Galatasaray blames cold for away draw
ANKARAGalatasaray coach Jan Olde Riekerink blamed the weather and the icy pitch after his side was held to 2-2 draw at Osmanlıspor in the Spor Toto Super League on Dec. 18.
“The game was played under extraordinary conditions,” Riekerink told a post-game press conference.
“We asked Osmanlıspor to come here one day early to have a training session in this stadium, but it was rejected,” the Dutchman said.
The visiting side made a good start to the game, which was played at a temperature of -5 degrees Celsius, as Yasin Öztekin put Galatasaray ahead as early as the third minute.
Osmanlıspor’s Cameroonian striker Pierre Webo leveled the score in the 35th minute and scored another in the 85th, but Galatasaray salvaged a point thanks to defender Semih Kaya’s goal two minutes later.
“I congratulate all my players on my team; I am proud of them,” Riekerink said.
“In these difficult conditions they did not stop fighting until the end. Of course, it is not possible to play football in this field conditions. The greatest measure for me was the reaction we showed after our opponent’s second goal. When we fell back in some games we could see a team that was upset. Today, Galatasaray wanted to find the goal and equal the score as soon as possible. This is what made me most happy as a coach,” he added.
Osmanlıspor coach Reşit Akçay was upset to have missed the victory.
“It is really painful to miss so many scoring chances and get a draw. You cannot blame the players for the missed chances, we have a team of good intentions and character. We have to work on finishing. But scoring is also a virtue given by Allah,” he said.
With the draw, Galatasaray remained in third spot with 30 points from 15 games, trailing unbeaten leader Başakşehir by five points and second-placed Beşiktaş by two points.
There were two more draws in the Spor Toto Super League on Dec. 18: Alanyaspor was held to a goalless draw at home by Akhisar Belediye and Konyaspor’s early goal at Karabükspor was canceled out by a second-half goal by the home side.
Also on Dec. 18, last week’s cellar-dweller Adanaspor pushed Kayserispor to the bottom of the league standings with a 2-1 home victory and 10-man Rizespor grabbed a crucial 2-1 away victory against Gaziantepspor.
Adanaspor assistant coach Serhat Galimane sounded hopeful about his team’s chances of avoiding relegation.
“We will continue the fight [against relegation],” he said after his side picked up just its second win of the campaign.
“As the players and technical staff, we will fulfill our responsibilities. All we want is that those who believe in Adanaspor will be on our side and support us in this struggle,” he added.
The southerners, who are appearing in the first season in the top flight since being relegated in 2004, now have nine points, four off of safety.