Not Even Close: Fenerbahce Falls 2-0
Fenerbahce Suffers Embarrassing Defeat to Open Season
By Nathan L. Redd
One team was the reigning Super Lig champion; the other, a newly-promoted side playing their first game ever on the big stage. Change the names on the front of the shirts, and it would have seemed more accurate. Fenerbahce suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Super Lig newcomers Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor on Friday night at Ataturk Stadium.
IBB Spor came out firing in the game. Several early shots right at Serdar showed the fans that the rookies meant business. It didn't take long for them to put a goal on the boards, with a ricochet by Kerim that sailed past Serdar to put IBB Spor up 1-0. The Fenerbahce defense looked lost and gave Kerim as much time as he needed to gather himself, make a 180-degree turn, and put the ball on target.
Fenerbahce had several opportunities to equalize, including a point-blank shot by Tumer Metin from just a few feet out that bounced off the keeper and over the goal. Mehmet Aurelio had another golden opportunity in the middle of the box, but his kick sailed 10 feet over the goal.
Before the shock of the deficit could set in, IBB Spor put another shot past Serdar in the 27th minute to go up 2-0. Can Arat found himself out of place, allowing IBB to capitalize. Zico brought in new Canaries Colin Kazim-Richards, Ali Bilgin, and Ilhan Parlak in the second half looking for offense, but Fener never found the back of the net.
The game wasn't the debut Roberto Carlos had hoped for, especially considering he was one of the few Canaries who played up to par in the game. The rest of the Fenerbahce defense looked lost, tentative, and intimidated by the Super Lig rookies. Fenerbahce controlled possession of the ball throughout most of the game, but it was IBB Spor that capitalized on their possessions. They had tremendous opportunites just before the break and again in the second half that could've easily seen the scoreline at 4-0.
Both teams had four shots on goal, but the IBB Spor goalkeeper was fantastic in goal, preserving the clean sheet. Mateja Kezman had one last chance to put Fener on the scoreboard in stoppage time, but his shot from 20 meters out sailed just to the left of the goal. The overwhelmingly-pro Fenerbahce crowd began to boo as the final whistle sounded at Ataturk Stadium.
Any confidence Fenerbahce gained from the Super Cup win over Besiktas was squandered, and now Fener must regroup in time for their UEFA Champions League clash next week against Anderlecht. Super Lig play resumes for Fener next Saturday at 21:45 (2:45 PM EST in the U.S. when Fenerbahce plays host to Gaziantepspor.