Fenerbahçe aims to translate derby form to cup semi
Fenerbahçe players attend a training session at the Samandıra Facilities in Istanbul. The Yellow Canaries take on Kardemir Karabükspor at the Ankara 19 Mayıs Stadium in the Ziraat Turkish Cup semifinal tonight. AA photoFenerbahçe aims translate its derby morale into another cup win tonight, when it takes on Kardemir Karabükspor in the Ziraat Turkish Cup semifinal tonight.
The Yellow Canaries will meet Karabükspor four days after beating archrival Galatasaray 2-1 in the league.
Fenerbahçe withheld intense Galatasaray pressure to win the derby on April 22 with counter attacks to enter the title race again, cutting the difference with the leader to two points with four weeks to go.
Goalkeeper Volkan Demirel, who won the man of the match honor with his heroic performance, said the team aimed to finish the season with a trophy double.
“We promise to win two trophies this season,” Demirel said to reporters after his visit to Metris Prison, where the club’s chairman Aziz Yıldırım has been jailed pending charges since July.
Yıldırım is charged with allegedly forming and leading an unarmed crime organization to manipulate football games. Fenerbahçe’s Spor Toto Super League title from last season is also being probed as part of the match-fixing case, which is investigating a total of 93 football players, officials and coaches from around a dozen clubs.
“I have seen the chairman and he looked very well. He was very happy with the derby win,” Demirel said to reporters. “I promised that we would win two trophies and bring them here.”
Most Fenerbahçe fans believe that the match-fixing case was actually a plot to dethrone Yıldırım, arguably the most powerful man in Turkish football, and take over the coveted chair of the Istanbul club.
Apart from the high level of motivation sustained due to those beliefs, Fenerbahçe also aims to break its dismal streak in the Ziraat Turkish Cup.
The Istanbul side has not won the domestic cup competition since 1983 in one of the most notorious droughts in Turkish football.
Along with its four wins, Fenerbahçe has nine defeats in cup finals, with seven of them coming since its last triumph in 1983.
If Fenerbahçe beats Karabükspor, it will meet the winner of the Bursaspor vs. Eskişehirspor tie, which was scheduled to be played later yesterday.
However, Karabükspor aims to beat the odds and play in the final for the first time in its history.
“This is a hugely tough and important game,” club chairman Nevzat Şahin said to Anatolia News Agency.
“We want to make a first-time achievement for the club with a win in the semifinal.”