‘King’ Burak powers Galatasaray to win
Galatasaray forward Burak Yılmaz scored a double against lowly Akhisar to take his tally to four goals in the Super League. AA photoTurkish forward Burak Yılmaz shone with two goals and set up another as Galatasaray extended its spell at the top of the Spor Toto Super League standings with a 3-0 win over Akhisar on Sept. 23.
The comfortable win helped the defending champion preserve its lead, with 13 points in five matches. Kasımpaşa and Orduspor trail the Lions with nine points each.
The Akhisar win came four days after Galatasaray was beaten 1-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford, where the Istanbul team suffered its first defeat this season.
Yılmaz opened the scoring in the 28th minute, following a crossed ball by youngster Emre Çolak. Yılmaz’s initial shot was saved goalkeeper Oğuz Dağlaroğlu but the forward followed up the rebound and tapped the ball in for the goal.
Seven minutes later, Yılmaz found another chance in the box, but passed the ball to teammate Sercan Yıldırım, allowing the forward to score his first goal of the season.
Assist to Sercan
Similar service was provided for Yılmaz in the second half, when Hamit Altıntop left the ball to the man of the match in a one-on-two position. Yılmaz converted the chance to score his fourth goal of the season.
Yılmaz was the Super League’s top scorer last season with 33 goals for Trabzonspor. However, he was recently overlooked at Galatasaray with coach Fatih Terim preferring to pair Umut Bulut with Johan Elmander up front.
“You cannot play with same players all through the season. Some call it rotation but I call it switching roles,” Terim said after the game. “Today we played with Burak and Servan, tomorrow it can be Elmander and Umut. We need to use everybody in the squad.”
Yılmaz was hailed as the “Lion King” by the Turkish media yesterday, with the Lion being the symbol of Galatasaray and the top goal-scorer usually being dubbed the “king” in Turkey.
Too early to call
Despite his team’s early setting of the pace, Terim refused to get carried away with its form.
“Early in the season we were conceding goals and the press criticized us,” Terim said, referring to the six goals the club shipped in its first three league games. “But in the last two weeks we have had clean sheets and continue to score goals. It is too early and it is just the beginning of the season. We need to collect as many points as we can now, because the fixtures will get more jammed. We will need those credits then. We have serious opponents. I think five or six teams will be battling for the title this year. We still have a long road to go.”
Two of the title contenders, Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor, were scheduled to meet in a late match yesterday.
Kasımpaşa sacks coach despite flying start
Metin Diyadin became the first coaching casualty of the Spor Toto Super League season when he was sacked as Kasımpaşa manager on Sept. 23 despite pacing his promoted side to second overall in the league.
Diyadin, who led the Istanbul club to the promotion to the top-flight last season, was sacked only hours after his team’s 1-0 defeat to Sivasspor.
A one-sentence statement released on the club’s website stated that Diyadin was “sacked since it was deemed necessary.” The ambiguity of the statement added to the mystery over the decision, which was also highly questionable since the club was performing above expectations in the Super League standings.
After a 2-1 defeat to Galatasaray on the first weekend of the season, Kasımpaşa went on to claim three consecutive victories, and was looking down on title hopefuls Beşiktaş, Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe.
Diyadin oversaw the club’s promotion to the top-flight through League One playoffs last season behind League One champion Elazığspor and Akhisar.
Kasımpaşa’s promotion-winning squad, however, had many changes, and the club brought in important players such as Swedish international goalkeeper Anders Isaksson, German midfielder Fabian Ernst and Nigerian forward Kalu Uche.