A Trabzonspor vs. Fenerbahçe derby is never a dull affair, and so their encounter in week 33 of the Spor Toto Super League at Trabzon's Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium on Sunday was not at all different.
With Beşiktaş losing at home in İstanbul to almost-relegated Samsunspor, the biggest beneficiary in the penultimate week of the regular season of the Spor Toto Super League was Galatasaray -- a home winner over Orduspor -- which now leads Fener by nine points, Trabzonspor by 19 and Beşiktaş by 20
There was no victor nor vanquished as the match ended 1-1. Fener Brazilian midfielder Cristian Baroni opened the scoring in the 41st and Trabzonspor goal-machine Burak Yılmaz equalized for the home side in the 73rd -- and that was the end of a long story.
But this tense, action-packed match will be remembered not only for this result, which has already gone into the record books, but also for other football and non-football events that took place at Hüseyin Avni Aker.
In the lead up to this match on Sunday, this writer clearly stated that Fenerbahçe fans had not treated Trabzonspor very well when the two teams met at İstanbul's Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in week 16 on Dec. 18. As you sow so shall you reap, they say. Therefore, for Fenerbahçe to expect a warm welcome at Avni Aker Stadium would be tantamount to wishful thinking.
And so it came to pass as the Trabzonspor fans first hurled hundreds of white singlets onto the Fener half of the pitch during the first half and play was suspended for several minutes. That was followed by dozens of fruit, plastic bottles and other projectiles thrown into the field of play.
The Trabzon club will definitely be punished by the Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PFDK), but whether that penalty will be implemented this season or next remains to be seen.
Bad day for ref Aydınus
As the tension boiled in the stands, referee Fırat Aydınus was busy ruining the match with his controversial calls and non-calls. Television replays showed that Baroni's goal for Fener in the 14th minute should have been disallowed because Senegal striker Moussa Sow was in an active offside position when that goal was scored.
Furthermore, Fenerbahçe should have been reduced to 10 men and Trabzonspor awarded a deserved penalty in the first half when midfielder Selçuk Şahin deliberately stamped on the ankle of Burak. But Aydınus waved play on.
Fenerbahçe, however, will be ruing the missed chances after hitting the woodwork three times during the match. Captain-playmaker Alex de Souza hit the post in the 22nd minute, substitutes Özer Hurmacı did likewise in the 86th and Henri Bienvenu in the 92nd.
“Dropping two points in this match is very saddening,” lamented Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman. “We were in total control in the first half and had several attempts at goals in the second. To have several scoring opportunities at Trabzon is not easy. It is really unfortunate that we could only convert one,” he added.
Fenerbahçe hosts relegation-threatened Medical Park Antalyaspor in the regular season's finale this weekend. And it indeed will not be an easy match for either team.
Burak makes history
Burak's goal in the 73rd -- his 32nd this season -- did not only give Trabzonspor the equalizer, but the 26-year-old also made history by eclipsing Fatih Tekke's goal record of 31 goals in a single season in 2004-05 to become Trabzon's top scorer -- of all time.
Trabzon coach Şenol Güneş seemed happy with the draw. “A draw was the best result,” he said. “I can say that Fenerbahçe was better technically. And though the match quality was not very high, there was excitement until the very end,” he noted.
Trabzonspor takes on newcomer Orduspor in a Black Sea derby in week 34 this week.
With Beşiktaş losing 1-0 at home in İstanbul to almost relegated Samsunspor, the biggest beneficiary in the penultimate week was Galatasaray -- a home winner over Orduspor -- which now leads Fener by nine points, Trabzonspor by 19 and Beşiktaş by 20.
Final week fixtures
- 20:00 Karabükspor-Beşiktaş
- 15:30 Ankaragücü vs. Kayserispor
- 19:00 Fenerbahçe vs. Antalyaspor
- 19:00 Samsunspor vs. Sivasspor
- 19:00 Eskişehirspor vs. Mersin
- 19:00 Bursaspor vs. Gaziantepspor
- 19:00 İstanbul BB vs. Gençlerbirliği
- 15:30 Orduspor-Trabzonspor
- 19.00 Manisaspor-Galatasaray