ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe overcomes a hostile atmosphere to beat Trabzonspor and takes the Super League title race to the wire. Fener will host Galatasaray in the season finale.
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
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
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.
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.