Sunday, April 05, 2009

Turkey April 2009

Strong Sivas.

Denizlispor 0 Sivasspor 2

A 3 and a half hour drıve from Antalya through some interesting mountainous country and you find Denizli - feeling like a prosperous business-like city busy with shoppers on a Saturday afternoon.

In the centre is the Ataturk stadium 3 parts open with well filled lower tiers - any away fans are up above my head. Fortunately in an area prone to rain (due to the mountain backdrop) the fans had only a light shower to endure.

League leaders Sivasspor scored two first half goals through Sedat Bayrak and Tum after which they defend efficiently enough to frustrate the home team. So they maintained a clear lead over Besiktas at the top.

Solid in defence Sivasspor have a Sebastian Veron lookalike in midfield (Erdogan) and Yildiz up front.

They're confident and compact with a good team spirit, helped no doubt by those huddles.

Maybe they'll go close to a first ever title.

Ten men too good.

Antalyaspor 4 Genclerbirgili 2

Back ın Antalya this encounter had plenty of goals to keep the local ultras happy.
An inner city stadium , as in Denizli, a setup much favoured by this writer.

Surrounded by apartments, atmospheric, traditional and just a short walk from the old city. Plenty of red and white in evidence.

The various ultras (curva nord , south and the sides) stoked up the chanting as Antalya fought back from 1-0 down to win 4-2 having played for over the half the game wıth ten men.

Tunisian Zitouni got two , Dos Santos scored a somewhat generous penalty whilst Pektemek replied with two for the team from Ankara. Genclerbirgili had less than ten fans accompanied at times by about 40 police.

After Genclerbirgili had scored first Antalyaspor had Ozturk dismissed (foot up) but they equalised soon after for 1-1 at the break.

In an entertaining second half , watched by around 5000, with some viewing from the apartments Antalyaspor overcame their disadvantage to complete a tremendous win.

The next day when returning the car I happened to mention I drove to Denizli - the man from the rental company was surprised I'd gone so far as he'd never been there.

more pictures at

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