Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş falter in Turkish Süper Lig
Galatasaray, which will host Fenerbahçe on Sept. 27 in the first Istanbul derby of the season, beat defending champion Başakşehir 2-0 on Sept. 20 to make the best use of its rival’s failures.
Fenerbahçe failed to beat nine-man Hatayspor in the closing game of the week on Sept. 21, being held to a goalless draw by the newcomer, while Beşiktaş was unable to maintain a one-goal lead against Antalyaspor on Sept. 19.
Fenerbahçe could have broken the deadlock in the 65th minute, but Turkish right back Gökhan Gönül’s header hit the post.
Hatayspor’s Portuguese winger Ruben Tiago Rodrigues Riberio was shown a red card over a foul against Gönül in the 73rd minute, and Ghanaian midfielder Isaac Sackey was sent off after fouling Fenerbahçe’s Enner Valencia eight minutes later.
But Hatayspor, which opened its season with a surprise 2-0 win over Başakşehir, closed the pitch with nine-man to salvage one point in the away game.
“We knew the match would be difficult,” Fenerbahçe coach Erol Bulut said after the game.
“Hatayspor focused on defense in its first league match. We did our work accordingly, however, we could not apply our plans on the field. We needed to be more effective in offense and make use of the scoring chances we got, but we failed.”
At Istanbul’s Vodafone Park, Cyle Larin’s goal gave a 1-0 lead to Beşiktaş in the 33rd minute, but Antalyaspor equalized when Gökdeniz Bayrakdar scored five minutes from the final whistle.
But the good news for Beşiktaş was that coach Sergen Yalçın, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Sept. 12 and had been in isolation since being tested negative on Sept. 21, is expected to return this week.
Galatasaray, meanwhile, was victorious against Başakşehir at an Istanbul stadium bearing the name of it coach Fatih Terim.
Radamel Falcao successfully converted a penalty shot to put Galatasaray ahead in the 14th minute. Younes Belhanda doubled the lead in the 76th minute to give the visiting side a 2-0 victory.
Elsewhere in the Süper Lig, Trabzonspor was held to a goalless draw at Denizlispor, Malatyaspor and Göztepe drew 1-1, Alanyaspor beat Kayserispor 2-0, Sivasspor won 2-1 at Erzurumspor, Kasımpaşa won 2-0 at home over Rizespor, the Gaziantep vs. Karagümrük game ended in a 2-2 draw and Gençlerbirliği was held to a goalless draw at home by Konyaspor.