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FOOTBALL >Tudor set for first test with Galatasaray

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Spor Toto Super League club Galatasaray will travel to Çaykur Rizespor on Feb. 18 for its first test under new coach Igor Tudor.

The former Croatian international left his post at Karabükspor and signed a one-and-a-half year contract on Feb. 16 to replace Dutch coach Jan Olde Riekerink.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Tudor said he was aware of the pressure awaiting him. 

Galatasaray currently sits third in the standings with 39 points, five behind leader Beşiktaş.

“I have been involved in football since I was 10, and pressure is in football’s nature,” said the 38-year-old, who previously coached Greek club PAOK and Hadjuk Split in his home country.

“I love working under pressure,” Tudor said. “We have 14 games left in the league, and Galatasaray aims for the title in every competition it is in. We have only one goal here, and it is to deliver the championship trophy.”

Meanwhile, Fenerbahçe’s slump continued on the European stage with a 1-0 loss at Krasnodar on Feb. 16 as it prepares to host Kasımpaşa in the Spor Toto Super League on Feb. 19.

The Russian club’s winter signing, Viktor Claesson, scored the only goal in the Europa League round of 32 game in the fourth minute with his first touch on his competitive debut for the club. 

Fenerbahçe players’ performances were below par throughout the game, with the Istanbul club failing to win in three official games in a row.

Having won once in its last four league games, the title hopeful desperately needs a victory against Kasımpaşa at home.

Fenerbahçe coach Dick Advocaat, who was under fire for fielding Emenike in the starting 11 although the player had been left out of the squad for over two months, was content with the score but unhappy with his team’s performance.

“It is an acceptable score for me; the main issue was the game we played,” the Dutchman said after the game.

“We should have played much better tonight. We will continue game by game, and go as far as we can in the league, domestic cup and the Europa League. We take all three competitions seriously,” he added.

Beşiktaş was the most successful Turkish club in Feb. 16 games, winning 3-1 at Hapoel Beer-Sheeva in Israel.       

The first at the Turner Stadium goal came in the 42nd minute when Portuguese star Ricardo Quaresma’s cross found striker Cenk Tosun, whose shot hit his marker William Soares before eventually finding its way to the back of the net for an own goal.        

Just two minutes later, the Israeli side got an easy equalizer when Elyaniv Barda found the ball in front of him after a deflection.        

The second half saw Cenk in action again when he found the net after a cross from Dusko Tosic to give Beşiktaş a 2-1 lead.        

 Controlling the pace throughout, the Turkish league leader wrapped up the match with a counter attack in the 93rd minute, when Brazilian Talisca’s low cross was completed by Atiba Hutchinson.

Beşiktaş plays Akhisar Belediye in the league on Feb. 19.

In Pireaus, Ankara club Osmanlıspor held Greek powerhouse Olympiacos to a goalless draw.

The match saw Olympiacos perform well but the club failed to break down a stubborn Osmanlıspor.    
    
The Ankara club will travel to Adana on Feb. 19 to take on Adanaspor in the Spor Toto Super League.

Also in the Spor Toto Super League this weekend, second-placed Başakşehir hosts Gaziantepspor on Feb. 18, while Antalyaspor takes on Karabükspor, which is without a coach after Tudor’s unexpected departure.

On Feb. 19, Gençlerbirliği entertains Konyaspor, while Alanyaspor travels to Trabzon for the last game of Week 21 on Feb. 20.

February/17/2017

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