Fenerbahçe beats Trabzon to take title race to the wire
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The Spor Toto Super League game between Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe had scenes more like a battle than a football game. Several objects, including fireworks, were thrown from the stands at the Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium, and many fights broke out between players. AA photo
The Spor Toto Super League title race will go to the wire after Fenerbahçe cut the point gap with leader Galatasaray to one.
Fenerbahçe won a crucial championship playoff game at Trabzonspor 3-1, while Galatasaray was held to a 2-2 draw at home to Beşiktaş on May 6.
Galatasaray leads the championship playoff with 47 points, while Fenerbahçe has 46 and has the chance to defend its title with a win on May 13.
Fenerbahçe hosts Galatasaray in the final match of the season and the winner will claim the league title with the visitors keeping the top spot with a draw.
On May 6, Fenerbahçe overcame a highly hostile environment at Trabzonspor.
The game was played under a rain of objects thrown from the stands, including fireworks. There were several cynical fouls from Trabzonspor players Gustavo Colman and Olcan Adın, but the most brutal one was Didier Zokora’s flying kick toward Emre Belözoğlu.
Referee Mustafa Kamil Abitoğlu was close to the situation but just cautioned Zokora in one of the most shocking decisions of the season.
“He should not call himself a referee,” pundit Rıdvan Dilmen said about the decision.
It was no surprise that Zokora had his private battle with Emre, since the Ivory Coast midfielder claimed that he was subjected to racist abuse from the Turkish international in the two teams’ first playoff game two weeks ago. Emre was given a two-match ban for insulting Zokora, but he was not given a ban for “racism.”
The ties between the two teams were already tense after Fenerbahçe pipped Trabzonspor to the title, and it hit a new low when the former’s league title became the subject of a match-fixing investigation.
Trabzonspor repeatedly claimed that it was robbed of the title and officially wanted Fenerbahçe’s trophy.
The Trabzonspor camp was angry as well, with goalkeeper Tolga Zengin claiming he was subjected to abuse from Fenerbahçe translator Samet Güzel.
Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman congratulated his players who were able to win against all odds.
“I wonder how it all came to this. There is anger, hatred, fury, everything but football in Turkey,”
Kocaman said. “I don’t know where that will all lead to.
“Today there was no football but we tried to play anyway. I congratulate my players for managing to win in such an atmosphere,” he said.
The atmosphere at the Türk Telekom Arena was exactly the opposite, with Galatasaray fans preparing to celebrate the title with a win, if Trabzonspor could have held Fenerbahçe to a draw.
After two first-half goals by Felipe Melo and Hugo Almeida (own goal), Galatasaray seemed destined for a win, but two late goals by Beşiktaş spoiled the Lions’ party, meaning it will all be decided in one tense 90-minute game at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium.