"I'm happy with the game overall and we produced a decent performance. We had the better chances but there was a phase where we were disorganised and we conceded the goalscoring opportunity that led to the goal against us. It's a pity as we'd obviously preferred to have won the game. The draw was a fair result in the end," said Heiko Herrlich after the match.
The Bayer 04 head coach had to manage without five players from the training camp squad against Basaksehir: Lukas Hradecky (rehab after jaw operation), Karim Bellarabi (rested after heat exhaustion), Charles Aránguiz (knee problems), Sven Bender (workload control) and the departed Panos Retsos (torn thigh ligament) were all unavailable for the match at the Alois Latini Stadium in Zell am See. Herrlich was able to call on World Cup participant Julian Brandt for the first time. "Julian needed time to get into the game. He improved, posed a real threat and produced some really good moves. That's really good after four days training," said Herrlich in praising his number ten. But the 22-year-old found it hard going. As did Leon Bailey, Kai Havertz, Benny Henrichs and Kevin Volland, whose attempted finishes did not find the back of the net in spite of some impressive moves against a solid opponent. At the other end, the Bayer 04 keeper Thorsten Kirschbaum had a quiet night. He was only really stretched once when a long-range effort from the Turkish top-flight side hit the woodwork on the half-hour mark. The two sides went into the break level at 0-0.
Herrlich brought on three new players for the second half – including Paulinho for Brandt. In a repeat of the first half, the Werkself tackled harder and again and again created chances on the break. On 62 minutes, Dominik Kohr converted a cross from Bailey with a header to give the Black and Reds a deserved 1-0 lead. Shortly after that, Volland just missed the chance to double the lead from a pin-point Paulinho cross. It was even more annoying that the visitors from Istanbul in the shape of Edin Visca were able to level at 1-1 on 74 minutes following a rapid counter-attack.
Herrlich's team remained on the front foot after conceding and were, again and again, able to create dangerous moves down the flanks. However, the Black and Reds were unable to find the back of the net again. "If the game had lasted a couple of minutes longer, we would have been on the verge of collapse but I think we would have scored another goal," said Herrlich who had to settle for a draw in the end.
The Werkself training camp in Austria lasts until Sunday. After the friendly in the afternoon (kick-off: 15.30 CET) against Al-Wahda Mecca at the Goldberg Stadium in Grödig it will be time to return home.
Bayer 04: Kirschbaum (Özcan 46') – Henrichs, Tah (Weiser 60'), Dragovic, Wendell – Baumgartlinger (L. Bender 60'), Kohr – Bailey (Schreck 75'), Havertz (Alario 46'), Brandt (Paulinho 46') – Volland (Azhil 75')
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