Istanbul, Sep 16 (IANS): Turkey's Besiktas thrashed Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv 5-1 in their first game of the UEFA Europa League group E fixture here Thursday.
The game received much hype due to the Israeli team's presence in Turkey at a time when diplomatic relations between the two countries are at an all-time low. Besiktas let their football do the talking on the pitch.
The game passed off incident free at Besiktas's scenic Fiyapi Inounu Stadium next to the Bosphorus.
The goals for Besiktas were scored by Hugo Almeida, Mehmet Aurelio, Egemen Korkmaz and Edu while Maccabi's sole strike came from Roi Kehat.
Besiktas had taken a 2-0 lead at half time and played out the game in comfort.
The other teams in the group are Stoke City from England and Dynamo Kiev from Ukraine.
A force of more than 2,300 police officers was deployed just around the stadium to prevent any untoward incident during Maccabi 's visit to Istanbul, according to media reports.
Six Israeli plainclothes police officers accompanied Maccabi to Istanbul as well.
The bringing of Palestinian flags into the stadium was prohibited as well to avoid the risk of sanctions that Besiktas might face as a result.