Başakşehir loses, title favorites win in Süper Lig’s first week
Defending champion Başakşehir started the new Turkish Süper Lig season with a shock defeat while three big Istanbul clubs, heavy favorites for the title, have won their first games.
The games are taking place behind closed doors and under strict measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Başakşehir got defeated against the newcomer Hatayspor on Sept. 14.
Playing in Gaziantep as Hatay’s home stadium does not meet physical requirements, Selim Ilgaz broke the deadlock in the 36th minute while Portuguese left-winger Helder Barbosa added another in the stoppage time to double the lead and declare the score.
Speaking after the game, Başakşehir coach Okan Buruk congratulated Hatayspor and took the blame for the loss.
“I am sorry to have lost, which I’m responsible for,” he said. “We were very slow throughout the game and we lacked productivity. Hopefully, we will regroup as a team and play a game similar to last year’s.”
On Sept. 13, Beşiktaş defeated Trabzonspor by 3-1, one day after its coach Sergen Yalçın announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
With Yalçın staying in isolation in Istanbul, Tyler Boyd scored the opener for the visiting side in the 29th minute in Trabzon.
Bernard Mensah scored his team’s second goal from the penalty spot in the 64th minute following an incident that resulted in the sending off of home team’s Flavio Medeiros da Silva, while Jeremain Lens added another 10 minutes later.
Galatasaray supporters were rejoiced to see star striker Radamael Falcao play arguably his best game since his arrival a year ago.
In a 3-1 home win over Gaziantep on Sept. 12, the Colombian striker successfully converted a penalty shot in the eighth minute.
He then set up a goal for Emre Kılınç in the 28th minute, before scoring another himself 12 minutes later.
Andre Ribeiro shot in the visiting side’s sole goal in the 53rd minute.
Galatasaray’s archrival Fenerbahçe also won its first game of the season, coming from one goal behind beating Rizespor by 2-1 on Sept. 11.
Caner Erkin missed a penalty shot in the 32nd minute, failing to break the deadlock in the first half.
Rizespor’s Milan Skoda put the home side ahead with a powerful header in the 59th minute, registering the first goal of the new Süper Lig season.
Gökhan Gönül equalized the game with a header in the 76th minute, and Jose Sosa successfully converted the visiting side’s second penalty shot of the game that sealed a comeback victory for Fenerbahçe.
Göztepe, which demolished Denizlispor by 5-1 on Sept. 12, sits atop the Süper Lig standings after Week 1 games. Newcomer Karagümrük, which sent strong signals in a 3-0 victory over Malatyaspor, is in the second spot.
Elsewhere in Week 1 games, Alanyaspor won 2-0 at Sivasspor, Ankaragücü started its campaign with a 2-1 home loss against Erzurumspor, Kayserispor beat Kasımpaşa a 1-0, and Gençlerbirliği’s trip to Antalya ended in a 2-0 defeat.
With 21 teams in the league after the lifting of relegation last season, the first week’s campaign by Konyaspor starts on Sept. 19 at Gençlerbirliği.