TURKEY: Süper Lig Review – Week 3


WEEK 3 – 30th August – 1st September 2013


Eskişehir managed to keep the match the way it started against Galatasaray. Eskişehir forward Necati Ateş could not provide a breakthrough against his former team despite multiple chances in front of goal. The home side have not hit a vein of form as of yet this season and even lost to a demoralised Fenerbahçe last week.

The match started off with an embarrassing mistake from Eskişehir keeper Ruud Boffin. The Belgian took a goal kick short and Drogba ended up intercepting the pass. Boffin may not have seen the Ivoiran in a red shirt because much of the crowd were also dressed in red. The Champions League winner passed to Burak who carried the ball deeper into the box. A defender knocked the ball from in front of Burak causing the ball to get tangled in his feet. Burak twisted around and shot but Boffin was in the right place to deny the shot and send the ball out of the danger zone.

Didier Drogba had chances of his own but could not find the target on multiple occasions. He even hit the post later in the match and showed obvious frustration at the team’s inability to find a goal.


Making the case for the old axiom that promoted teams are the teams most likely to be relegated come the end of the season, Konya lost for the second time in as many weeks. The home side looked to have the match under control but succumbed to late match performance errors to lose out on all three points.

The man of the match was, by all measures, Konya goalkeeper Charles Itandje. The Cameroonian performed acrobatic last-ditch saves on many occasions and had only his defence to blame for both goals.

Ali Çamdal opened the scoring for Konya just four minutes into the match. Erdal Kılıçaslan crossed the ball from a corner and Ali, who scored the second of his team’s three goals against Fenerbahçe two weeks ago, met the ball with his head and found the back of the net. Kasımpaşa goal keeper Andreas Isaksson, who started moving from his right post to his left along the goal line as the ball whirled in, reached out to his right but the momentum from his motion to his left kept him reaching out to catch the ball.

Konya keeper Charles Itandje made saves, even after the defence was left for dead, from shots from Ryan Babel among others. On multiple occasions the loaned-out PAOK Thessaloniki keeper made a save with the swipe of his glove in an incredible fashion. The Cameroonian both made saves and denied any possibility of a rebound on goal by trying to divert the ball into a neutral area.

Isaksson for his part made fantastic saves as well, including one from relatively unknown Konya midfielder İshak Çakmak. Born in the year 1992, Çakmak controlled a cleared ball with his chest from Kasımpaşa defender İlhan Eker and had a go at goal from at least twenty metres outside of the keeper’s box. Isaksson reached to the space to his right and made a save with both hands to deny İshak a glorious start to his career in the top flight.

In the seventy-eighth minute, Adem Büyük cut inside and crossed while deep in enemy territory and Kasımpaşa forward Kalu Uche got a touch on the ball to lay it off to Sanharib Malki. One of the few Arabs who practise the sport in Turkey, Malki shot at goal behind the mass of Konya defender who had rushed to stop the play. The ball never left the ground and passed through a player’s legs as it slipped into the net past Charles Itandje.

Özer Hurmacı tried to get on the score sheet with several half-chances going wide of goal. The former Fenerbahçe attacking midfielder looked desperate to score when taking his chances. Özer had an accurate shot going straight for the keeper’s top right hand corner but was denied by an expert save from Itandje. Özer looked on bewildered at the events he had just witnessed.

In stoppage time Uruguayan Tabaré Viudez, holding the ball on the right side of the field near the boundary parallel to the net, crossed to Ryan Babel who was situated at the core the Konya defense. The experienced Dutchman rose and made no mistake converting a textbook header for two or three metres out into the winning goal.

Although it is hard to believe, the visitors ended up winning all three points despite a show of good form from the promoted side.


Almost universally, Kayseri were considered the Anatolian team to challenge for the title based on pre-season analysis. The 2013/2014 season would be the season Croatian manager Robert Prosinečki finally got the perfect mix of experience and youth into his side and make a challenge for the top three spots.

The match started with a heavy downpour which had soaked the field. In the first few minutes Pablo Mouche looked to have scored for the home side but he was called offside. The Argentinian’s ball nearly came to a halt in front of an empty net due to the water-logged field.

In a strange chain of events Kayseri gave up all three goals at home in the first half to Deniz Yılmaz, Ahmet Görkem Görk and Özgür Özkaya. The domestic trio scored first in the sixteenth minute and then another nine minutes later and then another nine minutes after that. All three goals were direct results of poor defending; the second and third being the most manipulations of the Kayseri defence. For the second goal Ahmet Görkem received the ball on his chest using his 193 centimetre frame and kicked the ball into the net while shorter players looked on. The third goal slipped through the keeper’s hands, possibly due to the wet environment, as both sides looked on stunned.

Jaja Coelho eventually ended Zülküf Özer’s clean sheet in the sixty-eighth minute. After passing around the box with Cleyton, the Brazilian managed to score on a crowded goal.

A surprising result, even a one to zero victory to the visitors would have been notable. Wherever the season takes both teams these three points will definitely be mentioned come May.


Fenerbahçe marked a brilliant return to form with five goals against Sivas. The match had even more significance considering Fener only recorded a single point over two matches against the central Anatolian side. It was Samuel Holmén’s first match with Fenerbahçe since he was not given a license to play by the Turkish FA. With the departure of Miloš Krasić to Corsica-based Ligue 1 side Bastia, the number of foreign players was brought to the legal limit of ten. The Swede was the hardest working player on the field, running over seven kilometres and making the case that he can perform at the highest level.

Saturday marked the first appearance of Roberto Carlos to the Şükrü Saracoğlu stadium since 2009. The Brazilian wing back was given a standing ovation in his last match in a Europa League group stage match against Sheriff Tiraspol and had a similar response from the home fans even as the manager of the opposing team. The crowd were holding signs welcoming the World Cup winner back to Kadıköy and even chanted his name during the match. Carlos held his right hand over his heart and seemed to be trying hard not to get emotional.

The first half ended with three goals for the hosts. Dirk Kuyt continued his goal-scoring exploits from the last match against Eskişehir. Emenike passed to him after brilliantly using his pace to make the two-on-three situation look like a breakaway. Kuyt sent the keeper the wrong way and Fener were ahead. Both Kuyt’s second goal and centre back Bruno Alves’ goal were from corner kicks scored in the thirty-fifth and thirty-second minute respectively. Both goals were clearly scored because of Canadian keeper Milan Borjan‘s mistakes.

Pierre Webó finally opened his league account after the restart. The Cameroonian scored a surprising goal as he narrowly found the extreme edge of the goal from a convincing header. Caner’s cross rose above the defence and Borjan was once again not up to the challenge as he might’ve expected the header to be on its way out for a goal kick.

Aatif Chahechouhe scored a goal which, by most accounts, could only be considered consolatory in the grand picture. The Moroccan hit a weak shot which somehow made it past Volkan Demirel. The Turkish number one made his first league appearance after serving a four match ban for fighting with Galatasaray’s Sabri in last season’s derby.

Former Real Madrid and Roma right-back Cicero Cicinho added to Sivas’ tally when his shot, which keeper Volkan got made contact with at the left side of his goal, unexpectedly ended up going in on the other side of the net.

Alper Potuk came on for Holmén late in the second half and immediately applied his influence to the game. He scored the last goal of the game with a perfectly-executed run and finish past Borjan.


It was almost two hundred minutes of football in the making but Antalya finally registered their first goal four minutes into the match. Experienced striker Milan Baros, who was top goal scorer at Euro 2004, scored four minutes in. The Czech received a pass from Tita and scored against Sebastien Frey, the Frenchman who has not had the best of starts to his season.

Sebastian Pinto scored a scrappy goal in the thirty-sixth minute as he got the ball past Hakan Arıkan by way of a rebounded shot from Pablo Batalla.

Murat Yıldirim, assistant on the previous goal, scored one of his own in the fifty-eighth minute to earn Bursa their first win of the season. After clearing the ball, keeper Hakan could not rush back to his net to stop Murat from scoring from just outside the keeper’s box. Hakan looked to have had a touch on the ball but Murat’s shot was well-placed; many other footballers would’ve skied the ball from a similar situation.


Opting for defensive tactics away from home, Gençlerbirliği attempted to leave Karabük with just a point despite fielding a much more experienced and talented squad. The stadium was nearly empty, with most seats in the stadium removed for renovations of some kind, but the fans still got their point across and provided a respectable soundtrack to the match.

The last ten minutes were fraught with fouls from the Ankara-based side as Karabük attempted to break the deadlock

After being carded in the eighty-fourth minute Duško Tošić again committed a ‘foul’, this time in the keeper’s box. It was a misunderstanding of the highest degree and one more page of evidence in a worrying trend of careless referring in Turkey. Tošić pushed the player in front of him rather lightly, or it could appear that way because his marked man was a lot larger than him, but Tošić was even fouled moments later with an elbow to the head from a Karabük attacker.

İlhan Parlak scored the penalty and the two teams played out the last moments in further controversy as Metin Diyadin, the manager of the away side, was told to leave the stadium after arguing with the referee. Karabük attempted a time-wasiting measure from a corner kick and, combined with the outrage over the penalty, could not keep himself from fury.


Akhisar pulled off the most shocking result of the week with three unanswered goals against Trabzonspor. The home side may have been helped by the away squad’s fatigue; Trabzon last played three days earlier in Europa League qualifying.

Unlike Elazığ’s goal festival away to Kayseri, this match went into break with Akhisar only up by one goal. Bruno Mazenga scored that goal eleven minutes in, assisted by Güray Vural.

Güray also assisted Oumar Niasse in the sixty-first minute. Incidentally that is the minute of every match in which Trabzon fans cheer even louder than usual because Trabzon’s license plate code is 61. If you’ve ever seen Turkish players wearing seemingly random numbers like 34 or 46 this is for the same reason; in fact Kayseri-born Belgian Turkish goalkeeper Sinan Bolat was wearing Kayseri’s license plate code of 38 when he scored in the Champions League for Standard Liege.

And finally, Akhisar ended the possibility of a Trabzon comeback when Kenan Özer scored two minutes from full time.


Matches between promoted sides are always important when all things are considered come the end of the season. This result is no different.

Ali Adnan opened the scoring seven minutes in for Rize. The Iraqi left back received a pass off a corner kick and lined up a shot from outside the keeper’s box. With lots of time to think out his shot, Adnan launched the ball to the keeper’s left-hand post. The ball kissed the cross bar and landed in the net.

Eren Albayrak doubled the lead in the sixty-eighth minute as the defense made little effort to impede his run down the left. He kept the ball on the ground and out of the reach of keeper Bojan Jorgačević as he shot from just inside the keeper`s box.

Björn Vleminckx kept the visitors in the game with a textbook header from a corner in the seventy-fifth minute. The Belgian received his second yellow for using his elbow to win an aerial ball and left his team with ten men with a few minutes left to play.


Making his return to the first side in dramatic fashion, Hugo Almeida scored two first half goals to secure a 2-0 victory against struggling Gaziantep.

The Portuguese striker scored in quick succession in Kasımpaşa’s stadium with the first coming twenty-seven minutes and the second seven minutes later.

Five yellow cards and fifty-five minutes later, Beşiktaş renewed their one hundred per cent record in the league and alleviated the disappointment from being thrown out of the Europa League due to alleged match-fixing.


20130903 - Turkish Super Lig

Yusuf Nasihi

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