TURKEY: Süper Lig Review – Week 1


WEEK 1 – 16th – 19th August 2013


Antalya hosted Erciyesspor in the first match of the season.

It was the first opportunity for Erciyesspor showed off some of their new transfers like Björn Vleminckx and Cem Can. Antalya had the majority of the chances early on and there were calls from the hosts for a penalty when Serkan Atak was thought to have brought down Ismail Aissati. The referee did not blow his whistle.

The late summer heat on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast was hard to handle for even professional athletes and the players took a break around the twenty-fifth minute to drink water.

Erciyesspor had their chances too but Randall Azofeifa, Sinan Kaloğlu and Yasin Öztekin could not avoid the gloves of Antalya keeper Hakan Arıkan on multiple occassions. Hakan was given the nod to start by Samet Aybab ahead of Sašo Fornezzi in order to fit more foreigners in the squad and the Turkish keeper, known for making mistakes, kept out shot after shot.

There was a fan in the stadium with a flag that said ‘Club Brugges’ and he may have been pointing out that Erciyesspor has two former players at the Belgian side: keeper Bojan Jorgačević and forward Björn Vleminckx.

The match ended as it started; and the first match of the season ended 0-0.


Even though the Ankara-based side looked good in the pre-season with fresh faces and even an exhibition victory against Spanish side Malaga, Gençlerbirliği fell 0-1 in Rize.

Sercan Kaya accepted a pass from Tevfik Köse and slipped past the defense and had only the keeper to beat. He held on to the ball until the last possible second and allowed Ramazan Köse to attempt to knock the ball way. Sercan, with a stroke of his foot, pushed the ball into the net and Rize were 1-0 up.

Rize were in control during the whole match but missed out on several chances to increase their lead. A home victory is, of course, a welcome surprise for the promoted team.


Karabükspor had experienced players upfront including Lomana LuaLua and Gökhan Ünal. That being said, however, Kaşımpasa made some of the most surprising transfers this summer in their bid to be treated like a true Istanbul side.

Early on Karabük protested Sancak Kaplan’s terrible tackle in the box against Samba Sow which went without card or call. Sancak’s tackle is a part of a growing trend of tough tackling in the Süper Lig

Dutch Kaşımpasa player Ryan Babel had a chance minutes later but his poorly-hit shot went wide. The former Liverpool winger caught a lofted ball from Özer Hurmacı but he hit the ball with his right across goal for a goal kick. The other Dutchman of the team, Ryan Donk, had his own chance when a corner kick met his forehead. The centre-back’s header was wide of the target.

Sancak Kaplan got himself in more trouble when an Ahmet İlhan cross brushed his arm. Sancak was shielding the ball to prevent İlhan Parlak from getting a crack at it.

Gökhan Ünal broke the deadlock three minutes from half-time when he diverted a cross from Hakan Özmert. The latter crossed from the corner flag and Gökhan rose to head the ball unmarked.

After resuming play LuaLua made a run from his own half to score on Isaksson. Ahmet İlhan saw Lua-Lua unmarked and intercepted a lofted pass from a Kaşımpasa player. Most of the Kaşımpasa team were in the Karabük half on account of a freekick but Lua-Lua out-ran Matías Fritzler and took the ball all the way to the opposition’s goal, scoring in the fifty-fourth minute.

Ahmet İlhan and his teammate İlhan Parlak both had chances but could not finish. Karabük goalkeeper Boy Waterman performed well. Furkan Özçal, on-loan from Galatasaray scored from where he was standing to the delight of the home fans but the play was ruled offside. Karabük were very much in control of the match and finished the ninety minutes with the same status.


Konya had an undisciplined defense which brought down advancing Fenerbahçe players on multiple occasions. The first time, Emmanuel Emenike was sandwiched between two defenders and fell with no intention on their part to obtain the ball. Emenike waited for a penalty call but the referee was not responsive.

Moments later a corner kick passed short to Emre was launched to the far post and Yobo headed it across goal out of the reach of Konya’s keeper, Cameroonian international Charles Itandje. With Nigerian forward Emmanuel Emenike playing his first game for the team, no one thought first blood would be stuck by his compatriot Joseph Yobo.

A few minutes later Emre had his name on the score sheet as he buried a penalty. Hasan Ali was blatantly brought down in the penalty area and the referee had to give the call. Itandje picked the right side to leap at but his gloves were just below Emre’s precise strike.

At half way through the first half, Fener were ahead by two. A surprising feat considering Fenerbahçe are known for faltering to promoted sides on opening day.

Except for a free kick from Erdal Kılıçaslan, which looked likely to have gone in had Mert not positioned himself excellently, Konya did not challenge Fener’s backup keeper Mert Günök the entire first half.

The second half opened with a more aggressive Konya side. The half-time introduction of Konya number seven Ömer Ali introduced more life into the side and he created chances as well as got his own shots at goal. Mert was up the challenge though.

Around fifty-five minutes into the game Emenike almost opened his Fenerbahçe account but his shot directly hit the keeper. It was a rush at goal after a corner kick so more than a few players blocked the Nigerian’s view.

In the seventy-first minute Erdal was brought down by Mehmet Topuz who flailed his leg in an attempt to sweep the ball out of his legs. The referee pointed at the spot and Gunnar Thorvaldsson stepped up to take the penalty. He went to the keeper’s right and Mert did too launching the chest-height shot out of play for a corner.

Minutes later however the Fener defense hot caught on one side of the field and left the left side of the goal open. Tomáš Borek received the ball off of a pass and put the ball into the net. After the restart Emenike went one-on-one with Itandje but did not finish properly.

On the opposite side of the field, Ali Çamdalı took a throw-in and accepted it on his right foot, knocked It to his left and tied the game up.

Thorvaldsson, who missed a penalty just minutes earlier, out-muscled substitute Salih Uçan on an aerial ball on the edge of the field. The Icelandic forward collected the ball and passed it into space for another substitution, Recep Aydın. Recep made no mistake and scored the winning goal.


Undoubtedly the ‘main event of the evening’, Trabzonspor looked like they had turned up in the wrong stadium. Beşiktaş’s usual stadium had been demolished in May of this year and Istanbul’s government-owned Atatürk Olympic Stadium is being used in the interim.

Tolga Zengin was in net for the home-away-from-home team in his first league match for Beşiktaş. Tolga’s former protégé Onur Kıvrak played opposite to him.

Playing in an unfamiliar setting, Beşiktaş got going early on with Manuel Fernandes and Atiba Hutchinson combining well in the midfield. Mustafa Pektemek brought pace to the attack but could not find a breakthrough.

Thirty-nine minutes in Florent Malouda hit the back of the net after bypassing the defense. But the position was ruled offside much to the frustration of the former Chelsea icon.

Trabzon opted for more physical tactics, however, and limited the freedom with which Fernandes could pull the strings.

In the seventy-fifth minute Olcay Şahan, making a run on the left side of the goalkeeper, received a low pass from Fernandes and hit the ball across his body and into the lower-right corner of the net. The goal was well-deserved considering how many times BJK came close to scoring on free kicks.

Minutes later Gökhan Töre scored on his debut. Olcay Şahan dispossessed right back Zeki Yavru near well into the Trabzon half and ran towards goal. As the Trabzon defense rushed to close him down Olcay passed to Gökhan Töre on the edge of the middle of the keeper’s box. Gökhan took the ball past two players and chipped it above Onur who was prepared for a low shot and was kneeling down.

Tolga Zengin made a few saves to see off his former employer and earn his first clean sheet for Beşiktaş.


Two goals late in the second half – including an embarrassing own-goal sealed Bursa’s fate.

In the seventy-fifth minute a low cross from Erkan Zengin was diverted into the Bursa goal by number two Renato Civelli. Four minutes later Erkan passed the right back with skill on the ball and crossed high and over a short distance to Henri Bienvenu. The Cameroonian headed over Bursa keeper Sebasiten Frey and the home side’s lead was doubled.

Despite being awarded a penalty just five minutes later Bursa could not amount a comeback. The penalty was given in a strange set of circumstances; Alfred N’Diaye pulled down Civelli prior to a corner and was given a yellow card. The spectators did not even change their tone when the penalty was given which made the situation seem strange. Sebastien Pinto kicked the ball slightly right of the keeper and Ruud Boffin made the save easily. He hit the ball out but it was cleared quickly.

There were more chances for the home side when Necati Ateş came on for Bienvenu but he was ruled offside on one occasion and shot wide of the goal on another. The match ended 2-0 for Eskişehir.


The away side broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time when Tidane Sane headed a deflected aerial ball. Akhisar’s defense and goalkeeper were caught unexpectedly because the ball came off a defender from a shot from outside the box. The keeper was off his line and Sane headed over him.

Just thirty seconds after half time, Akhisar won a free kick and. Güray Vural launched the corner and Kenan Özer headed the ball back into the danger zone as the cross only came to the closer post. Bruno Mezenga, unmarked, easily kicked the ball into the back of the net.

Eight minutes later Akhisar struck again. Uğur Demirok gave a weighted pass forward allowing Oumar Niasse to bypass his marker and cut in to fire on goal. With both centre back and goalie diving to block his shot, he did just that and kicked the ball precisely into the net.

Uğur Demirok got his name on the score sheet in stoppage time with a needlessly conceded penalty and Akhisar came back one goal down to win convincingly.


Kayserispor hosted fellow central Anatolians Sivasspor.

Receiving a pass from Marcio Nobre, Sefa Yılmaz took his time and launched a low shot from the outer left (with respect to the net)corner of the keeper’s box and scored shorty after half time. The keeper got hand to it but his hand deflected ball into the air about half a metre into the air. It was the only goal of the game.


Eight minutes in Drogba saw a wide gap in Gaziantep’s defense and sent a weighted pass to Burak Yılmaz. He had time to plan as he remained unchallenged inside the keeper’s box and sent a forward-seeking pass to Wesley Sneijder. Gaziantep keeper Žydrūnas Karčemarskas tried to attack the ball with a two-footed tackle but Sneijder reached the ball first as it approached the boundary of play and met it with his foot to kick it into an empty goal.

In the fifty-first minute Sneijder sent lofted pass to Burak but this time Karčemarskas got to him early. The Lithuanian made no attempt to win the ball and directly fouled the Turkish forward in the box. The referee pointed to the spot and Burak stepped up to take the spot kick.

The pass highlighted the poor defending Gaziantep had been practising all match and Galatasaray took a well-deserved goal though Burak. He sent it to the keeper’s right and Karčemarskasm who at this point was likely having one of the worst games of his career, careened to his left.

Two goals up, Galatasaray did concede in the seventy-fifth minute by way of a röveşata or bicycle kick. Muhammet Demir. The play came subsequent to a corner kick and Muahmmet had the ball played to him from a header on his left. With his back to goal he smashed the ball behind him to around keeper Fernando Muslera’s chest height. Muslera got a hand to it but could not prevent the fabulous goal.


20130820 - Turkish Super Lig

Yusuf Nasihi

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