Pride, passion and fascinating stories from Asia Minor
Twenty three minutes. The time it took for Alex De Souza - if he hadn’t done so already - to write himself into the history books at Fenerbahce.
The club’s captain, and greatest player of recent times, smashed home a first half hat trick which sealed not one, but two, milestones in the process.
Having experienced the highs and lows of life at Fener, it was only fitting the Brazilian should be the man to notch the club’s 3000th ever goal. He then went on to score his personal 100th just minutes later with his second of the game.
Bucaspor had certainly read the script. A subsequent headed third coupled with a goal apiece from Mama Niang and Semih completed a 5-2 win and put Fener well and truly back into the title race.
If reports are to be believed, and this is to be Alex’s final year in Turkey, a third league title would be the ultimate send off for a player who will be remembered fondly by the club's fans long after he hangs up his boots.
In all honesty, despite Monday night’s goal fest, week 13 was slightly disappointing.
Trabzonspor were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Eskisehirspor who were obviously fired up by the blog’s claims that they would ‘provide very little to worry the league leaders’.
And likewise Kayserispor and Galatasaray who had been given the label of ‘match of the weekend’ before the wood-work ensured another 0-0.
Bernd Schuster’s ‘life-expectancy’ in Turkish football took a major blow on Saturday as Besiktas dropped yet more points at home.
Their 2-2 draw with relegation battling Konyaspor was hardly ideal preparation ahead of a trip to the Ali Sami Yen, and the side’s hopes were given an even heavier blow when Ricardo Quaresma was stretchered off before half time.
Thankfully Bursaspor upped their game with a 2-0 win at Manisaspor. The Green Croc’s desperately needed a pick me up ahead of their trip to Valencia on Wednesday night and got it thanks to Pablo Batalla close finish and Omer Aysan’s own goal.
Goal-scoring has not been a problem for Ertugrul Saglam’s men in the Super Lig. However, the Champions League fixture at the Mestalla will be Bursa’s penultimate chance to avoid embarrassment and net their first ever European goal.
Hopefully the blog’s presence in the press box will provide sufficient encouragement. If not, the fact that Maccabi Haifa are the only side ever to have lost all six group stage matches without scoring a goal should do the job of covering their backs - for another two weeks at least.
Although they only conceded eight - Bursaspor have conceded nine so far...
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