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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Turkey still alive ; Late goals give Turkey win !

Turkey beat Czech Republic 2-0 in Prague and main a two-point-lead over Netherlands with a game to spare in Group A

 Two second half goals led Turkey to a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic in their Euro qualifier on Saturday to keep alive the away side's chances of making the tournament in France next summer. 

The already-qualified Czechs squandered an opportunity to overtake Iceland for top spot in Group A but could not make their early possession pay in a mostly drab game in which neither side generated many scoring chances until late.

Turkey, needing four points from their last two games to clinch a play-off spot, broke through in the 62nd minute after Czech defender Filip Novak conceded a penalty for a foul on Serdar Aziz in the box.

Selcuk Inan converted the spot kick for the Turks, who doubled their lead in the 80th minute when Hakan Calhanoglu beat his marker and slotted home after latching onto Ara Turan's lofted pass into the penalty area.

The Czechs, playing without a number of regular players, including goalkeeper Petr Cech, remain in second place behind Iceland in Group A.

Either Turkey or the Netherlands will finish third after Tuesday's final qualifiers.

Both sides have a game remaining after Saturday’s fixtures — Turkey face Iceland while Netherlands take on the Czechs.
Even a possible draw against Iceland on Tuesday — in the Turkish central province of Konya, where Turkish national team thrashed the Dutch 3-0 last month — will be enough to thrust Turkey into the playoff stage, without regard to the outcome of the Netherlands – the Czech Republic game in Amsterdam.
During Saturday’s match in Prague, Turkish National team players wore black armbands to protest the twin bombings in Turkish capital Ankara that killed 95 people on Saturday. Before the kick-off both team players stood in silence to commemorate the victims.
The blasts targeted a peace rally in Turkey’s capital in the morning, leaving at least 95 dead and 246 injured, according to the prime minister’s office. The number of casualties makes the attack the deadliest in recent Turkish history.
– Group A results:
Czech Republic 0-2 Turkey
Iceland 2-2 Latvia
Kazakhstan 1-2 Netherlands
– Group A standings:
 Czech Republic

Never give up ! Turks going to France 2016 !

Huge 89th minute strike from Selcuk Inan booked Turkey's place at Euro 2016 ! 

Selcuk Inan was Turkey's hero as his country secured automatic qualification to Euro 2016 with a last-gasp 1-0 Group A win over Iceland.

Needing victory to secure a passage to next year's tournament in France as the best-ranked third-place team, Fatih Terim's side were reduced to 10 men 13 minutes from time when Gokhan Tore was dismissed for a rash challenge on Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

But up stepped Galatasaray midfielder Inan in the final minute of normal time to curl a sumptuous 25-yard free-kick beyond visiting goalkeeper Ogmundur Kristinsson and spark wild celebrations in Konya.

The Turkish party could only truly get underway when Kazakhstan's win by the same scoreline over Latvia in Riga was confirmed, dropping the hosts to bottom place and meaning Turkey edged Hungary as the best third-placed team.

Iceland also progressed from Group A as runners-up to the Czech Republic, who ensured Netherlands were eliminated amid ignominy and a 3-2 defeat in Amsterdam. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Last chance for Turkey and Fatih Terim !

After beating Netherlands in the group ,Fatih Terim's boy got a another chance and captured the third place in the group A !

But, to order to finish third place in the group they have to earn point and points on Saturday against second place Czech team ! 

In remaining two matches, Turkey must collect four points ....

Fourth place Netherlands  will travel to Kazakhistan on Saturday....

A loss there, would make things easy for Turkey ....

In group A, Iceland is in first place and Czech team on second place....

Turkey needs to finish in third place  to play playoffs matches !

It is all in their hands .....

They have to show to the world they are crunch time team again.

Next two matches are really important for Turkey and Fatih Terim...

You lose ,you snooze !

That's why this  match on Saturday is very important ....

My only gripe about the team is the defense and Arda Turan's match performance ! 

His lack of playing time in real match , is the biggest risk ....

Will  we see another miracle comeback win against Czech's ? 

Why not .....

Ahmet B Turgut 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Do or Die Match for Turkey !

Fatih Terim's Turkey  qualification hopes for the 2016 European Championship are all but lost, but its fate will be sealed if the national team does not defeat Latvia on Thursday.
They are  in lowly fourth place in Group A behind Iceland, Czech Republic and the Netherlands, which have 15, 13 and 10 points, respectively. With only eight points, Turkey is ahead of Latvia's three and Kazakhstan's one.
In its last qualifier, in June, a late Arda Turan goal gave Turkey a crucial win over Kazakhstan in Almaty. The Barcelona midfielder is again the lynchpin in the Turkish side's strategy as the most accomplished player in the squad. The worry there is that Arda is just recovering from a three-week injury and so may not be in top form.
Plus, Arda has not played in real match time for a long time ...
Turkey coach Fatih Terim was singing the playmaker's praises when in St. Petersburg for the 2018 World Cup draw. “Barcelona signed an amazing player. Arda has the character to carry his team and his teammates forward,” he told Spanish paper El Deportivo. Despite his success, Arda alone cannot carry this floundering ship they call the national team. It takes more than one good player.
There are a few more key players, including Selcuk Inan  and Galatasaray striker Burak Yılmaz, who as the team's top scorer with four goals has brought most of Turkey's goals home in the qualifiers so far.  

The team will be without Fenerbahahce veteran defender Gokhan Gonul  who was removed from the roster due to injury concerns during training before the team left for Konya on Tuesday evening. Fans welcomed the national team at the airport in Konya late on Tuesday and it held its final practice on Wednesday.

State of dependence

Beyond gathering crucial points for Turkey, this match gives the Turks a chance to have the last say. When the two sides met in their first match in Riga last October, Turkey failed to pull out a win. Galatasaray midfielder Bilal Kısa scored at the beginning of the second half only to witness an equalizer seven minutes later with a penalty by Jablonec striker Valerijs Sabala. Bilal has no even been named in the squad this time, but Sabala will be there.
Turkey has put itself in a position in which nothing but a win and helpful results from matches involving its group rivals will do to keep qualifying hopes alive. Things seem grim, but the team is only two points behind the Netherlands going into Thursday night's game, so all is not lost
Kazakhstan must pull off a surprise win over host Czech Republic on Thursday and the Netherlands must again lose to rampant Iceland in Amsterdam, like in the teams' first encounter last November, to give Turkey its best chance of succeeding.
After Latvia, Turkey's last three qualifiers – if the name still bears any significance -- are against the Netherlands on Sept. 6, then Czech Republic and Iceland in October, so the road is going to get gradually steeper for the Turks as they face successively tougher teams.

Much-needed morale

For Turkey, each competition that slides by without them is a further blow to its morale. The team has not qualified for a major international competition since reaching the semifinals of the 2008 edition when it lost 3-2 in a thriller to Germany who scored in the last minute.
Turkish fans have steadily become disillusioned with the national team's performance since that great performance as they have seen two World Cups and two European Championships come and go without Turkey's participation.
Now, with such slim chances of qualifying, even under the watch of the most successful coach in the national team's history, Turkey looks set to disappoint yet again. The least the Turks can do is bring out that indomitable fighting spirit they had in 2008 and record a few wins, whether or not the other teams' results comply with Turkey's wishes.
The match kicks off at 9:45 p.m. at Konya's Torku Stadium. The referee is Sweden's Stefan Johannesson. Fredrik Nilsson and Magnus Sjoblom will be assist him on the sidelines and Stefan Hallberg is the fourth official.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Turkish Super League Review : Empty Stadiums and Failed Stars !

It's only second weekend  but Turkish Super League started the 2015- 2016 season where they left off !

Empty Stadiums ......

In both weekend matches,stadiums were empty...

When you have big name players like Robin Van Persie playing in your league and fans don't go to stadiums to see him, there is something wrong !

This past weekend , Fenerbahce travelled to Rize and Rize stadium was empty....

It was the same case for Galatasaray in their own stadium ...

Besiktas the team with no stadium at the moment ,play their matches at Olimypic stadium ! 

Stadium chaos still on for Besiktas this season too...

That was the big reason why they lost the Championship last season to Galatasaray .

There is only one team draws good at home ,that is Fenerbahce ! 

They have sold over 30 thousand season tickets after they signed big name stars....

Overall, Turkish Super League's biggest problem is the fans in the stands ...

Turkish Football Fedaration has to do something about ! 

Financially struggling clubs could be in deep trouble ...

Some of the teams ,already are ...


They have spent a lot of money on big names in the transfer season but they have struggled in last two  weekends ....

This past weekend big three, Galatasaray ,Fenerbahce and Besiktas loss points ! 

Fenerbahce got only one point in Rize with Van Persie's goal....

Galatasaray went down in front of their own fans against league's newcomers Osmanlispor with a score of 2-1 ! 

And Besiktas loss to Trabzon at windy Olympic stadium 2-1 .....

While they were struggling, underdogs like Kasimpasa and Antalyaspor and Trabzonspor were the only three teams won their two matches and stayed perfect so far !

Kasimpasa sits on top of the Turkish Super League at the end of the second weekend....

Eto's Antalyaspor has surprised everyone with two wins so far...

They surprised me too ! 

But, I still think they won't be around next season.....

If I remember correctly,last season Akhisar started the season on top of the league but then struggled .

Antalyaspor rookie coach Yusuf Simsek does not hold FIFA's coaching license yet, that's why his assistant coach  (old enough to be his father ) does the flash interviews after the matches ! 

It's bazaar.....

Eto scored three goals in two weeks and scored the winning goal this past weekend for Antalyaspor! 

The third weekend matches will be played on Friday,Saturday and Sunday ...

There won't be Monday Night match on Monday because of Turkish National team matches next weekend .

The third week will kick of on Friday with Gaziantepor vs Besiktas match ...

Galatasaray will travel to Konya on Saturday and Fenerbahce will be at home against Eto's Antalyaspor on Sunday night! 

Before that match , onThursday ,Fenerbahce has to win against Greek team to other to advance in Europa League ....

Lastly, my player of the week in the second weekend was Greek legend player Gekas who is playing for Eskisehirspor this season ...

He scored great goals this past weekend ...

Gekas also scored three goals too after two weeks .

Worst performance was by Galatasaray keeper Muslera  and Besiktas's Gokhan Tore ! 

Muslera looked very bad on both goals they scored on him....

Gokhan Tore, missed a open net and assisted on Trabzonspor goal with a bad clear in front of Besiktas's goal ...

Kudos to Rizespor coach Hikmet Karaman, Osmanlispor coach Mustafa Akcay and Kasimpasa coach Riza Calimbay  and Trabzonspor coach Sota .

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Robin van Persie made his debut in Turkish Super Lig #STSL

Robin van Persie made his debut on Friday in the Turkish Super Lig's opening match as he came from the bench in the second half of the match against Eskisehir.

Fenerbahce won the match 2-0  with Sow and newcomer Brazilian Fernandao who came from Bursaspor.

Both of the goals were scored in the first half.....

When Robin Van Persie came into match in the 62th minute there was huge standing ovation for him at Kadikoy Sukru Saracoglu stadium.

He replaced second goal scorer Fernandao.....

About 40 thousand Fenerbahce fans filled the Kadikoy stadium.

Since 2000, Fenerbahce won their first opening match in the Turkish Super League !

Eskisehir who is coached by Skibe did not create any offensive play against Fenerbahce

Their Greek player Gekas was out of commission!

Robin van Persie was on the field about 30 minutes but could not connect with the ball ...

Persie officially played his first Turkish Super League match on Friday with Fenerbahce uniform .

Fenerbahce  added Ozan Tufan and Volkan Sen to their rich roster , from Bursaspor .

Galatasaray and Besiktas will open the league in away matches this weekend...

Galatasaray will be in Sivas on Saturday and Besiktas visits Mersin on Sunday.

On Saturday's Eto's Antalyspor will face Basaksehir in Istanbul....

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Star Studded Turkish Super League !

 Turkish Super Lig will take a start this Friday with Fenerbahce and Eskisehir match in Kadikoy stadium .

This season Turkish Super League will have Europe's stars like Van Persie ,Nani, Eto,Podolski, Quaresma and Gomez ! 

Without a doubt , Fenerbahce was the winner in the transfer season ......

They surprised a lot of people inTurkey and in the world when they transferred Robin van Persie ! 

Actually ,they became Fenerbahce United  after getting Nani from Manchester United too...

Along with Persie and Nani, Fenerbahce added Simon Kjaer from Lill , Joseph de Souza from Brazil and keeper Fabiano and Bursaspor goal scorer from last season Fernandao .....

And they are still not done yet ! 

According to reports they want to add Volkan Sen and Ozan Tufan from Bursaspor....

From last season, names like, Emre Belozoglu,Emenike and Dirk Kuyt will not be with Fenerbahce...

Emre's contract wasn't renewed and he jumped to his old pal's team Basaksehirspor!
Losing to Shakhtar in the Champions League qualifying around was disaster for Fenerbahce..  
They will not be in the Champions League this season ...

Instead , They will play in the Europa League !

Star studded Fenerbahce was aiming to Champions League with new additions but did not happen ..

That was huge disappointment for Fenerbahce fans around the world !

Now, with a new coach Vitor Pereira and brand new team they will open the 2015-2016 season's curten on August 14th, Friday night in Kadikoy,Istanbul against Eskisehirspor...

After getting big names ,Fenerbahce sold total of 37 thousand season tickets for this season !

On the other hand , the other two clubs, Galatasaray and Besiktas were quite ......

They both signed German star players !

Galatasaray got Lukas Podolski and Besiktas added Mario Gomez and their former player and fans beloved Quaresma their roster....

Podolski and Sneijder could be very good duo for Galatasaray this season !

On the other hand Besiktas with Gomez and Quaresma should be better then last season....

The only handicap for Besiktas is the goal keepers ! 

Three of the keepers so far are not giving confidence to new coach Senol Gunes and Besiktas fans ..

Galatasaray and Fenerbahce has solid goal keepers !

Lastly, New comer Antalyspor made a huge splash  and signed  34 year ols Eto !

 How long will he stay there is the biggest question , in my opinon ...

Antalyaspor even tired to get Ronaldinho but they were not sucsesfull  !

With a rokie coach  former Fenerbahce and Denizlispor player Yusuf Simsek ,I really don't know god will the team be this season !

I could bet you this....

They will not be in this league next seson !


In closing.......

Few teams spent a lot of money this season....

Fenerbahce  and Galatasaray team are the most spenders this season.....

Fenerbahce team worth around 172.5 million dollars.....

Galatasaray team worth around 151.5 million dollars ....

According to reports whole Turkish Super League teams (18 teams ) worth around 1.10 billion !

There is alot of money being spent for the sport that is not drawing huge spectators in the stands ..

This has to  change !

If TFF(Turkish Football Federation ) and the teams doesn't hire well knowlege people to market the league, the Turkish Super Lig will be one big bust.....

It's time to clean house and make this league enjoyable !

Incidents  on  and off  the field hurts Turkish football ......

Just like what happended to Mehmet Topal yesterday  while he was in his car....

Enjoy your opening Turkish football weekend.....

Turkish Football Blogger


August 14, Friday:

August 15, Saturday:
Medipol Başakşehir-Antalyaspor
Medicana Sivasspor-Galatasaray
August 16, Sunday:
Torku Konyaspor-Akhisar Belediyespor
Mersin İdmanyurdu-Beşiktaş

August 17, Monday:
Gençlerbirliği-Çaykur Rizespor