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Turkish Cup to find new owner today

HDN | 4/16/1997 12:00:00 AM |

Kocaeli or Trabzon? With a 1-1 draw from the first leg, odds seem to favor host Kocaelispor, but as ever it ain't that simple Turkish Daily News Antalya- Ninety minutes in Kocaeli tonight should decide whether the new ribbons on the Turkish Soccer Cup will be the green and white of the host or the claret and blue of Trabzonspor. With a 1-1 draw from the first leg and away goals counting double, this evening's game will only go to extra time if it finishes tied at the same score. "We start with an

  • Kocaeli or Trabzon? With a 1-1 draw from the first leg, odds seem to favor host Kocaelispor, but as ever it ain't that simple

    Turkish Daily News

    Antalya- Ninety minutes in Kocaeli tonight should decide whether the new ribbons on the Turkish Soccer Cup will be the green and white of the host or the claret and blue of Trabzonspor. With a 1-1 draw from the first leg and away goals counting double, this evening's game will only go to extra time if it finishes tied at the same score.

    "We start with an advantage compared to our opponent," Kocaelispor's German coach Holger Osieck said on Monday, and with the draw and the away goal in the bag, he's right, at least in theory. Theory doesn't always work out, though. It should not be forgotten that Trabzon's Black Sea Storm went to Kocaeli for a league match just after that first leg and won 2-0, gaining a strong boost to morale.

    Team news is that both sides should be somewhere near full strength. The major absentee is Trabzon's left flanker Abdullah Ercan, struck down by appendicitis on the eve of Saturday's 1-1 draw against Sariyer in Istanbul. That gives Osieck's counterpart Yilmaz Vural a major headache, since Abdullah's is the one position in the side for which he has no natural cover available. Osieck will have seen the video of the Sariyer game and will doubtless be looking to use one of his speed merchants to create a little havoc down that flank. The logical candidate for the job is Faruk Yigit, and there is good news for Kocaeli in that Faruk, stretchered off in Sunday's goalless draw with Fenerbahce, is expected to recover in time to make the lineup.

    In this fascinating and evenly-balanced encounter, the Storm has got to come out and attack and Tolunay Kafkas, returning from suspension, could be used in a more aggressive midfield role than usual. Up front Vural is looking for goals from Hami Mandirali and Sota Arveladze and praying that young Metin Aktas in goal will be able to maintain his outstanding form of the last couple of weeks. There are lots of rumors flying about over Vural's future of late. It is being said that he will resign if Trabzonspor, which has nosedived out of league contention, fails to win the Cup. According to some reports, he is about to quit whatever happens. Alternatively, some have it that Chairman Mehmet Ali Yilmaz is ready to fire him if things go wrong tonight.

    Osieck has no such problems. That league defeat by Trabzon was one of only two since he took over from national team coach Mustafa Denizli in the first half of the season. He has welded his side into a disciplined, grafting outfit based on a powerful defence built around Misko Mirkovic and with keeper Dimitri Stingaciu performing wonders behind it. In midfield, he has the likes of South African John Mosheou and Evren Turhal, players who combine workrate with no little skill. And while everybody laments the shortage of upcoming Turkish strikers, it may be worth taking a look at Kocaeli's Erhan Akbayrak. He may not start but has turned in a couple of fine displays as a sub lately.

    So, Kocaeli or Trabzon? You pays your money and you takes your choice, but this is liable to be a gritty and grueling encounter well worth your attention.

    TV viewers please note that it is being shown live by Kanal D at 8.00 p.m.

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