Besiktas coach Senol Gunes was happy with the spirit his side showed to overcome a 3-0 deficit and claim a point against Benfica to help their chances of Champions League progression.
Goals from Goncalo Guedes, Nelson Semedo and Ljubomir Fejsa gave the Portuguese champions a 3-0 lead inside 31 minutes to stun the home side.
However, the Turkish champions responded in breathtaking style, with Cenk Tosun, Ricardo Quaresma and Vincent Aboubakar all netting to ensure the home side claimed a point.
Napoli’s 0-0 draw at home to Dynamo Kiev means that the Serie A outfit are level on eight points with Benfica at the top of Group B, with Besiktas a point behind.
Gunes claimed his side could have possibly completed the turnaround by snatching a late winner, and praised the character his team showed.
“We’re not happy with the draw, but happy for the 3-0 return. If we had an extra five minutes we could have won the game,” he said.
“It would be sad if we fail in this tournament as we gave much effort to make a strong team.”
Tosun was the man responsible for giving Besiktas hope before the hour mark, and he reflected fondly on Aboubakar’s 89th-minute equaliser.
“There’s nothing like that feeling, I can’t even explain it,” Tosun told reporters after the game. “I think you could tell it from my face, maybe someone has taken [a photo of] that moment; it was incredible.
“I believed even at 3-3 that we could find the fourth goal. Maybe if we had scored the third goal earlier that would have happened, but we are very happy that we remained in the competition.”
Quaresma scored a penalty with seven minutes remaining to bring the Besiktas crowd to life, setting up a grandstand finish.
“We had a poor first half. If you sleep you will be punished,” Quaresma stated. “But we did great to come back with help of fans.”