt and bounce into the net.

Hearts: Gordon, M. Smith, Kingsley, Haring (Humphrys, 46’), Shankland (Henderson, 87’), Atkinson, Devlin (C. smith, 73’), Halliday (Neilson, 87’), Forrest (Ginnelly, 59’), McKay, Cochrane. Subs: Stewart, Clark, Mackay-Steven, Sibbick, Pollock.

Istanbul Basaksehir: Sengezer, Ali Kaldirm, Duarte, Gurier (Chouiar, 63’), Aleksic, Traore (Ozcan, 73’), Biglia (Tekdemir, 63’), Turuc, Ali Sahiner, Touba (Ndayishimiye, 46’), Okaka. Subs: Babacan, Dilmen, Celik, Szysz, Arslantas, Koyuncu, Lima, Caicara.