Burak Yılmaz breathes life to the Lions’ Euro dreams

Burak Yılmaz breathes life to the Lions’ Euro dreams

CLUJ, Romania
Burak Yılmaz breathes life to the Lions’ Euro dreams

Burak scored a hat-trick to lead Galatasaray to a 3-1 win over CFR Cluj. EPA photo

Galatasaray won its first away Champions League match in 10 years by defeating CFR Cluj 3-1 thanks to a hat trick by Burak Yılmaz on Nov. 7.

Yılmaz, the top goal scorer in Turkish Super League last season, beat goalkeeper Mario Felgueiras with a glancing header from 12 meters out in the 18th minute. His second goal came after a defensive error by Cluj in the 62nd, finishing with his right foot after being set up by Hamit Altıntop. The striker finished the scoring in the 74th.

Galatasaray is second in Group H on goal difference from Cluj with both teams on four points, eight behind Manchester United, which went through after a 3-1 victory at Braga.

Second hat trick

Burak’s performance became the second-only hat-trick by a Turkish player in the tournament, after former Fenerbahçe ace Tuncay Şanlı’s goals in a 3-0 win over Manchester United in 2007.

Manchester was then fielding a largely second-string side after guaranteeing qualification from the group and reporters on Nov. 7 suggested that the English giants could do the same when it visits Istanbul in two weeks. However, coach Fatih Terim refused to play down the difficulty of the match.
“I ask you don’t say ‘Manchester is coming to Istanbul without a target,” he said after the game. “You cannot write off United.”

Terim also heaped praises on Yılmaz, who is the only Turkish player to play in the Champions League with four different clubs, Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Trabzonspor and Galatasaray.

“He is getting better every day,” Terim said. “He is pressing, he is trying to make assists, making good runs. He could have scored more today. Burak will be even better.”

Burak has scored all four of Galatasaray’s goals in the competition this season.