Troubled Fenerbahçe looks to bounce back against Trabzon

Troubled Fenerbahçe looks to bounce back against Trabzon

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Troubled Fenerbahçe looks to bounce back against Trabzon

Fenerbahçe’s (L-R) Mehmet Topal, Volkan Demirel and Henri Bienvenu react after conceding a last-minute goal from Marseille’s Andre Ayew in a Europa League game. AA photo

Fenerbahçe will hope to bounce back from its dramatic midweek game against Marseille, when it hosts Trabzonspor in the final game of the Spor Toto Super League’s fifth round tonight.

The Yellow Canaries take on Trabzonspor at their Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, where they surrendered a two-goal lead four days ago.

Fenerbahçe looked on course for a win against the solid French side, but the team shipped two goals in the last 10 minutes of the game, including a header from Andre Ayew that came in the final seconds when victory was within the Turkish team’s grasp.

Fener fans chanted slogans against coach Aykut Kocaman after the game, and he will hope to regain some credit with a win over Trabzonspor.

Kocaman was criticized for leaving captain Alex de Souza out of the squad last month, and the team’s elimination from the Champions League at the playoff stage against Spartak Moscow did not help his cause.

Heated rivalry

Apart from the Kocaman aspect, the Fenerbahçe vs. Trabzonspor games has grown to become the second most heated top-flight rivalry in recent years, following the Fenerbahçe vs. Galatasaray derbies.

Trabzonspor held Fenerbahçe to a 1-1 draw on the last day of the 2009-2010 season, allowing Bursaspor to win its maiden league title. However, the main turning point came the following year, when Fenerbahçe won the title over Trabzonspor after trailing the Black Sea Storm by eight points in mid-season. Fenerbahçe had a stunning run, winning 17 of its last 18 games, which landed Kocaman his first title as manager. On the other hand, Fenerbahçe also deprived Trabzonspor of the chance to end its title drought that dates back to 1984.

Things got more heated one and a half months after Fenerbahçe won the title, when Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım and several officials were charged with match-fixing for that season. Of the course of the case, Trabzonspor repeatedly called on the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to award them the title. After a year of hearings, an Istanbul court decided that Yıldırım, along with officials İlhan Ekşioğlu and Şekip Mosturoğlu, had attempted to manipulate games, but the TFF cleared the clubs themselves in a separate probe. The charges are still pending appeal.

The game will be played in front of a crowd of only women and children, because Fenerbahçe was hit with a five-match supporters’ ban due to crowd trouble after the last match day of last season.

Trabzon is also serving its own five-match supporters’ ban in home games, due to crowd trouble experienced during the match against Fenerbahçe that took place a week prior to the title game last season. This serves as a reminder of how hostile games between the clubs can get.

Fener is sixth in the league with eight points, one spot ahead of Trabzon, who has collected seven.

Beşiktaş suffers first defeat of season


Beşiktaş suffered its first defeat of the season with a shock 3-2 loss against Gaziantepspor on Sept. 22 in the Spor Toto Super League.

The Black Eagles, who opened the season with two wins and two draws, failed to protect its lead against the southern team.

Beşiktaş scored the first goal of the match through Olcay Şahan, and regained the lead through Hugo Almeida after Gaziantepspor had equalized with Ismael Sosa.

However, Cenk Tosun scored a penalty after Beşiktaş defender Tomas Sivok handballed in the area, and former Beşiktaş youngster Orhan Gülle scored a scorcher from outside the area to give Gaziantepspor the lead in the last minute of the game. Beşiktaş remained on eight points while Gaziantepspor, who had also beaten another title contender in Trabzonspor three weeks ago, increased their tally to six points.

In another game on Sept. 22, Kayserispor snatched its first win of the season with a 3-2 victory over Eskişehirspor. The Istanbul BB vs. Orduspor and Mersin İdman Yurdu vs. Gençlerbirliği games ended 1-1.

Kardemir Karabükspor beat Medical Park Antalyaspor by one goal on the opening game of the match day number five on Sept. 21. Galatasaray leads the standings with 10 points while Kasımpaşa and Orduspor follow with nine points. Galatasaray was hosting Akhisar and Kasımpaşa was visiting Sivasspor in two games that were scheduled for yesterday.