Fenerbahce manager Philip Cocu has revealed the reason why new signing Andre Ayew was left out of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round defeat against Benfica.

A solitary strike by Franco Cervi in the 69th minute handed the Portuguese giants a narrow 1-0 first leg advantage.

Ayew was a major doubt ahead of the crucial encounter after sustaining an injury to his right ankle during the friendly win over Italian side Cagliari.

Despite training normally with the rest of the group at the Estadio da Luz on Monday, the 28 year old was surprisingly left out of the squad for Tuesday’s game.

According to the Dutch manager, he didn’t want to unnecessary risk with his summer acquisition and is hoping to have him fully fit for the return leg in Turkey.

“Ayew did the work out but we saw some problems. Taking any risk could prolong the injury. He wanted to feature but he would have to wait for the second game”

By Daraja Mutari