İstanbul BB hands Sivas first defeat in Europa League group playoffs
İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor trounced 10-man Sivasspor 4-2 in week three of their Super League Avrupa League group encounter at İstanbul's Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium on Saturday to hand Rıza Çalımbay's Sivas its first defeat in the ongoing four-team playoffs.
Ironically, it was the first victory by Arif Erdem's İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor, which had won one and drawn one prior to Saturday.
İstanbul BB was therefore the more desperate side going into this match because another loss would have meant Erdem's men had raised the white flag of surrender with three weeks to go.
With this in mind, İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor took the game to Sivasspor and was rewarded after only six minutes when 30-year-old Cameroon striker Pierre Achille Webo Kouamo scored to give the host the lead.
Nigeria forward Michael Eranamo scored two quick goals in the 14th and 19th minutes to put Sivasspor ahead 2-1. But Tokat-born midfielder Serhat Gülpınar netted in the first minute of added time (45+1) to equalize for Sivasspor as the two teams went to their dressing rooms tied at 2-2.
After the break, both teams had their chances. The turning point came in the 61st minute, when Eranamo turned from hero to zero after failing to convert a penalty. A minute later (62nd) Sivasspor was reduced to 10 men after Czech defender Jakub Navratil was given his marching orders.
Playing with a one-man advantage, İstanbul BB piled the pressure on Sivasspor. Doka Madureira -- real name Francisco Lima da Silva -- scored in the 77th to make it 3-2 and midfielder Ömer Can Sokullu found the back of the net two minutes before the end of regulation time to seal the deal: İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor 4, Sivasspor 2.