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NB 2002-2003 1.Süper Lig

Week 16 - Analysis by Serbülent Şengün

"A picnic in the garden" - from Galatasaray - Beşiktaş game

The week started off with the Turkish cup fixtures. Among the games played four second division teams managed to eliminate their super league counterparts creating some surprise for football fans around the country. Konyaspor eliminated Fenerbahçe, Sivasspor eliminated İstanbulspor, B.B.Ankaraspor eliminated Bursaspor and Ç.Rizespor eliminated Gaziantepspor.

The regular league fixtures started on Saturday with İstanbulspor hosting Elazığspor and Kocaelispor hosting Altay. In the 9 games that were played 34 goals were scored tying the most goals in a week this season. Interestingly 17 of these were scored in two games. More interestingly, 4 of the 9 games ended with a 3-0 result, not the most common result in football games. Three games were won by visitors, home sides managed to win six of the games, once again no games were tied. Home sides managed to score 19 goals and the visitors netted 15. Galatasaray and Beşiktaş swap places for the top spot once again after Beşiktaş won the derby game against rivals Galatasaray. Just a reminder Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe have a postponed game to play against each other.

Games :

İstanbulspor – Elazığspor: Both teams are struggling for a secure place over the relegation line and İstanbulspor had not won a game for 8 matches. The visitors took the lead but could not maintain it. İstanbulspor pushed hard for the win and they got it. However an obvious handball was missed by the referee before the home sides’ second goal. İstanbulspor coach Aykut Kocaman pointed out after the game : “this is not the way I want to win a game”. Yet it is the scoreboard that counts and İstanbulspor got very emergent 3 points. (2-1)

Kocaelispor – Altay : Kocaelispor is getting better and better, and they have only one way to go and that is “better”. The two teams confronted each other in the Turkish Cup game on Tuesday and once again Kocaelispor came out as the winner. However unlike the cup game, Kocaelispor with great fan support dominated this game totally. Altay could only create minor chances whereas the home side missed almost a dozen chances while scoring three elegant and well organized goals. Their attacking strength scheme relied mainly on the right wing runs and long crosses to the left, and it worked pretty well. Kocaelispor has finally gained their confidence back and although they are at the bottom of the league, I certainly believe it won’t be for long. (3-0)

Trabzonspor - Denizli : The game between two of the best defending teams was not likely to yield many goals and it didn’t. Trabzonspor played intensively whilst the visitors answered back with solid defending. Denizli’s Servet and Hakan Çimen are two of the most in-form defenders in the league, and their work rate prevented the goal hungry Trabzonspor from scoring till the 83rd minute, but the “inevitable” happened. Trabzonspor it seems, is cunningly following the top spot. Whether they will get there is a question mark, but with this intensity it is no question that they will fight for it. (1-0)

Diyarbakırspor - Fenerbahçe : There are a bunch of things that can be said about this game. First of all, ironically Fenerbahçe’s coach last year Mustafa Denizli was forced to resign after a loss against Diyarbakır, and this year the same recipe applied to Werner Lorant, the much debated Fenerbahce coach; he lost his job. Secondly the referee totally lost control of the game in the first half as he sent off two players from each team, both desicions were not even controversial, they were totally absurd. Thirdly half of Fenerbahçe’s players had a quarrel with at least one team mate during the game, turning the pitch into a theatrical arena. The game? Diyarbakırspor played extremely smartly and deserved the victory. Although they scored the last two goals in the last 6 minutes, they had created a lot of chances previously and the three goal result is nothing less than well deserved. (3-0)

Ankaragücü – Gaziantepspor : Twice in these columns I protested matches played in empty stadiums arguing that players could not motivate themselves to play in empty stadiums. Obviously I was wrong. 8 goals in 90 minutes, and a bunch more missed. The key behind the home sides goals was set pieces, and the set pieces specialist Yılmaz. Yılmaz scored the first from 30 metres, he then had crossed two more that ended up as goals. Strong right flank runs seemed of high importance as well. Gaziantepspor is suffering from concentration problems. They are a great counter attack team, but when their opponent does not give them the space, they really have a hard time, 2 of their three goals came from penalty shots. With 8 goals scored, actually there is not much to say.(5-3)

Bursaspor - Adanaspor: Similar to İstanbulspor Bursaspor had not won a game for 9 weeks, they had a coach change last week, and were looking to start a recovery soon, and they managed to do it this week. Adanaspor on the other hand somehow cannot avoid the slump they are in, they lack the aggressiveness they had in the previous weeks. Both teams had their chances but Bursaspor looked the better team and they managed a victory with the most popular result of the week. Okan Yılmaz’s form is very exciting, I believe the leading goal scorer of the league is eagerly waiting for a national squad call. He scored two on this one, both showed his determination and willingness for the net. (3-0)

Göztepe – Malatyaspor : Göztepe is continuing to have a hard time, and on the other hand Malatyaspor seemed to have learned their lesson last week. As Malatyaspor gained back their fighter character there is a lot that they can do on the football field. Göztepe tried to fight back on the pitch but Malatyaspor did the job with class. They created a basketful of chances and only scored three being the first visitor team to win all theree. (0-3)

Samsunspor – Gençlerbirliği: For the second time in the last four weeks Gençlerbirliği won 7-2 on an away game. Sounds totally ridiculous but its true. The league’s leading goal scoring team is indeed a big pleasure to watch. Samsunspor’s goalkeeper Shorunmu made terrible mistakes in the first four goals and was replaced in the second half, however the substitute goalkeeper could not do any better as the visitors rallied to the goal line pretty often. Samsunspor even when they were winning in the previous weeks had not produced anything on the pitch and it is not a surprise they are slumping the way they do. If their coach Jovanovski does not change the teams approach to the game, I sincerely believe they will hardly avoid relegation. (2-7)

Galatasaray - Beşiktaş: Match of the week did not satisfy fans who expected a game that resembled the caliber of both teams. Galatasaray who had won their record breaking, previous 25 games on home ground lost to the visiting Beşiktaş. Galatasaray looked the team that was more eager to win, but Beşiktaş’s solid defending and especially Ronaldo did some excellent work to deny them any chances. It is interesting to note that the visitors only created important chances after the 70th minute, but they managed to net the goal that secured them the three points and the leadership spot once again. (0-1)

Goals of the week :

1. Yılmaz (Ankaragücü) : 30 meters free-kick taken viciously by the Ankaragücü captain to grant him yet another goal of the week. Long range goals has been his specialty, and the classy goals he score are not a big surprise anymore. What can he do to top this?.
2. Lazarov (Kocaelispor) : He was on his day. The second of his two goals came as the Kocaelispor hit man hit a left footer on the penalty zone line that was actually coming to his right, and more interestingly the ball took a left curve to find the net to the right of the goal keeper. Beautiful to watch.
3. Hakan Keleş (Ankaragücü) : Beautiful right foot volley to a cross from the right wing, the veteran finished with elegance.

Team of the week : Gençlerbirliği SK Ankara

Need anyone mention the reason. The most exciting thing about this team is that they never have enough. It may even seem mad to some football coaches that a team who scored seven on an away game should look for more, but to these guys it seems perfectly logical. Coach Ersun Yanal has created the team to watch. If they can keep their mental concentration and really believe in themselves, there is no reason why they cannot be the fifth team to ever win a championship in Turkey.

Player of the week : Ahmed Hassan (Gençlerbirliği)

Its him again. He is the main man behind the master plan of Gençlerbirliği on the pitch. His elegant passing, on the spot appearance for finishing and his drive for success are some of the main components for his and his teams success. And for the sake of statistics may I add that he had his second hat-trick of the season. What else is there to say.

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