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TURKEY > Galatasaray, Eskişehir to play Turkish Cup final

KONYA

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Galatasaray forward Burak Yılmaz (R) celebrates his goal against Gençlerbirliği. Galatasaray rallied to beat the Ankara team 3-2 in the Super League game.

Galatasaray forward Burak Yılmaz (R) celebrates his goal against Gençlerbirliği. Galatasaray rallied to beat the Ankara team 3-2 in the Super League game.

Galatasaray will take on Eskişehirspor in the Ziraat Türkish Cup final tonight in Konya. Both teams will be hoping to end on a high note following an erratic campaign.

Galatasaray will be aiming to finish the season with a piece of silverware, after falling short to Fenerbahçe in this season’s Spor Toto Super League title. The Lions are still battling it out with Beşiktaş to claim the spot of runner-up, in order to qualify for the Champions League next season.

With 14 titles, Galatasaray is the most successful team in the competition, but it has failed to win the Turkish Cup in the last nine seasons. The last time Galatasaray won this competition was in 2005, a memorable final in which the Lions trounced their archrivals Fenerbahçe 5-1.

Coach Roberto Mancini hopes to win his first trophy with Galatasaray tonight.

“Galatasaray deserves the title of being ‘the trophy master’ with having won 14 of the 19 finals,” Mancini said. “But we have not won the trophy since the final in 2005, when we beat Fenerbahçe 5-1. I wholeheartedly believe we will cap this difficult season off with a trophy.”

“We will reap the results of seven months of hard work with winning this trophy and finishing the league as runners-up to win the Champions League qualification,” the Italian coach said.

For Eskişehir, the cup drought is remarkably bigger, with the club having only won the title on one occasion, in 1971.

“We have the pride of advancing to the final after 27 years in a competition we last won 43 years ago,” Coach Ertuğrul Sağlam said.

Eskişehirspor also fell short of expectations this season and are currently 11th in the Turkish Super League. However, they will qualify for the Europa League next season regardless of tonight’s score.

Tonight’s game at the Konya Atatürk Stadium starts at 8 p.m. The game will be shown live on ATV.

May/07/2014

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