Galatasaray sweats in cup win over minnow Tokatspor
The Ziraat Turkish Cup quarterfinals are being played over two four-team groups. AA photoGalatasaray sweated during a 2-0 win over third-tier Tokatspor in the Ziraat Turkish Cup on Jan. 15, but still managed to start the quarterfinal groups with a win.
The 14-time winners in the competition did not live up to their heavy favorite tag for most of the game and showed mid-season rust, but a 69th-minute penalty goal from Selçuk İnan finally broke the deadlock. Moroccan winger Noureddine Amrabat provided an insurance marker in the dying seconds of the game.
Tokatspor, hailing from the third-tier Spor Toto League Two, is the only lower-division team left in the competition.
It was a slightly pyrrhic victory, however, as Galatasaray lost Bruma to an injury. Initial reports suggested the Portuguese starlet had ruptured cruciate ligaments and could out for the rest of the season.
The Turkish cup looks to be Galatasaray’s greatest chance at a trophy this season, as the club is eight points behind leader arch-rival Fenerbahçe in the Spor Toto Super League. With other members of the big four, Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor, suffering shock exits in the round-of-16, Galatasaray has emerged as the biggest favorite.
Although historically the most successful team in the tournament, Galatasaray has failed to win the trophy since 2005. It is now the only multiple-winning team remaining in the tournament.
The only other previous winners, Eskişehirspor and Bursaspor, won the trophy in 1971 and 1986, respectively.
The Ziraat Turkish Cup quarterfinals are being played over two four-team groups.
Elsewhere in Group B, Elazığspor and Antalyaspor played out a 1-1 draw in the eastern province of Elazığ on Jan. 15.
In the Group A games played on Jan. 14, Akhisar beat Eskişehirspor 2-0, and Bursaspor defeated Sivasspor 2-1.
The groups’ second matches will be played over the weekend.
On Jan. 18, Sivasspor will host Eskişehirspor at the 4 Eylül Stadium at 4:30 p.m. Later, at 7 p.m., Akhisar will host Bursaspor at the Manisa 19 Mayıs Stadium.
Tokatspor will take on Elazığspor at 1:30 p.m. and Galatasaray will visit Antalyaspor at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19.
The third and fourth match days in the group stage will be played on Jan. 22 and Jan. 29-30, respectively.