Super League clubs fail at the hands of minnows in cup
The club of the small Mediterranean resort town of Fethiye gave hard time to Fenerbahçe and succeded in defeating the Yellow Canaries at their home stadium Şükrü Saraçoğlu on Dec 4. CİHAN photoClubs from the lower divisions have made their marks in the Ziraat Turkish Cup Competition, with many Spor Toto Super League clubs falling victim to minnows in the competition’s fourth round.
The latest and most high-profile victim was league leader Fenerbahçe, which suffered an unexpected 2-1 reverse in its Turkish Cup game at home against First Division cellar-dweller Fethiyespor on Dec. 4.
More surprises were in store as Trabzonspor, which played on Dec. 4, was also ousted by First Division title hopeful Balıkesirspor. Gençlerbirliği and Gaziantepspor were also beaten by second division clubs, Nazilli Belediyespor and İnegölspor, respectively.
On Dec. 3, Galatasaray sweated to ultimately eliminate another second-tier club, Gaziantep’s municipality-run GBB, on penalties, after the regular time ended in a 2-2 draw.
Meanwhile, last season’s league champion will tonight continue its stuttering bid to defend its title when it hosts Sanica Boru Elazığspor in the Türk Telekom Arena.
Medical Park Antalyaspor also made it to the next round on penalties against Çankırıspor, while Bursaspor and Sivasspor were victorious in regular time against their rivals from lower divisions.
The club of the small Mediterranean resort town of Fethiye, cherished by European expats and tourists, which made it to the Turkish second-tier for the first time in its history, succeeded in giving a hard time to the Turkish Super League’s in-form leaders.
The Yellow Canaries managed to open the scoring in injury time during the first half, with an own goal by Sabri Turgut.
Against the odds, however, the visitors equalized with Onur Okan’s header in the 77th minute, and found a second goal six minutes later when Ahmet Aras sent the ball home with a powerful shot.
The goal turned Fethiye’s local newspapers’ waggish joke that their team had never lost away at Fenerbahçe in 106 years – as it was playing in Istanbul for the first time since Fenerbahçe was founded in 1907 - into reality.
Fethiyespor coach Engin İpekoğlu, a former Fenerbahçe goalkeeper who joined the struggling club only a few days ago, was both happy and sour.
“I’m not concerned that I’m a Fenerbahçe fan and it was eliminated,” İpekoğlu told reporters after the match. “But the league competition is more important for us and we have a limited squad of 16-17 players. I’m not sure how we will be able to compete in both the league and the cup.”