Galatasaray held to draw in first game under new coach
AA PhotoGalatasaray faltered in its first game under new coach Mustafa Denizli on Nov. 29, being held to a 2-2 draw by Kasımpaşa despite leading twice.
Spor Toto Super League leader Beşiktaş also dropped points on Nov. 29, losing 2-0 to high-flying Akhisar Belediye, while another title favorite, Fenerbahçe, was to play Trabzonspor in the week’s final game late on Nov. 30.
Burak Yılmaz put visiting Galatasaray up in the 13th minute against Kasımpaşa, but the home side pulled back in the 32nd minute and the first half ended 1-1.
The defending champion had a quick start in the second half when Hakan Balta scored in the 51st minute, however Brazilian defender Titi leveled the game again in the 76th minute to disappoint the visitors.
Referee Halis Özkahya was under fire for continuing the game in the 26th minute following a shot by Kasımpaşa, as television footage clearly showed the ball bounced from inside the Galatasaray goal.
New Galatasaray coach Denizli was happy with the single point in his first game.
“In our current condition, I consider one point as a win,” he told a post-game press conference.
The experienced coach, who signed a contract with the club on Nov. 26, said he only had held two training sessions with the squad.
“We have problems as a team, [and] when we overcome those, we will achieve what we have in our minds,” said Denizli. “The team has lost unexpected points in the last weeks and is psychologically worn out. Time cures everything. Troubles are there to be solved; we will hopefully overcome them as a team.”
The Spor Toto Super League, meanwhile, saw another coaching change over the weekend, when Bursaspor sacked Ertuğrul Sağlam following a 2-1 home loss against Kayserispor on Nov. 27.
Among the possible names to replace Sağlam is Hamza Hamzaoğlu, whom Denizli replaced at Galatasaray.
In other league games over the weekend, cellar-dweller Eskişehirspor beat relegation zone rival Mersin İdman Yurdu 3-2, nine-man Gaziantepspor held Gençlerbirliği to a 2-2 draw, while Çaykur Rizespor versus Torku Konyaspor, Antalyaspor versus Osmanlıspor and Sivasspor versus Başakşehir all ended in draws.