Curtain rises on Turkish Super League marathon with goalless draw
Czech veteran Milan Baros will try to lead Antalya to last year's heights, while Kayseri Erciyesspor is focusing on avoiding relegation. AA photoLet the games begin! The Turkish Super League 2013-2014 season kicked off on Aug. 15 with a goalless draw between Medical Park Antalyaspor and Kayseri Erciyesspor, after a hard-fought match played in intense heat and humidity at the Mediterranean side’s home ground.
There were no goals in this first rendezvous, however, despite both teams displaying attacking intent and counting many deadly strikers among their ranks.
Antalyaspor, who were the surprise packet during the first half of last year, signed former Beşiktaş coach Samet Aybaba in the pre-season, a “nomad” among Turkish clubs known for his vertical football. Czech veteran Milan Baros also joined Antalya’s already gifted attacking line with Tita, Isaac Promise, Ismael Aissati and Lamine Diarra.
The Central Anatolian club who returned to the top flight this year stole Gençlerbirliği’s skilled coach Fuat Çapa, who brought with him to Kayseri two of the Ankara club’s most prolific players, Randall Azofeifa and Björn Vleminckx.
Both teams displayed all their fire power right from the beginning but failed to produce opportunities matching their talent.
The most promising opportunity in the first half came from the home side in the 35th minute when Tita’s shot following a pass from Diarra went wide.
For their part, the visitors came close to scoring in the 78th with Vleminckx’s header. Only four minutes later, Yasin Öztekin also enjoyed a dangerous opportunity in Antalya’s area, but goalkeeper Hakan Arıkan managed to block his shot.
Fenerbahçe will be on the pitch on Aug. 17 at newly promoted Torku Konyaspor’s home turf. Aug. 18 will see the clash between two other title contenders, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor, at Istanbul’s Olympic Stadium. Title-holders Galatasaray will start their season on Aug. 19 in Gaziantep.