Galatasaray beats Fenerbahçe to claim third consecutive Turkish Cup

Galatasaray beats Fenerbahçe to claim third consecutive Turkish Cup

Galatasaray beats Fenerbahçe to claim third consecutive Turkish Cup

CİHAN photo

Galatasaray captured the Ziraat Turkish Cup late May 26, defeating city archrival Fenerbahçe 1-0 in the southern province of Antalya.

German forward Lukas Podolski provided the Lions with the game winner, scoring the only goal of the final in the 30th minute. The German international was also voted Man of the Match.        

“It has been a difficult season,” Podolski said after the game. “This was … an opportunity for a victory. We succeeded. Tonight’s victory was for our fans.”

It was Galatasaray’s third consecutive Turkish Cup trophy and 17th in total, padding its lead in the list of all-time Turkish domestic cup winners.

“This was a very important victory. Galatasaray was dominant in every area in the first half,” Galatasaray’s interim coach, Jan Olde Riekerink, told a post-game press conference. “In the second half Galatasaray put on a very good defensive show. I want to thank all of my players, medical team and the coaching team.”

Riekerink, who was in charge of the grassroots until taking over the post until the end of the season, also bid farewell.

“I’ve had an amazing and proud three months,” he said. “My players have come a long way with me, but I also want to thank everybody.”

He also praised the club’s fans. “Our fans deserve the biggest congratulations,” said the Dutchman. “They made a great atmosphere. Galatasaray fans deserve a round of applause.”

Galatasaray would have qualified for the 2016-17 Europa League Group Stage with the cup victory, but UEFA banned the club from European competition for one season for financial reasons. Konyaspor, which finished third in the Super League, will take Galatasaray’s place in the Europa League Group Stage in the Central Anatolian club’s first-ever foray into continental competition.