Poor Calls Cost Fener Three Points, One Player
Poor Calls Cost Fener Three Points, One Player
Two Egregious Decisions Send Fener Back from Kayseri Empty-Handed
By Nathan L. Redd
Fenerbahce went to Kayseri in search of three points, but less than a third of the way into the game, it was clear that they would likely come home empty-handed. Two disastrous calls by the officiating crew allowed Kayserispor to come back from a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 in front of the home crowd.
Fenerbahce came out attacking on Sunday with the return of Deivid de Souza in the striker position alongside the hot Semih Senturk. Diego Lugano was also back from a one-game absence earlier in the week. Kayseri would have the first shot at goal, however, with a free kick in the 6th minute that Volkan was able to keep out. Less than five minutes later, Edu Dracena would pick up an obvious yellow card after a clumsy tackle. The call allowed Mehmet Topuz a free kick and another shot at goal, but Volkan Demirel was again able to stop the shot. There wasn't much to dispute about the call, but the day would only get worse for Edu and Fenerbahce.
Six and a half minutes later, Fenerbahce got on the board. Stephen Appiah found himself open on the wing with a clear look to get in the ball into close range. Appiah delivered a beautiful left-footed cross into the box that curved perfectly. Semih Senturk was able to jump in and claim Appiah's pass with a header past the goalkeeper to put Fenerbahce up 1-0. Senturk continued his hot streak of fantastic play at the forward position.
The goal allowed Fenerbahce to feel confident early in the match, but the momentum would shift completely just over ten minutes later. In the 28th minute with Kayseri on attack, Edu Dracena was called for a handball that caused him to pick up his second yellow card, resulting in a red. The call meant Fenerbahce would be playing with only ten minute for more than two-thirds of the remainder of the game. However, upon further review, the ball appeared to strike Edu on the lower chest/torso area rather than his arm. The call would stand, however, and Fenerbahce knew they would need to go into a defensive mode to try to salvage a point.
Kayseri would have another great shot at goal ten minutes later, but the shot from the left side of the box was perfectly deflected by Volkan to prevent the goal. Demirel got his right hand on the ball to prevent a sure equalizing goal for Kayserispor. The game was getting more aggressive and sloppy as time went by, with both teams combining for thirteen fouls in the first forty minutes of play.
Roberto Carlos was able to get a free kick opportunity in the 42nd minute, but his shot was off the mark. Less than thirty second later, Kayseri caught Fenerbahce out of position and took advantage. A beautiful cross from the left side found Mehmet Eren unmarked and in great position. Eren, wide open on the right side, found the left back side of the net past Volkan to tie the game at 1-1. Four minutes of stoppage time would keep the first half going, but the teams went into the break knotted up at 1-1.
The second half would only get worse for Fenerbahce. Playing with a man down, the Yellow Canaries were still looking for another goal. The goal appeared as if it might come seven minutes into the second half, when Roberto Carlos had another free kick that gave Diego Lugano an obvious header opportunity to retake the lead. Lugano, however, was first held by his shirt, then thrown down by the Kayseri defender. Instead of what was an obvious yellow card, no card or foul was given and play continued.
Fenerbahce continued a fantastic attack a few minutes later highlighted by some spectacular passing on the Kayseri side of the pitch. Roberto Carlos took advantage of a nice look from the left side in the 56th minute, but the shot was saved, killing Fener's attack.
Seven minutes later, the game would turn again in favor of Kayseri. Roberto Carlos made a rare mistake on defense when he was caught off-guard by Mehmet Eren in front of Fener's goal. However, Eren was so far offsides that the other Fenerbahce defenders stopped play to begin walking back the other direction after awaiting the linesman's flag. Despite Eren being at least seven feet ahead of all Fenerbahce defenders in a clear offsides position, the linesman chose not to raise his flag and allowed the goal. The call was so baffling that players on both sides were looking around in confusion, thinking they had missed the offsides flag by accident.
Fenerbahce was never able to recover after the ridiculous error. Zico would replace Wederson with Colin Kazim-Richards a few minutes later in hopes of sparking one final attack, but it was not to be. Kayserispor took advantage of the officials' generosity to pick up three points at home against the streaking Fenerbahce.
After the match, Zico spoke with reporters and was clearly upset by the officiating in Sunday's game. "Both teams were showing an equally great performance until Edu was shown a red card. I respect this decision, but a Kayserispor player did exactly the same thing and was not punished by a card." Zico went on to show more frustration with the referees in Sunday's match. "In the last minutes of the game there was a lot of arguing and disagreement from both sides. What did the referee do to stop them? He totally lost control over the players. I told my players to calm down and congratulated them because they tried really hard to win."
Fenerbahce will have plenty of time to think about Sunday's loss. The team is off next weekend for international competition. They'll return to Turkcell Super Lig action two weeks from now when they'll host Ankaraspor at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Kadikoy.
The loss means Fenerbahce remains in third place in the standings - one point ahead of fourth-place Besiktas. Kayserispor now moves into fifth place with 20 points, only one behind Besiktas and two points behind Fenerbahce. Galatasaray sits in second place with 25 points, but has an opportunity to tie with Sivasspor for first place if they can defeat Genclerbirligi on Sunday. At publishing time, Genclerbirligi leads Galatasaray 1-0 in the 7th minute of that match.
(photos courtesy of Hurriyet)