Spor Toto Super League standings

Thursday, October 22, 2009

UEFA Champions League – Beşiktaş looks like they have life.

Beşiktaş had their UEFA Champions League dreams look like a nightmare, at least in the first two games.  Although they had played well against Manchester United, and were average against CSKA Moscow, they could not find ways to win, or even get a draw.  The Black Eagles travelled up to Germany to take on defending champions of the Bundesliga, VfL Wolfsburg.  It looked like a mismatch, considering that when Wolfsburg was in pot 4 of the Champions League draw, they were the team everyone wanted to avoid.  It wouldn’t quite turn out that way.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Turkcell Super League - week 9 - Sunday action

Sunday action in the Turkcell Super League contained a champions’ derby between Galatasaray against Trabzonspor.  It would also feature a potential extension to the best start in league history, as Fenerbahçe would look to make it nine wins in a row.  With the Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray derby coming up next Sunday, both teams looked to gain momentum for not only for their showdown, and also for their Europa League game this coming Thursday.  When it was all said and done, the top of the league table would become even more interesting.

Turkicell Super League - week 9 - Saturday action

After the disappointment of the Turkish national team not qualifying for the World Cup in 2010, seeing the Turkcell Super League start back up is a welcome sight for Turkish football fans.  Saturday action in the Turkcell Super League would feature just two matches.  The struggling Beşiktaş took on lowly Kasımpaşa, while Bursaspor took on Denizlispor.  Eskişehirspor would have the bye week this week as they would have taken on the now-disqualified Ankaraspor.

The action would begin in Denizli as Denizlispor took on Bursaspor.  Denizlispor got off to a fast start, and would take the early lead in the 14th minute as Emil Angelov put the home side up 1-0.  Bursaspor equalized through Turgay Bahadir’s goal in the 44th minute, and the halftime score was 1-1.  The action picked up in the second half.  Pablo Batalla scored in the 62nd minute to put Bursaspor ahead in the match 2-1.  As if falling behind in the match wasn’t bad enough, Denizlispor would be down to ten men as Koffi picked up a straight red in the 72nd minute.  Denizlispor didn’t give up though, and tied the game with Darryl Roberts scoring in the 75th minute.  At 2-2, Denizlispor looked to hold on for the tie.  However, Tomas Zapatocny channeled his inner Semih Senturk, or Jonathan Bornstein (whichever is preferred), and scored in the 90+3 minute to give Bursaspor the win.
The final match of Saturday action saw Beşiktaş at home against Kasımpaşa.  There was a steady rainfall going through the game, but the players played through the weather.  Nihat Kahveci put the home team up 1-0 in the 8th minute.  A slight deflection off a Kasımpaşa defender made the ball go into the back of the net.  In the 32nd minute, Kasımpaşa had a chance with a Murat Erdogan shot, but the ball went off the crossbar.  Beşiktaş doubled their lead in the 38th minute.  Rodrigo Tabata made a wicked backheel pass to Bobo, and Bobo’s shot was hard into the upper left hand corner of the net.  Beşiktaş looked like they were going to cruise to three points as they were up 2-0 at the half.  In the second half, the Carsi supporters group turned their backs on the field, again, protesting the board of Beşiktaş and demanding the board resign.  The match became more of a midfield struggle, but Beşiktaş made it interesting.  First, Fabian Ernst picked up his second yellow of the game in the 83rd minute and was sent off.  Four minutes later, Matteo Ferrari picked up a straight red for a foul in the penalty area.  Kasımpaşa’s Andre Moritz converted from the penalty spot and halved Beşiktaş’ lead to 2-1.  The match looked like it was going to be interesting with Beşiktaş down to nine players, but Beşiktaş held on for the three points.
Tomorrow should be interesting.  The featured match of the week will be Galatasaray vs. Trabzonspor in a “champions derby” if you will.  The referee for that match will be Mustafa Kamil Abitoğlu.  That will take place at 1:00pm EST, 12:00pm CST, and 10:00am PST.  Other matches for tomorrow are as follows: Gençlerbirliği-Sivasspor (Muhsin Ertuğral’s debut as Sivasspor’s coach), İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor-Manisaspor, Kayserispor-Ankaragücü, Gaziantepspor-Fenerbahçe, and Antalyaspor-Diyarbakırspor.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Turkcell Super League – Week 8 recap

In Friday action, only one match was featured in Turkcell Super League action as Trabzonspor took on Gaziantepspor. After winning with authority over the last two weeks, Trabzonspor looked to continue their newly found run of form. Trabzonspor dictated the pace early. Drago Gabric would have a shot go off the post in the 5th minute. Gökhan Ünal had a shot at goal, after a pass from     Hrvoje Čale, but it would end up out of bounds in the 10th minute. Serkan Balcı unleashed a shot from outside the penalty area, but it would hit to post and end up out of bounds. Gaziantepspor thought they got a goal from Olcan Adin in the 35th minute, but it was called back for offside. The first half would end up scoreless. In the second half, Ibrahim Yattara was substituted into the game and the pace would pick up for Trabzonspor. In the 55th minute, Umut Bulut's pass found Gökhan Ünal, but his shot would miss just wide of the goal. In the 66th minute, former Trabzonspor player Tolga Seyhan would pull down current Trabzonspor player Egemen Korkmaz by the shirt and a penalty was called. Gustavo Colman would take the kick, but Mahmut Gezgin would be the hero in this situation as he made the save to keep the game level. That did for the offense in the game as the game ended with the same score as it started at, 0-0.

In Saturday action, three matches were featured.
Diyarbakirspor took on Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor. The first half featured a goalkeeping show by Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor goalkeeper Oğuzhan Bahadır, as he would make several saves to keep the score level. The scoring would open in the 66th minute, as Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor's Serhat Gülpınar scored. The 67th minute had a penalty kick call go Diyarbakirspor's way, and Andres Mendoza converted from the penalty spot to tie the game. Metin Depe scored in the 73rd minute to put Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor on top 2-1. Serhat Gülpınar scored one more goal in stoppage time to make the final score 3-1 to Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor.
Manisaspor hosted Bursapsor in the second match. The first half featured even play, but no score from either team. It featured a goalkeeper duel, but not much else in terms of offense. The scoring would come in the second half. Pablo Batalla would score in the 83rd minute off a free kick. Turgay Bahadir would score two minutes into stoppage time to make the final score 2-0 to Bursaspor. After the match, it was reported that Manisaspor head coach Mesut Bakkal would resign from his post.
The featured match of Saturday featured Beşiktaş finally remembering how to get a result. Beşiktaş would get the only goal of the match against Denizlispor from Rodrigo Tabata in the 49th minute. This match featured more protests from the Beşiktaş fans as they continued to show their dismay at the club's board, including the chairman Yıldırım Demirören, whom they chanted for his resignation. Some Beşiktaş fans turned their backs to the field in order to protest the way the club has played over the last few weeks. While Beşiktaş pulled out the victory, their first victory in 47 days, it seemed the fans were not satisfied. Perhaps Beşiktaş need some changes in the front office, but patience needs to be the order here. Every club has its down years, and it seemed that Beşiktaş lucked out in winning the league title last year. The fans will have to show patience, because changes made on a whim will only make the situation worse. But at least they can say their team won on Saturday.

Sunday action featured four matches.
Sivasspor hosted Antalyaspor, looking for their first win of the season. The big news coming out of the September 4th stadium would be that this would be Bülent Uygun's last game as head coach, as he submitted his resignation to Sivasspor before the match started. The first half featured no scoring and not many chances. In the second half, Sivasspor would find the goal they were looking for, as Yannick Kamanan scored off a pass in the penalty area from İbrahim Şahin. The team headed to the dugout to celebrate with their soon to be former head coach to celebrate. The teams would trade off chances for the rest of the second half. The final goal of the match would come two minutes into stoppage time, as Kamanan put another goal into the Antalyaspor net. The Sivasspor players celebrated with their head coach again, and the final score ended up 2-0 to Sivasspor, sending Uygun out with a victory.
Eskişehirspor was one of four teams coming into today without a loss. They would be one of three that wouldn't be so lucky to keep the zero in the loss column. In their match against Kayserispor, Ariza Makukula scored the only goal of the match against Eskisehirpor in the 6th minute, giving Kayserispor the win.
Galatasaray travelled to Ankara's May 19th stadium, looking to rebound after a draw last week. Ankaragücü was the opponent this week, so the Galatasaray fans were expecting a victory. Ankaragücü had other plans. Two key players were missing for Galatasaray, as Abdul Kader Keita and Sabri Sarioglu were out for this game. It seemed as though it wouldn't matter as Galatasaray played their game against the side from the capital, but couldn't find the back of the net. Ankaragücü had their chances on net, but couldn't find the back of the net either. Perhaps this match can be summarized by what happened in the last ten minutes. In the 83rd minute, Ceyhun Eriş would make a pass to Murat Duruer, who beat Galatasaray keeper Leo Franco to give Ankaragücü a shock lead 1-0. In the 86th minute, Shabani Nonda tried to level the match for Galatasaray, but his shot would go out. In the 88th minute, Galatasaray failed to clear the ball from its penalty area, and Emre Aygün made them pay by scoring. Ankaragücü were up 2-0, but it wasn't over yet. One minute later, Emre Aygün made a pass into the penalty area, finding Hürriyet Güçer, who scored the third goal for Ankaragücü. Ankaragücü would pull off the upset, giving Galatasaray their first loss of the season. Sadly, there were some fights in the stands before the match between the fans of both clubs. Ten Galatasaray fans and twenty-six Ankaragücü fans were arrested. One Galatasaray fan suffered a heart attack in the melee and was transferred to the hospital.
Fenerbahçe and Gençlerbirliği met up in the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in the featured match on Sunday. Both teams came into the match without a single loss, but Fenerbahçe were looking to break their record for the best start in the history of first division professional soccer in Turkey. It looked good for Fenerbahçe in the 13th minute, as Gökhan Gönül found Dani Güiza, who left it for Alex de Souza, and Alex put Fenerbahçe up 1-0. Gençlerbirliği would also have their chances, but Fenerbahçe goalkeeper Volkan Demirel came up with key saves throughout the game to keep Gençlerbirliği off the scoreboard. Many of the shots from both teams came off the woodwork throughout the game. In the 71st minute, Alex de Souza scored his second goal of the match from a pass from Andre dos Santos. Gençlerbirliği's defense then practically came apart as Fenerbahçe would pour on the attack. Fenerbahçe would get the comfort goal in the 89th minute, as a Diego Lugano header from a corner would make the final score 3-0. Fenerbahçe broke the record as they have gone eight for eight, and broke their own record for the best start in the history of the Turkish professional league, which they set in the 1964-65 season. Fenerbahçe now leads Galatasaray by five points at the top of the table going into the international weekend.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beşiktaş’ wings clipped again.

Beşiktaş would travel up to the cold confines of Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Looking to rebound from a disappointing loss to Manchester United in match day 1 of the UEFA Champions League, the Black Eagles needed some sort of spark to rejuvenate their Champions League campaign. The question was which Beşiktaş would show up, the league version, or the team that gave Manchester United a run for their money before losing?

Early on the answer seemed to be the league version. CSKA Moscow would jump out to an early lead in the 8th minute, as Alan Dzagoev would unleash a screamer that Beşiktaş goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber had no chance at. CSKA Moscow would continue to attack the goal in the first half, as their chances were built by good passing and decent shots. After the first 15 minutes, in which they were outshot 6-1, Beşiktaş seemed to settle down and built up some chances, but most of their chances would result in wasted shots, or CSKA grabbing possession. Beşiktaş had a great chance from Mert Nobre in the 44th minute but it would go out for a corner. Going into halftime, CSKA Moscow would be up 1-0, and it seemed as though Mustafa Denizli looked like a man that seemed lost. Perhaps CSKA should have been up by more, but it seemed that Beşiktaş would be lucky to go into the half only down by one goal.

The second half would feature Beşiktaş possession but no end result. Beşiktaş had some early opportunities in the second half as two corners would end up in the possession of CSKA. Beşiktaş had a great chance to score in the 57th minute, but Nihat Kahveci would mishit the ball and the ball would end up in the possession of CSKA. Through the first fifteen minutes of the second half, Beşiktaş would have much of the possession and played with some confidence. Getting goals would be a different story. CSKA Moscow would double the lead in the 61st minute as Milos Krasic would make a run from the right wing and make the finish count to make it 2-0. He would also pick up a yellow card in the process as he would take his shirt off to celebrate. Beşiktaş would continue to dominate possession and it seems that CSKA was content to sit back and defend. Beşiktaş would put in Serdar Ozkan and Bobo to try to jump start the attack. But the CSKA defense still sat back and defended, and Beşiktaş looked like it couldn't break through. Beşiktaş had their best shot at a goal late in the game when İbrahim Kaş beat the offside trap and had the keeper in a one-on-one situation but couldn't convert. Ekrem Dağ would halve the lead for Beşiktaş two minutes into stoppage time. But it was too little, too late as Beşiktaş would lose their second consecutive match.

So which Beşiktaş team showed up today? It seemed as though it was the league version. Beşiktaş just doesn't look as good as they were last season. Now it seems that Mustafa Denizli's hot seat just went up a few degrees on the temperature scale, regardless of whether Centigrade or Fahrenheit is used. It wouldn't be surprising to see Denizli removed from his coaching post sooner rather than later, or even his resignation.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Diyarbakirspor may withdraw from the Turkish league

A report from the English-language Hurriyet Daily News cites that Diyarbakirspor is considering withdrawing from the Turkish league. This decision may come to pass if the club continues to receive verbal and physical abuse. Diyarbakırspor chairman Çetin Sümer discussed this with the chairman of the TFF, Mahmut Özgener, and Sümer said Monday that his team had been insulted by political slogans during the games. This would come to a head in Bursa, where Bursaspor fans would throw the stadium's plastic seats and hurl verbal insults to Diyarbakirspor supporters. For ultra-nationalists in the country, Diyarbakirspor is considered representing the Kurds, and by extension the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey. Should Bursaspor not be punished, Sümer said, he will withdraw Diyarbakirspor from the league. He went on to say that Diyarbakirspor does not represent an extension of any political ideology or party.

The incidents happened during the Bursapor – Diyarbakirspor match this past Saturday. The Bursaspor supporter group Teksas, known for their ultra-nationalist stance, unfurled huge Turkish flags and banners trying to insult the Diyarbakirspor faithful. The incidents did not stop there however. During the 26th minute of the match, the previously mentioned stadium plastic seats were thrown at the Diyarbakirspor fans. Some Bursaspor supporters even tried to jump the catch fence separating the supporters. The brawl was halted after police officers were placed between the supporters. Ten Diyarbakirspor supporters, including one woman, were injured during the melee, leading to the arrests of five people. Bursaspor chairman İbrahim Yazıcı apologized to Sümer, but Sümer was understandably bitter after the game.

Turkcell Super League – Week 7 recap

Friday action

    Only one match would be featured on Friday, as Trabzonspor would travel to the capital Ankara to take on Gençlerbirliği. Trabzonspor would be looking to consolidate third place in the standings. It looked likely considering that Trabzonspor scored a total of nine goals in the last two matchdays. Scoring would come furious and early in this match, as Drago Gabriç would put Trabzonspor ahead in the fourth minute. Gustavo Colman would double the lead for Trabzonspor in the 16th minute.     Gökhan Ünal would get the ball at midfield, and would avoid players like he was slalom skiing. He would pass a deft ball to Colman, would put it in the back of the net for the 2-0 lead. But this would be the last goal Trabzonspor would score in this game.
    Gençlerbirliği, slowly yet steadily, would come back for the tie. Their first goal would be scored in the 31st minute, as Labinot Harbuzi would score off a Mustafa Pektemek pass to halve the lead. Halftime would end with Gençlerbirliği behind 2-1. Bilal Çubukçu would come into the game as a substitute for Pektemek in the 71st minute. Çubukçu would tie the match with a free kick that beat Trabzonspor goalkeeper Tony Sylva in the 76th minute. That would be all the scoring in this game. It would be a disappointing two points lost for Trabzonspor. Trabzonspor seemed to play well during the first 16 minutes, but then couldn't get it together for the rest of the match.

Saturday action

    Fenerbahçe would travel down to Antalya, a city known more as a vacation hot spot than its soccer, to take on Antalyaspor. One of the big questions would be if Roberto Carlos would be on the roster or not. It was reported earlier in the week (or I had reported, via Turkish newspaper Milliyet) that he would be returning to Brazil within the next few weeks. He had expressed interest to return to Brazil, but the Fenerbahçe board basically said that Carlos was under contract until the end of the season and he wouldn't be sold. My guess is that he will attempt to leave during the January transfer window. Carlos would be part of the bench for this match.
    The match would show Fenerbahçe not being as impressive in winning as their rivals Galatasaray in the last six weeks, but getting the win nonetheless. The scoring would open in the 10th minute, as Colin Kazim-Richards would score off a flick from Alex de Souza. Alex would get a pass from Mehmet Topuz to set up his through flick. Kazim-Richards would get a yellow card in the 18th minute for arguing with the linesman over a call, giving him a one match suspension for yellow card accumulation. The 21st minute would see the Antalyaspor equalizer. Ali Zitouni would beat out Fenerbahçe defender Gökhan Gönül, and make a diving header into the net. The first half would end 1-1, but Fenerbahçe had many more chances than Antalyaspor. The second half would feature early aggressive play from Antalyaspor. In the first ten minutes of the second half, Antalyaspor looked like a team with a mission to win, but couldn't convert chances. Antalyaspor goalkeeper Polat Keser looked like he was having a stellar day, as many Fenerbahçe shots were saved, or were off the posts. One of Keser's moments came in the 78th minute. Dani Guiza of Fenerbahçe would make a run into the box from the right wing, flicked the ball to Alex, who flicked it back to Guiza, but the attempt from near point blank range was saved by Keser. The deadlocked would be broken in the 89th minute. On a counterattack, Alex would pass the ball behind the defense to Guiza (who was in the Fenerbahçe half of the field), Guiza would spring down the field with two others in tow. Guiza, seeing that Polat Keser came out to defend the attack, passed to Semih Şentürk, and Şentürk would put the ball into the goal for the lead and eventual win. It wasn't pretty for Fenerbahçe, but they escaped and now have a seven game winning streak to start the season, the best start for the club since the 1964-65 season.
    The Gaziantepspor – Ankaragücü match would end 3-1 to the visitors. Julio Cesar da Silva would open the scoring for Gaziantepspor in the 11th minute. Metin Akan would score in the 42nd minute to even the score for Ankaragücü, and the 1-1 scoreline would be the halftime score. Akan would score again in the 52nd minute to put Ankaragücü ahead for good. Emre Aygün would tack on an insurance goal in the 79th minute to make the score 3-1. Anakaragucu got some bad news the previous day as Darius Vassel will be out for at least two weeks with an injury to the back of his foot. The Ankaragücü head coach Hikmet Karaman was quoted as saying that his team couldn't catch a break.
    Speaking of teams that can't catch a break, Sivasspor would suffer yet another loss. This time around it would be the heartbreak of losing a game in stoppage time. Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor would gain a victory through Marcus Vinicius's goal two minutes into stoppage time to send Sivasspor to yet another loss. Sivasspor's point total at this point is only 1 point.
    Bursaspor's impressive home field play continues. The club, nicknamed the Crocodiles, would make it three out of four game won at home in emphatic fashion. Diyarbakirspor would fall to Bursapor with a scoreline of 4-0. Volkan Şen would open the scoring for Bursaspor in the 30th minute, and it would be a 1-0 scoreline heading into the halftime break. Bursaspor would then pour it on in the second half. Dimitar Ivankov would come out of his goal to score off a penalty in the 48th minute. Ivan Ergić would make it 3-0 to Bursaspor in the 63rd minute. The scoring would conclude as Ozan İpek would score in the 75th minute to conclude the rout. Bursaspor head coach Ertuğrul Sağlam had this to say about his side's victory: "We found the goal we were looking for in the first half. The breaking point of the match was the penalty goal. Later on we became comfortable during the match, and found a way to win by four goals." With the win, Bursaspor increased its point total this season to 13, leapfrogging Trabzonspor in the process.

Sunday action

    Sunday would see the attempt of Galatasaray to keep pace with Fenerbahçe with a perfect record. This week Eskişehirspor would come into the Ali Sami Yen stadium, perhaps to be another notch on the belt of a perfect season. Frank Rijkaard would make a shock benching, as he would bench both Elano and Milan Baros. It seemed like it wouldn't have mattered as Shabani Nonda would continue to be a goal scoring machine. In the 38th minute, Abdul Kader Keita would get past Eskişehirspor defender Murat Önür, keeping the ball in bounds on the right touchline, and would pass the ball to a wide open Nonda. Nonda would put it away for the 1-0 lead. That would be the score going into halftime. But it seemed that Eskişehirspor would not go down easy. Eskişehirspor would come out with more enthusiasm in the second half. In the 56ht minute, Eskişehirspor would get the tying goal. Eskişehirspor's Bülent Ertuğrul shot the ball just outside the box. The ball would deflect off Galatasaray defender Hakan Balta and end up at the feet of Mehmet Yılmaz, who put it in the back of the net to make the score 1-1. Milan Baros would come into the match in the 74th minute, and Galatasaray would have a flurry of chances to go ahead near the end of the match. However, Eskişehirspor held on and Galatasaray would lose a valuable two points, falling to second place behind Fenerbahçe.
    After a historic first win at the Inonu Stadium last week, Kayserispor looked to keep the momentum going against Kasımpaşa. However, this would be all for naught as the match ended up as a 0-0 draw. There weren't many scoring chances in this game.
    The Aegean derby this week would feature Manisaspor going to Denizli to take on Denizlispor. This would be a match up of a Manisaspor team that has only given up four goals in six games, against a Denizlispor club that has only scored two goals in six league games. The first half would end without a score. In the 69th minute, Nizamettin Çalışkan took a corner kick from the left corner flag, finding Joshua Simpson. Simpson's first attempt would be blocked by the defense, but his second chance would be the go ahead goal for Manisaspor. Denizlispor would get their tying goal in the 82nd minute,     Rahim Ouédraogo of Manisaspor brought down Caner Celep, getting the referee to point at the spot for the penalty. Darryl Roberts would convert from the spot to tie the game. That would be how the game would end up.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Turkcell Super League – Week 7 schedule

Here is the schedule of matches for Week 7 of the Turkcell Super League. All matches will kick off at 8pm local Turkish time (1 pm EST, 12 pm CST, and 10 am PST). Referee assignments are in parenthesis.


Friday September 25th:

Gençlerbirliği – Trabzonspor (Hüseyin Göçek)


Saturday September 26th:

Antalyaspor – Fenerbahçe (Yunus Yıldırım)

Bursaspor – Diyarbakırspor (Özgüç Türkalp)

Gaziantepspor – Ankaragücü (Kuddusi Müftüoğlu)

İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor – Sivasspor (Selçuk Dereli)


Sunday September 27th:

Kayserispor – Kasımpaşa (Özgür Yankaya)

Galatasaray – Eskişehirspor (Cüneyt Çakır)

Denizlispor – Manisaspor (Halis Özkahya)

Roberto Carlos to have one last match with Fenerbahçe

    Milliyet, the Turkish daily newspaper, is reporting that Roberto Carlos will be having his final match in a Fenerbahçe uniform. His last match for Fenerbahçe will apparently be this week against Antalyaspor, or in week 8 against Gençlerbirliği. The 36 year old player has stated a desire to return to Brazil from the beginning of the season to now. He had sat the entire game against Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor because of a coach's decision. He got in touch with Fenerbahçe vice-chairman Murat Özaydınlı and asked for his release. Afterward, he would get in touch with his agent in Spain to come to Istanbul, saying, "I have nothing more to give to Fenerbahçe. My time is done here. The club has maxed out their quota of foreign players. I don't want to wait until January to return to my country. Let's get this done." His agent is scheduled to come to Istanbul on September 25th. After this week or the following matchday, Carlos will be granted his release and be free to return to Brazil. Roberto Carlos originally came to Fenerbahçe from Real Madrid in the beginning of the 2007-08 season, and be part of the Fenerbahçe team that would advance to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. In the two previous seasons in the Turkcell Super League, he would score 6 goals and appear in 56 league matches. This year, he had only made 4 appearances, with the match against Manisaspor being the only match he would play the entire 90 minutes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mustafa Denizli speaks and Ankaraspor update

    Mustafa Denizli must feel like the weight of the whole world is on his shoulders. After coming in at the beginning of the second half of last season, he would turn around the fortunes of Beşiktaş by accomplishing the double of the Turkish Cup and Turkcell Super League title. The league title would make Denizli the only manager in the history of Turkish 1st division football to win league titles with each of the big three Istanbul clubs. This season has not gone right for him, as it seems as though Beşiktaş is sinking faster than the Titanic. After the loss to Kayserispor, he had mentioned that he had thought about resigning from his position. But Beşiktaş chairman Yıldırım Demirören convinced him to stay on.
    Denizli would appear on Show TV's 6 Pas program and make some confessions, according to Milliyet. One of the highlights is that he mentioned that current Galatasaray player Gökhan Zan "burned" him. Denizli said that he did not believe that Zan would sign with Galatasaray. He had thought that Galatasaray would sell Servet Cetin to Olympique Marseille. He also said that the thought about using his right to get another foreign player to shore up the defense didn't cross his mind. When Zan left, Denizli said that he had to sign Matteo Ferrari from Genoa. Otherwise, he could have used Ibrahim Toraman and Zan as his starting central defenders. This is why he sent Tomas Zapotocny on loan to Bursaspor. Denizli mentioned that he thought about sending Tomas Sivok out as well. Denizli would have replaced the two Czech players with two quality midfield players but it wasn't affordable.
    The saga of Ankaraspor and their punishment continues. Sporx.com is reporting that Ankaraspor club chairman Ruhi Kurnaz has appealed to FIFA to reverse the decision of Ankaraspor getting sent down a division. Kurnaz went on a sports radio program and said that there was no such thing that Ankaraspor could not appeal to FIFA, there will be an appeal filed. Kurnaz went on to say that the club would go through all channels possible to get the decision reversed, whether it would be FIFA and/or the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS). As reported earlier, the Arbitration board of the TFF will make a decision on the status of Ankaraspor's relegation on September 30th. Everything will most likely be resolved then, but Ankaraspor may extend the duration of this fight.

Some personal opinions on TSL matches I watched this week.

I didn't get to watch the Beşiktaş match this week. Considering they lost this week, I'm sure it wasn't a sight to see. I keep wondering what is wrong with that club. Is it because they didn't make the transfers needed? Maybe Mustafa Denizli can't repeat the same success in the season following a double winning season. I don't know. What I do know is that Beşiktaş really needs to get its act together, because they are fading fast. I do think that Denizli should not resign at this point. I think it would be beneficial for Beşiktaş to have some consistency this year. I did get to watch Trabzonspor. Trabzonspor did look pretty good I thought. The match they had with Antaylaspor was pretty boring in the first half, except for the stoppage time goal. The 2nd half really picked up the pace and I enjoyed that. Fenerbahçe did not look good. It seems as though the club is the type of team to just grind out wins, instead of being flashy. They also seem to just sit back and counterattack too much. Colin Kazim-Richards seems like a little punk for his outbursts against the home fans when he got substituted. Galatasaray needed some last minute heroics. I had really thought that Kasımpaşa would actually pull off the upset. Galatasaray looked on the ropes for a bit, but they made a Houdini-esque escape and still kept their perfect record. Shabani Nonda should be getting a medal pretty soon (or not, ;)). Coming up on week 9, the derby of Turkey will take place between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray. Many people are hoping for the clubs to be perfect so that the derby will have some extra sizzle if you will. I plan on doing a history piece on the Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray rivalry sometime before the derby is set to kick off. I plan on doing my research and I really want to make this special. So watch out for that.

Sivasspor gets fined.

As if it couldn't get any worse for Sivasspor, the Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PDFK) has handed a fine down to the club. The PDFK decided to hand down the fine because of unsportsmanlike conduct during their match on September 16th against Denizlispor. The club was fined 10,500 Turkish liras (I don't know what the conversion rate is to American dollars).

Turkcell Super League – Week 6 Recap

Trabzonspor back on track

After being eliminated from European competition, Trabzonspor got off to a slow start, scoring only four goals in the first four weeks of the Turkcell Super League competition. Last week's game against Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor would see Trabzonspor score six goals, with defender Egemen Korkmaz scoring a hat trick, as the final score there was a 6-1 road victory. Returning to the home ground of the Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium, Trabzonspor looked to keep the momentum going against Antalyaspor. The first half would be filled with missed chances and was mostly a boring 45 minutes of soccer. But in stoppage time in the first half, Trabzonspor's Selçuk İnan would deliver a pass to Umut Bulut. Bulut would deliver the ball into the back of the net giving Trabzonspor a 1-0 lead going into halftime.

The second half would feature more exciting soccer. In the 52nd minute, Trabzonspor would double their lead. Gustavo Colman would pass the ball to Drago Gabric, who immediately flicked the ball back to Colman on a give-and-go, and the Argentine would put it into the net. Trabzonspor then made it a comfortable lead, with Gabric faking out Necati Ateş and passing the ball to Gökhan Ünal. Ünal beat the offside trap, and his shot took a deflection off Antalyaspor midfielder Mile Jedinak into the goal. Jedinak would be creditied with the own goal and Trabzonspor was up 3-0. Antalyaspor would get a consolation goal as former Galatasaray defender Orhan Ak would score in the 79th minute. That was all the goals Antalyaspor would get as the final score would be 3-1 to Trabzonspor.


Beşiktaş "collapse"

After losing a heartbreaker against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League, Beşiktaş had an opportunity to take the momentum off a well played midweek European match and get back on the championship track. The problem was Kayserispor got in the way. Beşiktaş did not score in the previous three league matches, and this dubious streak would be extended to four matches. Kayserispor pulled off the upset at the İnönü Stadium over Beşiktaş by a scoreline of 1-0. Kayserispor head coach Tolunay Kafkas was suspended for the game, but got to see his team take three points away from the defending Turkcell Super League champions. Turkish sports daily Fanatik would refer to this game as a Beşiktaş "collapse". In the opening minute, Bobo could not put the ball home off a corner by Serdar Özkan. In the 14th minute, Kayserispor's Franco Cángele had a shot on goal go out of bounds. Beşiktaş' Rodrigo Tello had his shot saved by the Kayserispor's goalkeeper, but Bobo would get unlucky with the rebound. In the second half, Kayserispor would take the lead in the 53rd minute, as Ariza Makukula (on loan from Benfica) would put the visitors ahead. Nihat Kahveci and Michael Fink would come in as substitutes for Beşiktaş, but it couldn't cure their woes on offense. With ten minutes left in the match, Yusuf Şimşek would come in for Beşiktaş in order to provide any sort of spark. The spark would not come as Fink would missed an open net shot, and Kahveci would have a shot of his go off the post. Beşiktaş has only been able to score only three goals throughout the league campaign, and they have fallen further behind the leaders. Kayserispor won at the İnönü Stadium for the first time in their history.

The Beşiktaş fans were not happy after this recent loss. Fans in the stadium started to throw foreign objects at the board, prompting the board to walk away from the board's tribune. Security had to restrain the fans from throwing even more objects in the board's direction. The fans chanted in the direction of Beşiktaş' chairman Yıldırım Demirören, saying "enough Yıldırım Demirören, enough" and calling for the entire Beşiktaş board to resign. The fans also voiced their displeasure at match referee Bünyamin Gezer. Chants included "Kayseri dives, Bünyamin watches" and "Dive on the grass, dive on the grass, Bünyamin Gezer dive on the grass". The field would have plastic water bottles thrown at it from time to time.


Fenerbahçe stays perfect…

Fenerbahçe has not started with a perfect record after six weeks since 1964. After a loss to FC Twente of Holland in the Europa League, Fenerbahçe wanted to get back on the winning track in league play. Fenerbahçe would continue their perfect start to the league as they would beat İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor by a slim 1-0 margin. The stadium would be sparsely full because of the end of Ramadan holiday, in which three days are holidays after the end of the month of Ramadan. Gökhan Gönül was a game time decision to start due to his shoulder injury suffered during the FC Twente match. There was a surprise to the starting lineup for Fenerbahçe, as Gökçek Vederson would start at left back replacing Roberto Carlos, and Mehmet Topuz, whose play during the Bursaspor game the previous week earned him the starting spot in this match. Topuz would also be starting in place of Emre Belözoğlu, who would be serving the second of a three game suspension.

Most of the game was dominated with Fenerbahçe possession. İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor did come out with an offensive in the first five minutes, but Fenerbahçe would dominate the first half. Fenerbahçe would have many chances, in fact it looked like a contest to see who would miss the most chances on goal, as Dani Guiza, Andre Santos, Colin Kazim-Richards, and Alex de Souza would miss chances during the first half. It would take a free kick from Gökçek Vederson to put Fenerbahçe in the lead 1-0. Vederson kept the ball low and put the ball right by the left goalpost, out of the reach of İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor's goalkeeper Oğuzhan Bahadır. That would be the score at the halfway point. İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor tried to come back early in the 2nd half. But many of their shots would either go out of bounds or would end up in the hands of Fenerbahçe goalkeeper Volkan Demirel. The tempo in the 2nd half didn't pick up, as Fenerbahçe tried to play a more defensive, stress-free game. After being substituted in the second half, some fans were taunting Colin Kazim-Richards. He would return the taunts with his own taunts before being restrained by the Fenerbahçe technical staff. It seems as though a fine may be coming his way. İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor had a few more chances, including one at the end of the match, but it would not be enough. Alex de Souza would get a yellow card for protesting the placement of the ball for a İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor free kick at the very end of the match. Regardless, Fenerbahçe would continue their perfect start to the league.


…and Galatasaray does too

After a victory against Panathinaikos of Greece last Thursday, Galatasaray would return to Istanbul, ready to get back to league business. This week they wouldn't have to go far as they would take on another Istanbul club Kasımpaşa. This match would feature teams at the opposite ends of the table. In the 8th minute, Galatasaray's Milan Baros made a run and caused Kasımpaşa goalkeeper Tolga Özgen to come oout. Baros would pass the ball to Elano, and Elano's attempt on goal would look to be handled by Kasımpaşa's Ali Güneş, but the referee made the call to play on. Kasımpaşa would strike first, as Andre Moritz would receive a pass from Sancak Kaplan, who beat an attempted offside trap. Moritz would shoot the ball into the goal in the 26th minute. Perhaps it was surprising that Kasımpaşa came to play against one of the big three clubs of Istanbul, as they would get many good opportunities. Galatasaray would get their best chance of the game before halftime. Milan Baros pass would find Arda Turan in the box, but Turan's shot would go slightly wide to the right of the Kasımpaşa goal. Kasımpaşa would go into halftime with the 1-0 lead.

Kasımpaşa would also come out on the offensive early in the second half. In the 48th minute, Kasımpaşa's Andre Moritz would make a run, going by three Galatasaray defenders, but Emre Aşik would block the attempt on goal. Shabani Nonda, who came in as a substitute at the beginning of the second half, would have an attempt on goal. Taking advantage of a miscue by Kasımpaşa defender Koray Avci, Nonda would shoot a ball wide of the goal in the 53rd minute. Nonda, however, would be the hero of the night for Galatasaray. Nonda would put Galatasaray level in the 62nd minute, getting by the Kasımpaşa defense and putting the ball into the back of the net. Kasımpaşa then decided to try to preserve the tie. Kasımpaşa's goalkeeper Tolga Özgen would come up big in the 79th minute, saving two shots by Arda Turan to keep the score level. Nonda would come up big again, as a cross would slip from Özgen's hands and Nonda would put the ball away in the 89th minute, giving Galatasaray the lead. Nonda would then go on to complete the hat trick in the 90+3 minute, as Abdel Kader Keita's pass found the feet of Nonda. Nonda would score and that goal would be the final one. Galatasaray went on to beat Kasımpaşa 3-1, and stay perfect in the league with Fenerbahçe. Galatasaray actually lead the league at this point based on the goal differential tiebreaker.


Anatolian wrapup

This week's Anatolian action would feature the Ankara derby, Sivasspor's descent into the abyss, a game behind closed doors, and Eskişehirspor continuing their run without a loss. Diyarbakirspor would host Manisaspor this week. The result of the game ended up a scoreless tie. The game had to be played behind closed doors due to the actions of the Diyarbakirspor fans against Fenerbahce in week 3. There were chance in this game, but it seemed that nothing could be done to break the deadlock. Eskişehirspor improved their record to 3-3-0, as they would earn a victory over Gaziantepspor with a score of 3-2. Gaziantepspor would take the early lead in the 21st minute as Brazilian Ivan would pass a through ball to fellow Brazilian Julio Cesar Santos, who would put it into the back of the net. Eskişehirspor would come back though with three consecutive goals. The first of these three would come in the 36th minute. Gaziantepspor's Julio Cesar Santos was called for a handball in the box, and Ümit Karan would score his first league goal in 552 days off the penalty spot. The second of Eskişehirspor's goals would come in the 61st minute. Koray Arslan unleashed a shot from outside the box, and the shot went off the crossbar. The ball appeared to cross the line, but bounced back out of the goal. Linesman Mehmet Metin saw that the ball had crossed the goal line and informed the referee, who promptly awarded the goal. In the 73rd minute, a corner for Eskişehirspor would see Gaziantepspor goalkeeper Mahmut Bezgin come out of position, and Eskişehirspor's Luka Vucko headed the ball in the back of the net. A goal for Gaziantepspor in the 83rd minute by Julio Cesar de Souza got them within a goal. However, Eskişehirspor would hold on for the win, consolidating their third place standing. Sivasspor continued their decent from contending for the league title, to what seems as if to fight to stay up in the Super League. After struggling to get a draw against Denizlispor earlier in the week (as a make up game because of European commitments), Bursaspor would send Sivasspor to another loss, and perhaps push Sivasspor's head coach Bülent Uygun closer to the list of unemployed coaches. A 3rd minute goal by Volkan Şen would put Buraspor in the lead. Afterward, Sivasspor would get chance after chance, but nothing to show for it. Missed chances came as Bruno Mbanangoye couldn't score for the hosts in the 5th minute, İbrahim Şahin came close in the 7th, 14th, and 28th minutes, and Ersen Martin barely heading a ball out in the 42nd minute. Bursaspor would pull away in the 2nd half, as Shin Young Rok, a replacement for Sercan Yildirim, would score in the 85th minute. Mbanangoye would pull one back for Sivasspor in the 88th minute, but Shin Young Rok would answer right back in the same minute to bring the final score to 3-1. Finally this week, the Ankara derby took place at the May 19th Stadium between Ankaragücü and Gençlerbirliği. In the 10th minute, Mustafa Pektemek would score with his head off a corner kick from Labinot Harbuzi to put Gençlerbirliği in the lead. In the 32nd minute, Ankaragücü would tie the game, as Barbaros Barut would head the ball home after a cross from Ariel Broggi. In the 80th minute, Gençlerbirliği would take the lead for good, as Kahe would score off Hurşit Meriç's cross to make the final score 2-1 to Gençlerbirliği.

Ankaraspor gets demoted.

(Note: I had originally published this when it originally happened. I wanted to get the full scope of it. There is an addendum at the bottom of the original article in italics)

The big news of the week in the Turkcell Super League is the demotion of Ankaraspor from the Super League to the Bank Asya 1st League. The shocking news was first reported on Tuesday September 15. The match that Ankaraspor was supposed to play against Kayserispor was postponed while the investigation was taking place.

This situation came to a head when Ahmet Gokcek was elected the chairman of Ankaragucu. Gokcek is the son of the mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, who is also the honorary chairman of Ankaraspor. Rumors were spread that the two clubs were going to merge. The Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PFDK) then decided to act by relegating Ankaraspor because that this situation "was contrary to sporting competitiveness". Other punishments handed out by the PFDK included suspending the chairmen of both clubs in question for six months. Ankaragucu would not be dropped from the Super League, but their board of directors will also be suspended for three months.

Melih Gokcek, as would be expected, was not happy about the situation. His response to the ruling would be that he would file an appeal. He also said that the PFDK should fix its own problems. Also, he has threatened to take his case to the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) and FIFA.

The resulting aftermath in regards to the league is as follows. Kayserispor, who would have been Ankaraspor's opponent in week 5, will be awarded the three points and a victory by default. Three other previous opponents, Antalyaspor, Gaziantepspor, and Genclerbirligi, will also be awarded three points and wins over Ankaraspor. The league will continue from hereon after with 17 teams and will play 32 rounds.

Ankaraspor would receive even more bad news as the TFF arbitration committee declared the club could not appeal to FIFA and the CAS. FIFA has said that the situation has to be handled internally within the TFF. The CAS would declare that since this doesn't concern foreign elements in sport and domestic matters are handled domestically.

The Ankaraspor saga may not be over just yet. On September 30, the TFF Arbitration committee will have a meeting to look into the situation concerning Ankaraspor, and their forced demotion by the Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PDFK). On that day, the PDFK will defend its position on the matter, while Ankaraspor will make the argument that it should stay in the Turkcell Super League. After that, it will be up to the Arbitration board to decide Ankaraspor's fate. Ankaraspor is not scheduled to play this weekend due to its punishment. But after September 30th, depending on the Arbitration committee's decision, Ankaraspor may be able to continue play in the Turkcell Super League after all. Whatever happens, this controversy has been gaining steam, and the end result should be interesting.