TURKEY: Süper Lig Review – Week 5



Akhisar Belediye 2–0 Gaziantepspor

Gaziantep’s struggles continued away at Akhisar. This match marks the return of Serdar Kulbilge to the Süper Lig. The former Fenerbahçe keeper was banned from football for allegedly participating in match fixing. Since serving his ban he had been playing in lower domestic leagues. Now Serdar, who won the national title in 2007 when Rüştü Reçber was injured and Volkan Demirel wasn’t performing well, plays for Gaziantep.

The home side almost went ahead seven minutes in when Oumar Niasse hit the ball at the far post with the side of his foot. The Gaziantep defense was able to clear the ball, however, and prevented what would’ve been a magnificent goal.

Minutes later Oumar Niasse tried his luck at a bicycle kick from three metres from goal but he didn’t connect properly with the ball.

The Senegalese striker finally got his name on the score sheet ten minutes from half time. Bilal Kısa passed to Bruno Mezenga who passed it back to him and Bilal sent the ball to Niasse who was waiting near the goal. He tapped the ball in to score on Serdar.

Serdar performed well for the whole match. He saved several well-placed shots including a free kick from Bilal Kısa which was aimed just under the cross bar.

In stoppage time Niasse cemented his claim to ‘Man of the Match’ and, creating a chance by keeping the ball in on the edge of the field, passed the ball Kenan Özer near the goal. Akhisar had three players up front to Gaziantep’s two and Kenan was able to pick a spot and accurately place a slow-moving ball in the goal.

Karabükspor 0–0 Erciyesspor

The match started with chances at both sides of the field. Erciyes keeper Bojan Jorgačević was up to the task, pulling off important saves from Blackburn legend Morten Pedersen and Ahmet İlhan. The Norwegian sent a powerful shot from a free kick from more than forty metres out.

Ahmet İlhan exacted a sobering tackle on Yasin Öztekin midway through the first half. As he slid dirt flew in the air and he did not make much of an effort to secure the ball. The referee promptly gave him a yellow card.

In the second half Yasin Öztekin suffered another bad tackle, this time from Uğur Uçar. Yasin kicked the ball forward and outran Uğur to the ball. Uğur stretched his legs out in an aerial slid tackled to tap the ball from Yasin’s feet but ended up coming into contact with the player himself and was given a yellow card.

In less than two hundred seconds, Uğur received his second yellow. Uğur received a pass from Pedersen but he didn’t control the ball and when Erhan Güven passed it forward, Uğur slid with both feet into Erhan.

Despite the man advantage Erciyes could not make a breakthrough and left Karabük feeling that perhaps they had lost two points as opposed to gaining one.

Konyaspor 1–0 Gençlerbirliği

With both teams losing points in recent weeks, a result was of the utmost importance for both sides.

Despite diverting history and single-handedly saving Akhisar from relegation last season, Theofanis Gekas could not score his first for Konya. The Greek international came close in the first half but could not get a solid hit on an aerial ball.

It was up to Erdal Kılıçaslan to secure the precious three points. On the eve of half time the former German youth international found a light pass from Recep Aydın and shot with his first touch. The ball found the keeper’s top left corner and being too far out to cover the target, Gençlerbirliği goalkeeper Ramazan Köse could not make the save.

Selim Teber was given his second yellow in the seventy-eighth minute even though both tackles were only debatably worthy of a yellow card.

Despite the extra man, Gençlerbirliği could not tie the match up and left Konya with no points.

Fenerbahçe 4–0 Elazığspor

In early September there were rumours across Europe that Moussa Sow was on his way to England. The former Lille forward even wrote a message on Twitter regarding his exclusion from the squad. He also reaffirmed his love for Fenerbahçe in that message.

Regardless, he returned to the squad on Saturday and did so in grand fashion. This match was effectively ‘The Moussa Show’ with supporting roles fulfilled by Dirk Kuyt and Caner Erkin.

His first came ten minutes in from a corner kick. Caner launched the ball with his famous left foot and Moussa met the ball with his head at the near post.

Ten minutes later Dirk Kuyt scored his fourth of the season. Gökhan Gönül provided him with the long range assist as Kuyt made an expertly-timed run past the defense and beat keeper Zülküf Özer one on one.

Caner had an excellent game and even prevented Elazığ from pulling one back in the fiftieth minute. Standing at keeper Volkan’s left side near the upright post, Caner was at the right place at the right time and stopped a header from Ahmet Görkem Görk.

In the eightieth minute substitute Alper Potuk sent Sow through and he once again scored. This time it was from a harder angle but with a perfect pass from Alper, Sow had little work to do.

In stoppage time Moussa Sow scored yet again. Hasan Ali pressured Noyan Öz and the substitute gave up the ball. Caner took control of the loose ball. He passed the ball in a arc, without getting it off the ground, right to Sow. For his third and final goal Sow finished from a similar position as he did just ten minutes earlier.

Eskişehirspor 2–1 Antalyaspor

There was more heartbreak for Antalya this week as the seaside team lost once again.

Playing in his first match for EsEs, Cristóbal Jorquera scored the first goal of the match just ten minutes in. The Chilean shot from inside the box with multiple defenders surrounding him but managed to find the back of the net.

In the fifty-ninth minute, Lamine Diarra outran Jerry Akaminko and Diego Angelo to score on Eskişehir goalkeeper Ruud Boffin. The Senegalese striker ran from near the halfway line all the way to the goal without even coming close to being fouled or impeded in anyway by Akaminko or Diego Angelo.

With that goal Antalya looked as if they had found their form, Eskişehir is known to be a defensively sound outfit and it was a magnificently organised goal. But Antalya’s first win of the season was not to be. Aytaç Kara, brought on moments earlier for Necati Ateş scored from outside the box with a shot from a rebound. Despite losing a man just minutes earlier Eskişehir would go on to win the match.

Sivasspor 1–2 Kasımpaşa

Ezequiel Scarione scored twenty minutes in from a rebound. A long ball from midfield was deflected by keeper Korcan Çelikay and Scarione slotted it in to the net with an unremarkable goal.

Tabaré Viúdez scored the away side’s second goal in the forty-third minute. The Uruguayan ran from midfield to the keeper’s box and kicked the ball over Korcan with his left foot.

In first half stoppage time, Sivas centre back Manuel da Costa scored his second goal in as many weeks. This time he scored from a free kick. He shot a low shot under the wall and hit the inner half of the upright. With two long-distance goals in just two weeks da Costa looks like he’s trying to continue Fabio Bilica’s legacy at the club; Bilica was also known to score as a centre back and is remembered for a great free kick against Fenerbahçe.

Rizespor 2–1 Bursaspor

Bursa were disappointed once again this time to Rize. The Black Sea team scored two unanswered goals in the first twenty minutes. Sercan Kaya and Florin Cernat scored those two goals and Rize looked like they were on their way to repeating their performance against Gaziantep last week when they scored five. Pablo Batalla scored on the stroke of half time and gave his side a lifeline for the second forty-five.

The rest of the match played out uneventfully with the biggest disappointment for neutral football fans being that Rize left back Ali Adnan didn’t get on the score sheet with a screamer this week.

Beşiktaş 1–2 Galatasaray (abandoned; details to follow)

The rest of this article could be written in fine print for all you know. This is what your eyes have gravitated to and that for a good reason. Not only is this match predicted to be a new attendance record among Istanbul teams but it is a pivotal match on the league table as well with Beşiktaş looking to preserve their one hundred per cent record and Galatasaray looking not to fall behind the pack with just six points from four games so far.

Hugo Almeida opened the scoring in brilliant fashion in the eighteenth minute of the game. The Portuguese reached a cross from Serdar Kurtuluş with his head and, remaining unmarked, diverted the ball into the back of the net.

Galatasaray bounced back in the fifty-ninth minute when substitute Bruma passed to an open Didier Drogba waiting in the keeper’s box. Drogba hit the ball low to Beşiktaş keeper Tolga Zengin’s left and the ball slipped past the former Trabzon player’s body and rolled into the net.

Beşiktaş lost momentum as the referee gave decisions to Galatasaray, including a dive by Wesley Sneijder. In addition, Beşiktaş players were found offside multiple times when on at least one occasion it was the wrong call.

Drogba scored once again in the seventy-first minute when a mistake in midfield allowed Burak to intercept a pass and play the ball to Drogba in mid-sprint. The Ivoirian shot above the keeper this time and with that goal ended Beşiktaş’s 100% record in the league.

Substitute Muhammet Demirici came close to scoring just moments later but the eighteen-year-old’s shot hit the outside corner of the goal.

In stoppage time, Muslera kicked the ball out after being crashed into by a Beşiktaş player. Beşiktaş didn’t give the ball back is usually the custom in light of fair play and Felipe Melo tackled the ball with both feet. He was given a direct red. As he was walking off the field, he raised the Galatasaray jersey and then Beşiktaş fans invaded the pitch. Even though no Galatasaray fans were at the game, some Beşiktaş fans still found a reason to fight both with the police and amongst each other. With two minutes left to play in stoppage time, the referee called it quits just before the fans invaded the pitch.

Two days after the match, Galatasaray announced that they had parted ways with manager Fatih Terim. Terim had recently taken up management duties with the national team and was in the midst of a poor string of results with his club side.

Kayserispor 0–1 Trabzonspor

Having won just once this season Kayseri must’ve felt the pressure against Trabzon. The two teams are traditionally the best teams from Asian Turkey, also known as Anatolia. Trabzon for their part have had their own troubles. Even if they are the only side representing Turkey in European competition apart from Galatasaray.

The Black Sea side went ahead sixty-one minutes in – incidentally the vehicle license registration code of the province of Trabzon. From his left, Henrique received a pass from number ten Adrian and with one motion scored the breakthrough goal.

This will be without a doubt one of the matches commentators and fans mention when all of the dust has settled come May.

NOTE: Last week’s Süper Lig review had an error. While the reporter said that Fernando Muslera was between the poles for Galatasaray, Eray İşçan was in fact goalkeeper against Antalyaspor. One can only hope the young goalkeeper has been honoured to have been mistaken for Muslera.

The error was pointed out by @ata_dizdar on Twitter.

Yusuf Nasihi

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