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Serbülent Şengün
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NB 2002-2003 1.Süper Lig

Week 20 - Analysis by Serbülent Şengün

"One vs Two" from Elazığspor - Ankaragücü game

Before the regular fixtures of the league, the national team and U-21 national team both played against Ukraine in friendly matches. The U-21 squad, as we all are getting used to this year scored a handful of goals to beat the Ukraine U-21 4-2, the seniors however tied 0-0 a day later. Nevertheless the football of both teams gave signs of even better days to come in the coming months.

20th match day of the league started on Saturday and finally this was a week in which all 9 games were played. Home sides won 6 of the games played, and visitors managed 3 victories, interestingly no games ended with a draw. Out of a total of 26 goals both home sides and visitors shared 13 goals. The struggle on the fields were intense and it seems like it is only going to get more intense as the league right now seems to have 3 categories and every team is in a fight in its own category. The first is the 4 teams that fight for the title and the UCL spot, the second category includes another 4 teams that personally I think are all capable of a UEFA spot, the remaining 10 teams are in a fierce battle to avoid relegation and it doesn’t matter what their current position is, all teams in this third category have to fight till the end to be able to do so, as nobody seems to be safe, and nobody is currently lost.

Games :

Malatyaspor (7) – Denizlispor (8): Malatyaspor’s ban led the game to be played in front of an empty stadium. Or should I say presumably empty, as it seemed like there were about 1000 spectators all in the protocol seating. How weird is that? The game on the other hand swung both ways as either team could have it. Nevertheless the visitors looked the better team, however they could not manage to score in their many efforts to the goal line. Malatyaspor in the first half could not do much but try long distance shots. The second half the game looked more equal to both sides. The critical moment came at the overtime as the home side scored right at the 93rd minute. A devastating loss for Denizlispor, while on the other hand Malatyaspor continued to add to their impressive home record to make it 7 – 3 – 1. (2-1)

Samsunspor (16) – Kocaelispor (18) : The battle to escape relegation is fierce, however there is one team, that keeps on suprising everybody and that is Kocaelispor, it is really hard to believe that after 20 games, last years cup winners only have 13 points. Samsunspor seemed to be aware of their need of points and played accordingly, Kocaelispor lacked the intensity. After a long struggle the home side managed to score the point grabber only 5 minutes before the game ended. With the transfer of Serkan Aykut and the newly transferred Oktay, Samsunspor now has a very experienced striker force (Ertuğrul, Serkan, Oktay) whom have all played a respectable amount of international games, however they are one of the teams that score the least amount of goals. It will be interesting to see if that will change at the second part of the season. Kocaelispor on the other hand lost 3 key players in mid season transfers (Volkan, Uğur Boral and Iordanov), and the newly transferred Georgians do not seem to be fitting the team for the time being. With each week passing by relegation for Kocaelispor seems to look like a reality than a bad dream. (1-0)

Fenerbahçe (4) – Gaziantepspor (6) : Fenerbahçe, undoubtedly is the team which gets the most media attention, no matter what the situation is. They are either over criticized or they are over exaggerated. With the team falling 11 points behind the leaders, turmoil started once again in the media sphere. To make things more pitiful, the Argentinian star Ariel Ortega left the club due to personal reasons. All these gave the Gaziantepspor game an extra meaning, and the players responded to the challenge rushing in with great force and scoring the first goal at the 3rd minute. An excellent football was on the ground in the first half as both teams showed great effort, however the home side was the team that managed to score another, and deservingly so, as they created around 6 net chances, while the visitors had only one net chance. The second half, however the game changed character, and turned out to be rather boring. Nevertheless both teams deserved an applause for the effort. In the end Fenerbahçe ended turmoil for a week, as usual, or should we say, till the next time they loose points. (2-0)

Adanaspor (17) – Göztepe (15) : This was a very interesting game. Göztepe last week played a very solid football but nevertheless lost against hometown rivals Altay. It seems like the gods of football paid back to their effort last week. All through the game Adanaspor was the team that played ball. Only in the first half did they have two balls that hit the post among with many chances that were squandered carelessly. Göztepe on the other hand had rare attacks and scored through a penalty. The second half was no different, as the home side pushed forward, Göztepe looked for the counter attacks and got another penalty (quite a controversial one too) to make it 0-2. Adanaspor finally managed to score through Necati, who worked so hard throughout the game, but it was too late, as Göztepe managed to hold on their lead. Well if it was the job of the football gods, then they need to pay Adanaspor back very soon. The bottom of the league more complicated then ever. (1-2)

Altay (11) – Trabzonspor (5): Trabzonspor had important players (Erman Güraçar, Fatih Tekke and Erman Özgür) missing, and Altay had their morale level high because of the previous weeks victory. Nevertheless Trabzonspor stepped up on the field with incredible determination. The key point in the victory was the Trabzonspor midfields remarkable quickness in passing the ball to the forwards. Gökdeniz and Ali Şen played some very fascinating football. Altay on the other hand could not put out what they planned, they lost possession rather easily, which led to the easy dismantling of their defense. Overall the visitors earned a well deserved victory. (1-4)

Elazığspor (12) – Ankaragücü (9) : Elazığspor showed signs of good things to come on the previous match against Trabzonspor and so it happened. Newly transferred Ze Roberto seemed like a man for the job, when he scored the only goal of the game in the 27th minute. However just about ten minutes after he scored, he got sent off while trying to break up a fight between two players. Well, that’s another way of welcoming new players to Turkish standard of refereeing. The game did not yield to much to talk about after the sending off incident. Both teams had their chances yet neither team managed to change the score line. (1-0)

Gençlerbirliği (2) – Diyarbakırspor (10) : Last week they won without playing good football, this week the same applied once again, however there were slight differences. Gençlerbirliği’s winning attitude will be a key factor in their pursuit of championship and this week was a proof to that remark. Diyarbakırspor knew that giving space to Gençlerbirliği would be suicide so they backed off real well, and trying to counter attack from the left flank especially by Murat Hacıoğlu, and they almost accomplished what they wanted. As an answer to a first half goal the visitors replied through Saffet early in the second half. From then on they went on to lock the game, which they almost did, but the home side finally managed to score at the 78th minute, and as for the icing of the cake Ahmed Hassan (who scored two goals that were not allowed, one due to offsides, and the other due to a faul) sealed things off at the last minute (3-1)

Beşiktaş (1) – İstanbulspor (13): The way Beşiktaş started of to this game was really impressive. They got 2 goals in the first 15 minutes and from then on all the fans at the İnönü Stadium were only expecting more. However that is not how it happened. The first half ended with the two early goals and with the start of the second half things turned around as Sergen was substituted for İlhan Mansız in Beşiktaş and more importantly Faruk was substituted for Pinto in İstanbulspor. Faruk played an impressive football to try to turn things around and as U-21 starlet Selçuk joined him, İstanbulspor became a real threat to the leaders. After İstanbulspor scored their goal things got even more complicated, and Beşiktaş players got more and more tenser. Sergen got red carded after a quarrel, and Beşiktaş played the last minutes of the game in great tension. Nevertheless they hold on to their victory. İstanbulspor on the other hand might be on the start of something good in the coming days. (2-1)

Bursaspor (14) – Galatasaray (3): Another interesting game. Galatasaray missing in action last week returned in Bursa with 4 newly transferred players in the starting 11, but among all Haim Revivo glittered the most with his hat trick. Bursaspor, could have done better if they had not been lowered to ten men at the 38th minute. Nevertheless they were eager to fight, but Galatasaray playing decent long balls, especially into the left wing where Ergün, Hakan Ünsal both played a good game, created enough chances to secure a 4 goal differential game. (0-4)

Goals of the week :

1. Duro (Malatyaspor) : Beautiful 25 metre strike by the Albanian midfielder. He is slowly turning these long range goals into a classic. If you are defending him, you can’t allow him to shoot with a clear sight, cause if you do, he’ll make you pay for it.
2. Johnson (Fenerbahçe) : Johnson is known for his aerial abilities, but not for his long range shots, especially with his left foot. Yet the midfielder from Ghana made no mistakes in shooting a 22 meter goal, that goalkeeper Ömer could hardly see.
3. Revivo (Galatasaray)(1st goal) : First night with his new club, and Revivo did some classics. His first goal was a half volley, shot first time and powerfully that left Bursaspor goalkeeper Majdan helpless. .

Team of the week : Trabzonspor K

With important players missing in a squad that is not very versatile, the team stood up to the challenge, gaining a sound victory and playing some very good teamwork.

Player of the week : Revivo (Galatasaray)

A hat trick with three superb goals on the first official game with his new club. What is more to say, and what else would anyone need to vote him player of the week.

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