A night to forget for Fenerbahce as they crash out of the Champions League at the start of August. It is only just over a month ago that the Turkish club parted ways with German manager Christoph Daum and since then the Fenerbahce sporting director has become the manager. However such an early exit will make him immediately unpopular and the nature of the defeat only serves to emphasise this.
Their opponents, Young Boys from Switzerland, should still be given their due though. After a 2-2 draw in Bern, Fenerbahce were expected to finish off the job at home but a strong performance by Vladimir Petković's men sees them through to meet a high profile side like Sampdoria or Werder Bremen and only two games away from the group stages.
Fenerbahce started this evenings game brightly enough but were soon forced back by a strong Swiss side who were clearly not going to roll over. Their intention to score goals was made clear by a strong attacking partnership of Costanzo and Bienvenu with Lulic and Degen often penetrating on their respective wings with skill and pace.
Real clear cut chance for Young Boys were few and far between for much of the first half but when Doubai put Bienvenu through in the 40th minute, the Cameroonian made sure he finished. Meanwhile, Fenerbahce made little progress at the other end though this was not for want of trying. The Turkish side though struggled from only having 28 year old Gökhan Ünal up front on his own and he often got lost in the Young Boys back line. This solid defence meant Fenerbahce only had one shot on target during the entire first half and they were not to have any more in the second period.
They did suffer a setback relatively early on in the second half though that clearly affected the team. On 53 minutes,left-winger Stoch was sent off for a second bookable offence. The Slovak was judged to have dived when trying to win a penalty by referee, and fellow Eastern European, Alexey Nikolaev. This and three defensive subsitutions by Young Boys pretty much killed the game off.
A glimmer of hope appeared when Semih Sentürk joined Unal in attack. For the first time, Fenerbahce had two attackers on the pitch and looked a real threat. Unfortunately for Fenerbahce fans the subsitution was only made in the 81st minute and the equaliser never arrived.
In the end Young Boys won the game simply because they could score a goal; unlike their Turkish counterparts. Despite playing at home, Fenerbahce will have learned that relying on away goals to put you through is not a sensible tactic as their inability to penetrate the Swiss defence proved fatal. Of course the sending off didn't help and at the times the partnership of Stoch and Dia looked good. Neither ever looked like actually scoring though and the lone striker rarely looked like getting a touch, never mind hitting the back of the net.