Galatasaray returns silver lining
SIVAS / ISTANBUL
The top four teams in Turkey’s Super League were unable to bag wins in the domestic league’s 20th match week, with Galatasaray missing a chance to climb to the top of the standings.
Late on Feb. 4, Galatasaray clashed with Sivasspor in an away game, but came back empty-handed when the home team handed the Lions a 2-1 loss at the Sivas Yeni 4 Eylül Stadium.
Sivas’ Delvin Chanel Ndinga raised the curtains with a header in a corner kick in the 16th minute, when the whole Galatasaray defense was caught on the wrong feet.
On the 58th minute, Aruana Kone converted a penalty to improve the cushion to two.
Sivas then gained full control of the game, but Eren Derdiyok from the bench found the net from inside the box in the 79th minute, raising hopes for the visiting side.
“We have played seven or eight games since we arrived and this was the one that we played the worst,” Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim said after the game.
He had replaced Croatian Igor Tudor at the end of the first season.
“I am confused whether I should be sorry for dropping three points, missing a chance to become the leader or for such low quality football,” he said.
A proud Sivas coach Samet Aybaba, who preferred not to put the new signing Robinho on the pitch, said he really enjoyed watching his team from the bench.
Hours before the game, leader Başakşehir managed to escape with a 1-1 draw against Atiker Konyaspor despite leading the match from the 35th minute until the 91st minute.
Emmanuel Adebayor scored for Başakşehir, but Nejc Skubic equalized the match in the injury time. Konyaspor also missed a free-kick chance, when Orkan Cinar’s shot came back from the crossbar in the final seconds.
Başakşehir continues to lead the league with 43 points, two points ahead of Galatasaray.
On Feb. 3, Fenerbahçe took on Ankara team Gençlerbirliği at home, but could not capitalize on playing in front of its fans.
The final score of 2-2 meant back-to-back draws for Fenerbahçe, and the team is currently in third spot with 38 points.
It will visit the leader on Feb. 11 in a bid to narrow the five-point gap.
Weekend matches started on Feb. 2, which saw fourth-place Beşiktaş take on Bursaspor in an away match. Despite going down 2-1 after the first half with a goal by Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo, Beşiktaş found the silver lining in the last minute to earn a 2-2 draw.
Negredo scored his team’s draw-earning goal to make up a mistake in the first half.
On the same day, the cellar dweller Karabük, which will face Beşiktaş next week, managed to beat Alanyaspor with a single goal.
Antalyaspor beat Malatyaspor on Feb. 3 to escape from the relegation line.
On Feb. 4, Kasımpaşa beat Akhisar, and Osmanlıspor bowed 1-0 to visiting Kayserispor.