Galatasaray wins to remain in race in Terim reunion
Galatasaray defeated Göztepe 3-1 on Dec. 24 in the first game under Fatih Terim, the veteran coach who has returned to the Istanbul side for a fourth term, only hours after Turkish Super League leader Başakşehir beat Kasımpaşa to be crowned the winter champion.
“Players and fans have extended a warm welcome to me. It is very nice to be here again and win,” Terim said after the game, signaling noteworthy changes in the cadre over the winter break.
“We have limited time and many things to do,” he said.
Galatasaray started the match poorly as Göztepe striker Adis Jahovic scored a penalty kick in the eighth minute.
However, the Lions recuperated quickly and found the equalizing goal in the 19th minute, when Bafetimbi Gomis saw Garry Rodrigues on a quick give-and-go. Rodrigues used his pace to defeat Göztepe goalkeeper and leveled the match 1-1.
In the second half, Galatasaray dominated ball possession and took the lead in the 53rd minute, this time from a Yasin Öztekin header.
Galatarasay’s Brazilian defender Maicon impressed the fans with a top class free kick in the 70th minute and gave his team a commanding 3-1 lead.
Terim signed with Galatasaray on Dec. 22, only days after Croatian coach Igor Tudor was sacked over fierce criticism, particularly for losing against other title contenders.
The 64-year-old Terim, formerly coach for Fiorentina and AC Milan, ruled Galatasaray from 1996 to 2000, 2002 to 2004 and 2011 to 2013. In his second stint with Turkey, he brought the country to the Euro 2008 semifinals.
Galatasaray improved to 35 points, one point behind Başakşehir, last year’s runner-up.
The leader, meanwhile, won 2-1 against city rival Kasımpaşa away.
Edin Visca and Marcio Mossoro were on the scoresheet for Başakşehir, while Veysel Sari scored for the host.
Fenerbahçe failed to continue its five-game winning streak when it was held by a 1-1 draw with Atiker Konyaspor late on Dec. 23 at Konya Büyükşehir Belediye Stadium of the Central Anatolian team.
Konyaspor’s Ömer Ali Şahiner scored the opener in the 58th minute but Fenerbahce answered thanks to Mehmet Topal in the 69th minute.
The Istanbul club increased its points to 33, placing behind Galatarasaray.
Earlier in the day, Sivasspor handed Beşiktaş a bitter 2-1 loss, preventing the defending champion from getting closer to the top.
Sivasspor’s Sergiy Rybalka scored the first goal of the match in the fifth minute, while Beşiktaş’s Alvaro Negredo leveled in the 26th.
Sivasspor scored the winning goal in the 83rd minute, when Cyriac Bohi scored in a rare home side attack.
Besiktaş suffered its first defeat in eight matches, remaining on the fourth spot with 30 points, equal to Kayserispor, which lost 1-0 to Malatyaspor at home on Dec. 24.
Antalyaspor beat Alanyaspor 3-1 in the opening game of the week on Dec. 22 in the Mediterranean derby.
Bursaspor drew 1-1 struggling with Gençlerbirliği.
Cellar dweller Karabük also drew 1-1 with Trabzonspor on Dec. 24.