ANTALYA, TURKEY – Midfielder Shinji Kagawa came off the bench late to strike twice in his debut for Besiktas in a 6-2 win at Antalyaspor in the Turkish League on Sunday.
Kagawa, who joined Besiktas on loan from runaway German Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund until the end of the season, entered the fray in the 81st minute with the visitors leading 4-1, and made an immediate impact.
The former Manchester United man scored with a low strike from the edge of the box past Antalyaspor goalkeeper Ruud Boffin, then swept home a free kick to complete his brace six minutes from time.
“It’s a dream debut, and I’m off to a great start,” Kagawa said.
“In every match, my only aim will be to win. Let’s see how successful I am at delivering results. That’s really going to be all that matters,” he said.
Besiktas, third in the Turkish Super Lig, has reportedly agreed to a €1.6-million ($1.8 million) loan fee for Kagawa, with the option to make the transfer permanent in the summer.
Kagawa played only two league games for Dortmund this season.
He had been publicly seeking a transfer to Spain after being unable to beat out club captain Marco Reus, who has proven pivotal in Borussia’s pursuit of their first Bundesliga title in seven seasons.
Kagawa, who turns 30 in March, moved to Dortmund from J. League side Cerezo Osaka in July 2010 and contributed to back-to-back Bundesliga titles. He spent two lackluster seasons with Manchester United before returning to Dortmund in 2014.
Besiktas is one of three big clubs based in Istanbul, alongside Fenerbahce and Galatasaray, where Japan defender Yuto Nagatomo plays.
Elsewhere, in the Belgian League, Daichi Kamada and Yuta Toyokawa had one goal apiece in Sint-Truiden’s 4-1 win over Eupen at Stayen Stadium.
Toyokawa latched onto a header in the box in the ninth minute to put the visitors ahead, but Sint-Truiden midfielder Kamada erased the lead with an equalizer 10 minutes later, his 11th goal of the season.
Yohan Boli netted a brace and Alexis De Sart’s goal in extra time helped Sint-Truiden see off Eupen and keep alive its hopes of reaching the six-team tier-1 playoffs by remaining in fifth.
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