Black Eagles win politically charged game over Trabzon
Gökhan Töre and Olcay Şahan embrace as they lead Beşiktaş to an important first-week victory against fellow contenders for the title, Trabzonspor. AA photoBeşiktaş made a flying start to the season by knocking out Trabzonspor with two second-half goals in the Spor Toto Super League’s politically-charged first big game on Aug. 18.
Last year’s revelation Olcay Şahan and young promise Gökhan Töre scored in Beşiktaş’s victory after a very intense and hard-fought game in which both teams, having kicked off the season with new coaches on the bench, tried to display maximum tactical discipline.
With Croatian Slaven Bilic at the helm, Beşiktaş had to move to Istanbul’s flagship gargantuan stadium, which is far from being football fans’ favorite venue, due to the rebuilding of the iconic Inönü Stadium.
However, Beşiktaş’s devout fans did not leave their team alone, with more than 55,000 fans attending the late-kick-off game, which started at 9:45 p.m., at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, located far from the city center.
Goalkeeper Tolga Zengin, who was making his debut for Beşiktaş against his former team, made it clear that he was not a fan of the stadium.
Tolga’s Atatürk nod
“The only good thing about this stadium is that it has Atatürk on its name,” Zengin said after the game. The stadium is usually criticized for its being too far from the city center, the stands being far from the pitch and the pitch being too open for strong winds.
Beşiktaş will only play its games against the other members of “the big four” of Turkish football at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, meaning its fans will only need to travel northwest in games against Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe this season.
One of the main talking points of the game was whether Beşiktaş fans would abide by the Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç’s rule that “no political chants will be allowed in stadiums” this year. However, Beşiktaş, led by çArşı, whose several members were detained as part of the police’s Gezi Park investigations after being the frontrunners in street clashes earlier this summer, did not obey – and chanted “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance” before the game.
Super League’s official broadcaster, Lig TV, shut down the volume when the slogans started, but the footage of the chants hit the video sharing sites such as Vine and Instagram.
Upon criticism, Lig TV released a statement admitting that it intervened with the slogan’s broadcast.
Lig TV admission
“In regards to our broadcasting principles, slogans including profanity, insults, and non-sporting statements are not broadcasted,” the statement read.
As for the game, after a controlled first half, Beşiktaş intensified its pressure during the second half in front of a timid Trabzonspor, especially after the entries of Hugo Almeida and Töre in the field.
The Black Eagles maestro Manuel Fernandes proved once again decisive as he dished out a breaking pass to Şahan in the 75th minute who beat Trabzon’s Onur Kıvrak from a close angle.
Only six minutes later, Şahan fought and stole the ball from a rival player passing it to Töre who cleared himself from his markers to send the ball out of Onur’s reach after it was slightly deflected by another defender.
Trabzonspor’s chairman İbrahim Hacıosmanoğlu watched the match among Beşiktaş’s supporters to protest against the Turkish Football Federation’s (TFF) decision to not allow fans of the visiting team to end matches during derby showdowns.
Elsewhere, Ertuğrul Sağlam led Eskişehirspor to a 2-0 victory against his former club Bursaspor, where he became an icon after winning the title in 2010.
The match was also German coach Christoph Daum’s first official game in his latest comeback to Turkey with the Crocodiles, who sacked Hikmet Karaman after an unexpected elimination by Serbian Vojvodina in the Europa League preliminary rounds earlier in August.
Sağlam was a Beşiktaş forward when Daum coached the team to the Turkish title in 1994.
Also on Aug. 18, Akhisar beat Elazığspor 3-1.