Spor Toto Super League Recap: Week 3
Before the international break next week, week 3 of the Spor Toto Super League would be played. With three of four Turkish clubs failing to qualify for the Europa League, the league took priority. Fans would have to settle for Beşiktaş and Bursaspor to fly the Turkish flag in the Europa and Champions Leagues respectively. The three eliminated teams, Trabzonspor, Fenerbahçe, and Galatasaray, would only have the league to worry about. While it is still early in the season, the matches featured interesting action, a good amount of goals, and a blackout.
Friday’s matches saw Kayserispor looking to win three straight against Ankaragücü, and Gaziantepspor hosting Konyaspor.
The second of two matches to be played behind closed doors due to fan issues in Ankara, Ankaragücü hosted Kayserispor. Kayserispor won their first two matches under manager Shota Arveladze, and drew first blood through Serdar Kesimal in the 24th minute. But Ankaragücü equalized through Mehmet Çakır, who came on as a substitute at the beginning of the second half, in the 57th minute. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and Kayserispor remains without a loss to begin the season.
Konyaspor travelled to the Kamil Ocak stadium to face Gaziantepspor. Mehmet Yilmaz put Gaziantepspor up 1-0 in the 5th minute. Konyaspor looked like they were going to go into the halftime break down a goal, but Johnnier Montano gave Konyaspor a tying goal before the break. Emre Toraman put the visitors up 2-1 in the 61st minute. It looked bad for Gaziantepspor as Murat Ceylan got a red card in the 75th minute, but Gaziantepspor would get a lifeline. Gaziantepspor won a penalty in the 85th minute, and Julio Cesar de Souza converted from the spot to make the final score 2-2.
Saturday’s matches saw the defending champions in action, as well as a local Istanbul derby, and Bucaspor hosting Gençlerbirliği.
With a shocking victory over Beşiktaş last week, Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor looked to continue the good run of form against Kasımpaşa. Iskender Alin and Ibrahim Akin, whose goals took down Beşiktaş the previous week, continued their goal scoring ways. Alin scored in the 12th minute, and Akin scored in the 50th minute. Herve Tum put the game out of reach with a goal in the 68th minute, five minutes after coming into the game as a substitute. Kasımpaşa would get a consolation goal in the third minute of stoppage time.
Bursaspor has not given up a goal so far this season, and with the champions finding out who they would face in the Champions League, they would want to send a message to their opponents that they would not be pushovers. Bursaspor travelled to the September 4th stadium to face Sivasspor. While the home team did a good job keeping Bursaspor off the scoreboard for the majority of the match, Bursaspor proved too much in the last ten-plus minutes of the match. Volkan Sen scored in the 81st minute to put Bursaspor ahead. With Sivasspor looking to tie the match in the last minute, all the Sivasspor players, including goalkeeper Sead Ramovic, crowded the box for a corner. Bursaspor goalkeeper Dimitar Ivankov caught the ball, threw it out to Ali Tandogan, and Tandogan scored into an empty net to make the final score 2-0 to Bursaspor. Sivasspor lost for the first time under the reign of manager Mesut Bakkal.
Bucaspor came back to Izmir looking to gain their first win in the Turkish top flight. They would have to do so against Gençlerbirliği. Orhan Ak put Bucaspor up 1-0 in the 24th minute. Gençlerbirliği tied the match in the 55th minute via Ermin Zec. But Bucaspor got goals by Koray Çölgeçen and Manucho in the 63rd and 90th minutes respectively to get the 3-1 victory.
The Istanbul big three were all in action on Sunday. Fenerbahçe looked to recover from a disappointing elimination in the Europa League. Beşiktaş looked to put the loss last week to Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor behind them. Galatasaray looked to avoid the worst start in their history of league play, trying to avoid three consecutive losses to start the season.
Fenerbahçe came home to host Manisaspor, the second of two home matches played behind closed doors due to the events at the end of last season. Alex de Souza put Fenerbahçe up 1-0 in the 17th minute, after Manisaspor goalkeeper Ilker Avcibay mishandled a cross by Fenerbahçe youth product Okan Alkan, who was making his first start at right back in place of Gokhan Gonul. Promise Issac tied the match for Manisaspor in the 48th minute. Diego Lugano put Fenerbahçe back into the lead in the 62nd minute off a free kick by Alex de Souza. Okan Alkan made another good cross into the box in the 69th minute, and Mamadou Niang scored his first goal for Fenerbahçe off a header to extend Fenerbahçe’s lead to 3-1. Niang struck again in the 73rd minute to give Fenerbahçe a 4-1 lead. Manisaspor got a consolation goal in the 76th minute though Josh Simpson, but it was too little, too late. Fenerbahçe beat Manisaspor 4-2 and seemed to get their swagger back.
Beşiktaş travelled to Karabuk to face Karabukspor. With Beşiktaş the only Turkish club this season to make it to the Europa League; Beşiktaş looked to get another victory to continue their run of good form. It didn’t look for them early on, as in the 2nd minute, Emmanuel Emenike scored to put Karabukspor up 1-0. Beşiktaş responded in the 10th minute, as Mert Nobre scored off the result of a Rodrigo Tabata corner kick. Nobre struck against for Beşiktaş in the 26th minute to put Beşiktaş up 2-1. Beşiktaş kept the goals coming in the 76th minute, when Guti scored off a penalty as a result of Armand Deumi brought down Ricardo Quaresma in the 18 yard box. Quaresma would score in the 83rd minute to make the final score 4-1 to Beşiktaş.
If there was one team that had to win this week, it was Galatasaray. Off to their worst start to a season in 20 years, and with a disappointing exit in the Europa League, Galatasaray faced a must win situation against Eskişehirspor. Otherwise, it seemed that heads would explode at Galatasaray. Galatasaray breathed a temporary sigh of relief in the 4th minute, as Milan Baros scored off a botched clearance by Eskişehirspor goalkeeper Vanja Ivesa. Luka Vucko tied the match for Eskişehirspor in the 37th minute and it seemed that Galatasaray was set up for more misery. But Arda Turan put a smile on the face of Galatasaray supporters in the 68th minute, as he went one-on-one with Ivesa and Turan’s attempt was mistakenly put into the net by Eskişehirspor’s Volkan Yaman, ironically a former Galatasaray player. Galatasaray got the clinching goal by Servet Cetin in the 71st minute to make the final score 3-1 to Galatasaray.
Only one match was played on Monday, and it matched up Antalyaspor against Trabzonspor. Recent transfer Jaja made his Trabzonspor debut in this match. The only highlight in the match was the electricity going out 39 minutes into the match, leading to a 30 minute delay while everyone waited for the lights to come back on. No goals were scored and both teams had to settle with a point.