Turkey's Besiktas beat Norwegian Sarpsborg 3-1 in their first game in Europa League 2018-19 group stage on Thursday.

The UEFA Europa League group stage began on Thursday.

In Group I game, Black Eagles pressured well the Norwegian side at Besiktas' Vodafone Park in Istanbul and had relatively more possession but Sarpsborg had created better chances in the first half of the match.

Black Eagles started the second half with better chances and scored the goal at 51st minute with Babel.

At 69th minute, Ljajic delivered a free-kick and Roco rose to head past Vasyutin and scored the second goal for Black Eagles. Besiktas' Lens drilled in the third goal to kill off any comeback hopes for Norwegian side.

Sarpsborg scored at 90+4 with a powerful header by Zachariassen.

The sides met for first time in UEFA competition and Sarpsborg made their first trip to Turkey.

Besiktas finished fourth in Turkey last season, while Sarpsborg were third in Norway.

The first two teams each from 12 groups will reach the last 32 round of the Europa League. The final will be held in the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan on May 29.

Turkey's Galatasaray, the Lions, is the only Turkish club that won the cup in 1999-2000.

The results of the matches kick off at 1755 GMT:

Group G: Rapid Wien 2-0 Spartak Moskva, Villarreal 2-2 Rangers

Group H: Lazio 2-1 Apollon, Marseille 1-2 Frankfurt

Group I: Genk 2-0 Malmo, Besiktas 3-1 Sarpsborg

Group J: Akhisar 0-1 Krasnodar, Sevilla 5-1 Standard Liège

Group K: Dynamo Kyiv 2-2 Astana, Rennes 2-1 Jablonec

Group L: Vidi 0-2 BATE, PAOK 0-1 Chelsea

The matches kick off at 2000 GMT:

Group A: Ludogorets v Leverkusen, AEK Larnaca v Zurich

Group B: Celtic v Rosenborg, Leipzig v Salzburg

Group C: Slavia Praha v Bordeaux, Kobenhavn v Zenit

Group D: Dinamo Zagreb v Fenerbahce, Spartak Trnava v Anderlecht

Group E: Arsenal v Vorskla, Sporting CP v Qarabag

Group F: Olympiacos v Betis, Dudelange v AC Milan