Galatasaray moves one win away from title as Fenerbahçe stays alive

Galatasaray moves one win away from title as Fenerbahçe stays alive

Galatasaray moves one win away from title as Fenerbahçe stays alive

Baroni gave his team the 2-1 from the penalty spot in the 87th minute. AA photo

Fenerbahçe stayed alive in the Spor Toto Super League title race with a laborious 2-1 home victory against Kayserispor on April 28. For their part, leaders Galatasaray maintained the seven-point gap, defeating Gaziantepspor on the road 1-0 and now depend only on themselves to claim their 19th league title.

Following their big European night with a 1-0 victory against Benfica in the Europa League semifinals, the Yellow Canaries had the worst possible start to the game, conceding a very early goal. The Central Anatolian side forged ahead when Fener's goalkeeper could only deflect Bobo's shot inside the area, putting the ball right at the feet of Kayserispor's Brazilian playmaker Alex Silva Cleiton, who easily volleyed it into Günok's net.

The goal meant a change of plans for coach Aykut Kocaman, who intended to give key players some rest before next week’s Europa League semifinals second-leg game in Lisbon. As Fenerbahçe was struggling offensively, Kocaman sent in the top scorer in the league, Moussa Sow, and former Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt after the break.

The change could not pay off more as the equalizer came in the 57th minute thanks to a one-two play between the two substitutes. Kuyt received a pass from Sow inside Kayserispor's area and put the ball far from Ertuğrul Taşkıran's reach.

Following the goal, Fenerbahçe laid siege to their rivals’ area, but it was Kayserispor who had the clearer scoring opportunities with Bobo in the 65th minute and Mouche in the 86th after two dangerous counterattacks. It was finally Baroni who gave his team a very valuable win from the penalty spot in the 87th.

Meanwhile Galatasaray did the minimum in Gaziantep during a game played in a tense atmosphere. Before the game, some Galatasaray fans irrupted into the stadium, breaking an iron gate, and security officers intervened, spraying tear gas in the tribunes. Hundreds of Galatasaray supporters, including small children, were affected by the gas and received medical attention on the pitch.

The game was less eventful, as the Lions' top scorer, Burak Yılmaz, benefitted from a huge defensive error to sign his 20th goal of the season and secure the victory.

Galatasaray can officially become the champions next week if they beat Sivasspor in front of their fans at the Turkish Telekom Arena. For their part, the Yellow Canaries will hope for a draw or defeat of their archfoes, before they receive them in their home stadium in two weeks.