Fener keeps pace with rivals Galatasaray after 2-0 victory

Fener keeps pace with rivals Galatasaray after 2-0 victory

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fener keeps pace with rivals Galatasaray after 2-0 victory

After the victory on tonight's game, Fenerbahçe is second with 49 points, four behind Galatasaray. AA photo

Fenerbahçe saw off a determined challenge from relegation-threatened Akhisar Belediye Gençlik tonight, emerging 2-0 winners to keep up the pressure on Spor Toto Super League leaders Galatasaray with just seven rounds remaining in the season.

The hosts were made to sweat for their win before a moment of brilliance from Fenerbahçe’s Senegalese star Moussa Sow seven minutes from time wrapped up the points for the Yellow Canaries, taking them up to 49 points, four behind Galatasaray.

Akhisar, from the Aegean province of Manisa, had been threatening Fener’s goal in the search for an unexpected second-half equalizer, but Sow put all doubts to rest with a well-taken strike in the 83rd minute, rounding Akhisar goalkeeper Oğuz Dağlaroğlu before finishing from a tight angle.

It should have been Sow’s second of the game, but a powerful strike from the forward that rebounded off the crossbar and down was not awarded even though television replays showed that the ball had crossed the line in the 37th minute.

Pierre Webo put the hosts ahead for real just after half-time, following up on his well-saved header to smash the ball home and give the Yellow Canaries a 1-0 lead.

With the loss, Akhisar remains on 26 points, four adrift from safety.

Cim Bom wins ahead of Real game

Elsewhere, Galatasaray rehearsed for its big Champions League clash away to Real Madrid on April 3 by dispatching relegation-threatened Istanbul BB 2-0. Burak Yılmaz, already the leading scorer in the Champions League, padded his tally in the race to become the Spor Toto Super League’s leading scorer with two first half-goals, bringing his season tally to 18. 

Earlier on March 31, promoted Kasımpaşa took a giant step toward qualifying for European competition for the first time ever, defeating their closest rival for fourth spot, Bursaspor, in a 2-0 victory on the strength of a first-half header from Senijad Ibricic and an opportunistic goal from Nigerian striker Kalu Uche at the death. The win, however, was overshadowed by a pitch invasion after the match that resulted in altercation between a Kasımpaşa supporter and stand-in Bursaspor goalkeeper Harun Tekin. Kasımpaşa moved up to 43 points, three ahead of Bursa for fourth spot.

Trabzonspor, historically the most successful Turkish outside of the Istanbul big three, also gave themselves some breathing room on March 31, defeating Antalyapor 2-0 to move four points up on the drop zone. Gaziantepspor, who has flirted with relegation most of the season, also moved five points clear of danger on March 30 with a 2-0 victory over Eskişehirspor.

In March 31’s other night fixture, Gençlerbirliği had to settle for a 1-1 draw away to Elazığspor after it surrendered a late equalizer to its hosts. The Ankara side is five off of Kasımpaşa for fourth spot, while the single point allowed the eastern side to move three points up on the drop zone.