Celebration in Kadıköy!!!
Celebration in Kadıköy!!!
3-1 Victory Makes History for Canaries
By Nathan L. Redd
No one knows how to throw a party like Fenerbahce, and the club will certainly send fans celebrating in the streets of Kadıköy tonight. Fenerbahce defeated CSKA Moscow 3-1 Wednesday to advance to the knockout stage of UEFA Champions League. The victory marks the first time in team history to advance this far.
Fener knew they had to win to put away any doubt of not advancing. The team came out attacking, with four shots in goal in the opening minutes to show CSKA they were here to win. Fener dominated ball possession at nearly 70% early on, rapid-firing shot after shot at the short-handed Russian side. However, it would be CSKA who would jump on the boards first. A mistake by Edu Dracena as goalkeeper Volkan Demirel came out of goal caused an own goal to put CSKA up 1-0. The fans at Sukru Saracoglu gasped in shock, but fortunately (especially for Edu) it wouldn't matter on this day. Two minutes later Alex de Souza took a fantastic pass off the chest, then sent a bullet past the CSKA goalkeeper for a marvelous goal to tie it at 1-1.
As the first half wound down, UEFA Champions League rookie Ugur Boral would prove to be the hero of the day. In stoppage time of the first half, the midfielder took a fantastic shot from the left side past CSKA to put Fener up 2-1. With fans eyeing the ongoing PSV Eindhoven vs. Inter Milan score, Fener gave their faithful a little breathing room going into halftime.
The second half would see CSKA come out attacking to find an equaliser, but Volkan Demirel was magnificent in goal yet again to keep the visitors from finding another goal. Fenerbahce would have several more opportunities as both Ugur Boral and Selcuk Sahin took blistering shots that hit the crossbar. Ugur Boral, however, would get one more chance to put it away and he would capitalize on it. As Inter Milan put away PSV Eindhoven guaranteeing Fenerbahce's advancement, the midfielder would score once more in the 90th minute to put Fener up 3-1. He came out of the game shortly thereafter to a thunderous applause as Mateja Kezman replaced him.
With the final whistle blown, Fenerbahce advanced to the knockout stage of UEFA Champions League for the first time. A few months ago, the promise of such victory seemed thrilling. However, the Canaries are playing superior futbol and seem like they have no intentions of ending their European dreams just yet.
Fenerbahce finished with 24 total shots to only eight for CSKA Moscow. Of those shots, 13 were on target for Fener with only three for CSKA. Fenerbahce controlled the possession 53% to 47% for the game. Gokhan Gonul picked up the only yellow card for Fener. Zico's starting eleven for the game was Volkan Demirel, Semih Senturk, Diego Lugano, Roberto Carlos, Mehmet Aurelio, Alex de Souza, Selcuk Sahin, Ugur Boral, Edu Dracena, Gokhan Gonul, and Deivid de Souza. Colin Kazim-Richards, Mateja Kezman, and Gokcek Wederson all came on as substitutes late in the game.
Check back with Fenerbahce Worldwide for more analysis, commentary, and photos of Fenerbahce's historic win!!!
(all photos courtesy of Hurriyet)