Hamsik rescues draw for Napoli


Paris (AFP) – Napoli stayed on course for a place in the Champions League last 16 after Marek Hamsik’s excellent late goal secured a 1-1 draw with Besiktas in Istanbul on Tuesday.

The Turkish champions had claimed a stunning 3-2 win in the reverse fixture in Naples last month to improve their own prospects in Group B and they looked to be on course to do the double at the Vodafone Arena.

Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson hit the woodwork for the home side in the first half but it took them until 12 minutes from time to get the opening goal.

English referee Mark Clattenburg awarded a penalty when a Vincent Aboubakar cross struck the arm of Nikola Maksimovic in the box and Ricardo Quaresma converted from 12 yards.

However, Napoli were back on level terms in the 82nd minute when skipper Hamsik took a touch and curled a shot past Fabri from 25 yards into the bottom-left corner.

The draw means Napoli are top of Group B, a point clear of Besiktas. However, Benfica can leapfrog both of them into first place if they win at home to Dynamo Kiev later.

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