Turkish teams back in domestic league
Besiktas’ Demba Ba (L) vies for the ball with Tottenham’s Federico Fazio during their Europa League group C match at London’s White Hart Lane. The Oct 2 match ended in a 1-1 draw.Having failed to record a win midweek on the European stage, Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor focus on the domestic competition.
Demba Ba’s late penalty rescued a 1-1 draw for Beşiktaş at Tottenham Hotspur on Oct. 2 in the Europa League, and the team will now travel to Balıkesirspor for a Spor Toto Super League game on Oct. 5. Beşiktaş players generously wasted many scoring chances against the Spurs, earning the praise of the fans despite the draw.
The reason Beşiktaş did not win at Tottenham was the home side’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, according to striker Demba Ba.
“I think our performance tonight was better than the ones against Arsenal [in the UEFA Champions League play-offs], but we could not get the win,” the Senegalese player said after the match.
“There was only one reason we did not win the game and that was Hugo Lloris, though I was still confident for the penalty – otherwise I would not have stepped up. We now have two tough games against Partizan, home and away, but if we can win these two, then we will be in a good place with two games to go, so I’m happy with that.”
Lloris was frustrated with the late equalizer, though admits the lead was perhaps undeserved.
“Today was a really tough game against a big team,” the goalkeeper said. “They showed that on the pitch; but it’s one more point and hopefully we’ll improve in the next games. They put in a good performance collectively. We have to learn from this game because when you lead 1-0, maybe when you don’t really deserve it, you have to win that kind of game.”
Turkey’s other representative in the Europa League, Trabzonspor, will try to ease the wounds of a 1-0 loss at home when it visits Karabükspor on Oct. 5.
Legia Warsaw maintained a perfect record after two games in Group L with Michał Kucharczyk’s goal proving enough to see off Trabzonspor on Oct. 2.
Galatasaray, which lost 4-1 at Arsenal in in the Champions League on Oct. 1, will travel to Kayseri Erciyesspor on Oct. 4 for a league game. The Istanbul club has won two of its past four league games and lost one, and the Kayserispor game will be a tough test for the team amid a management crisis and doubts over coach Cesare Prandelli’s future.
Galatasray chairman Ünal Aysal announced his resignation last week and two candidates, Alp Yalman and Duygun Yarsuvat, will run to replace him in an extraordinary congress on Oct. 25. The team’s performances until the 25th will likely decide whether Prandelli will remain at the helm.
League leader Akhisarspor will again rely on its experienced striker Teofanis Gekas when it visits Istanbul Başakşehir on Oct. 5.
Gekas scored a double against Fenerbahçe on Sept. 29 in a 2-0 victory, increasing his goal tally to six in four games and putting his Akhisarspor team at the top of the league’s standings.
In the remaining game of the Spor Toto Super League on Oct. 5, Eskişehirspor will play Çaykur Rizespor.
In the Oct. 4 games, Kasımpaşa takes on Gaziantepsor, Gençlerbirliği travels to Sivasspor and Fenerbahçe plays Torku Konyaspor at home.