Europa-worn teams to clash in Turkish league
AA photoOsmanlıspor and Fenerbahçe will clash this weekend in the Spor Toto Super League, immediately on the heels of separate Europa League clashes on Sept. 29.
Emmanuel Emenike scored the only goal in Istanbul in the 18th minute as Fenerbahçe grabbed its first win in Group A after drawing 1-1 away to Zorya Luhansk on match day 1.
Also in Group A, Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed in a 69th-minute winner as Manchester United got its campaign off the ground with a labored 1-0 home win over the Ukrainian outfit.
It was the Swede’s sixth goal in 10 United appearances.
Beaten 1-0 at Feyenoord in its Group A opener, Jose Mourinho’s side struggled to break down its Ukrainian opponents until the introduction of Wayne Rooney from the bench.
The England captain’s mishit shot was headed in by Ibrahimovic to leave United a point behind group leader Fenerbahçe.
Osmanlıspor’s loss in Zurich was coach Mustafa Akçay’s first loss in both domestic and international competitions this season.
The Ankara club, formerly known as Ankaraspor, goes into Oct. 2’s game at home against Fenerbahçe unbeaten, with two wins and three draws in five games. It currently sits in sixth spot with nine points, two points ahead of Fenerbahçe.
After starting the league competition with just a draw and two losses, Fenerbahçe has begun to put its house back in order, winning its last two games.
But to convince its fans that the worst is behind, it will need a victory at Osmanlıspor, which has no intention of making things easy for the visitors.
“We are strong enough to make up for [the Zurich loss] against Fenerbahçe,” Osmanlıspor coach Akçay told reporters on Sept. 29.
“I believe in my players. In football, you sometimes play bad, and we exercised our right to play bad tonight,” he said.
Another team representing Turkey in the Europa League, Konyaspor, lost 2-0 at Gent on Sept. 29 and will return to league action with a home game against newcomer Adanaspor on Oct. 2.
Also on Oct. 2, league leader Başakşehir will hope to continue its unbeaten run when it travels to Alanyaspor. Another unbeaten team, fourth-placed Galatasaray, will host winless Antalyaspor in a rare afternoon game that will kick off at 4 p.m. in Istanbul.
On Oct. 1, Beşiktaş travels to Rizespor for a game that coach Şenol Güneş thinks should have been scheduled for later.
The side played a bruising derby against Galatasaray on Sept. 24 before hosting Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League just three days later.
“We will have a training session tomorrow, and then we will have a game in Rize, if we can make it,” he added sarcastically.
Also in Spor Toto Super League action on Oct. 1, second-placed Bursaspor travels to Gaziantepspor, Karabükspor entertains Trabzonspor and cellar-dweller Kasımpaşa hosts Kayserispor.