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Serbülent Şengün
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NB 2002-2003 1.Süper Lig

Week 27 - Analysis by Serbülent Şengün

"Playing Horsy" from Göztepe-Diyarbakırspor game

As the final weeks of the season are getting started, things are getting more and more complex both at the top and at the bottom. It is the time of the year when mental toughness will probably account more than physical toughness, and teams, which can keep their intensity at sane levels will be more successful than the others.

At the 9 games played at the weekend, there were 2 draws, 5 games were won by the home sides and 2 were won by the visiting team. Home sides scored 20 of the 29 goals scored this week, while visitors managed 9.

Games :

Galatasaray (2) – Altay (12): The title contenders have not been playing good football in the past weeks, but they managed to find the way to win games. However this week they played some very solid football against Altay who had won their past two games and were building confidence. Galatasaray’s midfield has been physically superior since the mid season transfer of Volkan, and at this game Volkan showed some of his technical merits too. Ümit Karan and Ali Lukunku seem to be understanding each other more and more each week, and that is a real plus for the side who has always been in the title race last 7 years. Altay on the other side has to forget about this game and look forward. Clear victory for Galatasaray (5–0)

Denizli (10) – Samsunspor (9) : It is almost a fact now that Samsunspor is the most luckiest team in the league. I find it hard to remember a game in which Samsunspor dominated the field and won a game, but with 27 games played they somehow managed 9 Ws. Throughout the game Denizli did everything possible but could not finish. They wasted many chances of which some lacked the final vital touch and some which Samsunspor goalie Shourunmu saved superbly. The goal the visitors scored was a clear defensive mistake which did not match the defensive quality Denizli possessed this season. In the end Samsunspor stole another 3 vital points from a challenging away game, and I have to give the credit to them. (1-1)

Göztepe (16) – Diyarbakırspor (13) : With new coach İlyas Tüfekçi some things looked different for the home side. Players were determined to win this game, and win it clearly, and that is pretty much what they did. Diyarbakırspor could not create any vivid chances until the score was 3-0. That is pretty much as clear as it can get when you talk about determination to win a game. (3-0)

Malatyaspor (8) – Beşiktaş (1) : This was a very interesting game. Malatyaspor is always known for their strength at home, and Beşiktaş as the leading title contender could not go away without a win, and so it happened but in a very weird way. Throughout the first half, with the tremendous playmaking of Sergen Beşiktaş dominated the field, scored two and barely did Malatyaspor have shot on goal, and that was nothing the goalkeeper needed to dive to. In the second half and especially at the last 20 minutes in some ununderstandable manner Beşiktaş played very poorly as the home side was attacking left and right, they got one goal, and the goal they got came too late, after some serious heroics from Beşiktaş goalkeeper Cordoba. In the end I was confused on how this game turned out to be such a mess for both teams. (1–2)

Elazığspor (14) – Adanaspor (15): With their second coach of the season resigned after last weeks 5 goal loss, Elazığspor was a question mark, and Adanaspor after their win against Fenerbahçe last week was expected to play better, but that is not what happened. Again this was another game in which mental strength determined the way the game was played. Elazığspor wanted the win, played like winners, and got their well deserved 3 points. Elazığspor had 2 goals in the first half. Adanaspor when focused plays good football, and their early goal in the second half could have been a sign of that kind of ball, if only they did not concede a minute later. That was absolutely the crucial point of the game when Elazığspor played more comfortably, and Adanaspor lost their hopes totally. (4-2)

Gaziantepspor (6) – Bursaspor (17) : Gaziantepspor has established a standard for themselves, and they do not surprise anybody, they play the same ball all the time, once again a serious example of mental strength. Bursaspor on the other hand is the biggest surprise of the season. Their roster includes top notch players, two great goalkeepers, a national defender, the leagues leading goalscorer, and plenty young talent, but they are at the bottom of the league. At this game they once again grabbed the lead only to loose it to a draw at the last 10 minutes, and to loose it totally at the last minute of the game. Talk about concentration and mental toughness……. (2-1)

Ankaragücü (7) – Kocaelispor (18): Ankaragücü has changed incredibly in the second half of the season with their new coach Tevfik Lav. This game was a pure crystallisation of the mission Lav had put forth for his team. Ankaragücü did everything that is the basis of modern day football. Wings, center, physical roughness etc. Kocaelispor, hopefully learned from their mistakes, as throughout the game all they did was try to hold on to a 0-0 draw. That is not the way to avoid relegation. They might be happy they only conceded two goals. (2-0)

Trabzonspor (4) – İstanbulspor (11) : All I’m going to do about this game this game is to try to rephrase İstanbulspors coach Aykut Kocaman’s words. “there is no justice in football” he said, stating that Trabzonspor did everything possible to win, and that it was Trabzonspor who played the game, and they could only be labeled as being lucky, for finding a way to leave the pitch with a point. Yes, that is the summary of what happened. (0-0)

Fenerbahçe (5) – Gençlerbirliği (3): Under heavy rain, a pitch covered with water, this was not the game anybody expected to be. One of the best games of the season as both teams showed incredible physical effort, and everything that makes football fun to watch. Fenerbahçe with their new interim coach had a team with an average age of 23, and that was probably the reason for their physical and moral strength against the team that has played the best football in the league almost throughout the season. In the end with lots of action and drama, the game ended with one points for each team, making things harder for the Gençlerbirliği side’s attempt for a title. (3-3)

Goals of the week :

Finally a week where there was no lack of beautiful goals.
1. Bülent (Gaziantepspor) : A very smart looper from the left side of the penalty box line. The key to the beauty was that nobody expected that kind of a shot when the whole defence was settled. A very intelligent goal.
2. Baljic (Galatasaray) : He has been silent throughout the season and has become a regular on the bench, however the first time shot to a curling ball showed what he essentially was made of.
3. Arif (Galatasaray) : His 100th. A great milestone for a guy who already had success written all over his resume. Shot on empty net, but who cares.

Team of the week : Göztepe SHTAŞ İzmir

A great team effort, just when needed and with the perfect attitude. If they hold on to this approach at every game throughout the last 7 games, relegation might be very well avoided.

Player of the week : Semih Şentürk (Fenerbahçe)

It is not easy to step up as a striker to a game against one of the best teams in the league, starting for the first time, and being barely 20 years old. His style looks lazy and laid back, but the boy knows where to run. He scored two goals and assisted another against a very tough Gençlerbirliği on the first night he started. I can only hope the youngster keeps his composure.

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