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Serbülent Şengün
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NB 2002-2003 1.Süper Lig

Week 25 - Analysis by Serbülent Şengün

"Attack - Handball Style" from Kocaelispor-Bursaspor game

Unfortunately, as people are dying, becoming POWs, and the grieving of many are televised daily, life goes on. Like many all around the world, all we can do is to hope that the war ends soon.

With previously postponed three games played during the week and 9 more at the weekend, and the upcoming game of the national side against their English counterparts there was a lot of football to talk about.

At the previously postponed games, Denizlispor managed to win 1-0 against Galatasaray in İstanbul, Gaziantepspor pretty much hammered Elazığspor with a 4-0 result, and the bottom place holders Kocaelispor tied with Bursaspor 0-0.

At the 9 games played at the weekend, there were 2 draws, 4 games were won by the home sides and 3 were won by the visiting team. Home sides scored 14 of the 24 goals scored this week, while visitors managed 10. The teams that share the bottom 10 places in the standings are up to a bitter final, as the point difference between the 10th and the 18th is just 10, and anything can happen at the bottom. While on the top, three teams are looking to keep up the fight till the end.

Games :

Ankaragücü (8) – Samsunspor (12): Most definitely the best game of the week. The visitors scored the first one at the 17th minute with a little luck and because of the clumsiness of the Ankaragücü defenders. Ankaragücü answered back 16 minutes later, and immediately started to look for the second goal. However more clumsiness by the home side defenders were to follow. Team captain Hakan Kutlu pretty much assisted the Samsunspor offence as they scored their second goal just before half time. In the second half it was all Ankaragücü. They created huge chances but were not successful till the last 15 minutes when they scored two goals in three minutes to grab the lead. It is interesting to note that once again Samsunspor goalkeeper Fevzi had great saves although conceding three goals. I keep talking about the great form of Fevzi, but it is a fact, and without him, it looks like Samsunspor can be in a very bad position in the league than they are right now. Ankaragücü on the other hand has began to play better consistently. (3–2)

Diyarbakırspor (10) – İstanbulspor (11) : Another up-tempo game. Neither team wanted to risk a loss, yet both teams were looking for the win. It was a good game overall and a draw looked like the most just result as both teams had their chances and were able to score one a piece. Diyarbakırspor got total control of the game after it was tied, yet obviously it was too late. The physical and mental qualities of both teams pretty much signal us that neither team will be the first ones in the relegation posts in the last 10 weeks. (1-1)

Malatyaspor (7) – Adanaspor (14) : This match in particular was obivously effected by the rumours that the home side would not push hard to help out the visitors who are fighting to avoid relegation. Even the home side fans seemed to believe the allegations, yet that is not what happened on the field. Adanaspor in the past weeks is playing with lots of heart and should be respected for that, yet they could not match the quality of the squad of the home side. Malatyaspor missed a penalty early in the second half, and they could not get the winning goal till the last ten minutes, but in the end they managed to win to end any kind of accusation. Good game overall. (1-0)

Fenerbahçe (5) – Altay (13) : Fenerbahçe is far the team that were title contenders few months ago. Constant turmoil in the club management has obviously shattered any confidence and mental strength the team had. During the whole game the visitors as anybody would expect defended deep and looked like they would be well happy with one points, but they got more than what they expected. They held on strong throughout the game and created good chances on the counter attack scoring one due to a defensive mistake by Fenerbahçe at the 74th minute. This win helped Altay keep its hopes high till the end of the season. As for Fenerbahçe, the team who always gets the most media attention, there was more turmoil to come. (0–1)

Denizli (9) – Gençlerbirliği (3): The home side had managed a win over title contenders Galatasaray during the week, and stepped to get their second win over another title contender on their home ground, but that is not how the story went. The visitors scored the first through a beauty by Ahmed Hassan. The home side equalised early in the second half, but after that it was the visitors who dominated the field, scoring two goals and proving one more time that their run for the title was very very real. Also an interesting thing to note was that all three goals scored by the visitors were through ex Denizli players. Fate or coincidence? (1-3)

Göztepe (17) – Kocaelispor (18) : Finally Kocaelispor managed a win, but it did not come that easy. Göztepe tried to same corner kick variation three times in a row and on the third one they got their goal. The visitors equalised ten minutes later to keep their hopes up. During the rest of the first half the home side played the better ball, creating some chances but lacked finishing. In the second half however Kocaelispor played more smartly. As Göztepe pushed forward to score, they used the empty space left on their side of the field to create good counter attacks, finally scoring after a couple of chances. The win revived Kocaelispor’s hopes, and as for Göztepe, now they are the team that is in the biggest mental slump. But hey, anything can change with two wins in a row, and as all their counterparts are doing the same, that’s what they too, will search for. (1-2)

Trabzonspor (4) – Bursaspor (15): Trabzonspor is on a run, and it looks like there is no stopping them. There is nothing that can be said about them but that they play great football. Once again Fatih Tekke, Marco Aurelio, Gökdeniz played great, Mehmet Yilmaz was once again “unlucky” at the finishing end but great physically. Bursaspor could not even put out a decent resistance as the home side (who by the way played this game at Samsun due to a one match ban) just kept attacking from left and right. This win put Trabzonspor one place ahead in the standings. As for Bursaspor, they will wait for the next week, once again. (3-0)

Gaziantepspor (6) – Beşiktaş (1) : You have to respect the Beşiktaş team for the amount of high calibre games they played the last month and still be in the form that they are at right now. Although this game was more dominated by the home side, it must be great for the Beşiktaş fans to see that their team does not give up the fight even towards the end of the games, when their “unbeaten”ness is on the line. What was interesting to observe for me at this game was Maxim Romachenko’s effect on the game. Maxim who I believe is one of the best foreigners in the league was the one who took the corner kick in which Gaziantepspor scored through a header, at the 73rd minute his defensive mistake led to the Beşiktaş equaliser, then 6 minutes later he missed a penalty kick for his team (the first Gaziantepspor missed this season), thus making him the man of the match, not in the best sense however. (1-1)

Galatasaray (2) – Elazığspor (16): Once again, a game in front of an empty stadium, this time due to Galatasaray’s ban. Football is never the same when there is nobody around, and once again this factor seemed like the most important thing throughout the game. Elazığspor played unexpectedly brave, as a matter of fact a shot by Mezsaros hit the post within the first 30 seconds of the game. But of course the bravery was not left unpunished. Galatasaray created the chances in which they could score easily. Overall a good game of football ended with Galatasaray continuing their run for the title and dismissing the backlashes of the Denizlispor game during the week, while Elazığspor has conceded 7 and not scored a single goal in the last two games in the last 5 days. (3-0)

Goals of the week :

Finally a week where there was no lack of beautiful goals.
1. Ahmed Hassan (Gençlerbirliği) : He is not the man to score easy goals, again this week scoring one of the best goals of the season, he twisted around his defender and shot a marvellous 25 meter shot to leave the goalkeeper barely helpless.
2. Ümit Karan (Galatasaray) (2nd goal) : Beautiful volley to a cross from the right wing. He is always one who likes to try aesthetic stuff, and this was one of those that went right. Although the volley was not fierce, the stylish kick and the effort well deserved the praise.

Team of the week : Altay GK İzmir

The victory they got this week might be the reason they can continue in the Super League next season. They played a ten men defence throughout the game looking for the counterattacks and did what they planned perfectly.

Player of the week : Ümit Karan (Galatasaray)

Not because he played the most magnificent football, but first of all there were no very key players this week, and secondly because of his rising form in the last month establishing him as one of the most important strikers in the league. Overall he scored two this week, one being particularly classy, and he tries to put in the same effort and heart week after week.

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