Sunday, December 09, 2007

Derby Dominance: 2-0 Fener Win Moves Canaries Closer



Derby Dominance: 2-0 Fener Win Move Canaries Closer
By Nathan L. Redd
The biggest derby in the world once again did not disappoint....at least for Fenerbahce fans. Fener took control earlier and picked up an insurance goal in the second half to dispose of their arch-rivals Galatasaray 2-0.
As if the fans needed more reason to be vocal, Fenerbahce rising star Semih Senturk scored the game's first goal in the 5th minute to give the home side the early lead. Fenerbahce would keep pressing throughout the first half with several opportunities to score. Two shots in the first half gave Deivid de Souza a clear shot at goal, but both shots sailed off the mark. The Fenerbahce defense was superb in the first half, limited the Lions of Galatasaray to only a few opportunities to equalize. Goalkeeper Volkan Demirel, who has been the recipient of so much criticism in the past, once again played a spectacular game never giving Galatasaray much opportunity to get on the board. The performance was even more impressive considering Volkan missed much of the week's training sessions with a sickness.
The second half saw both teams on the attack. After a quiet first half, Galatasaray found themselves attacking early and often on the Fenerbahce side of the pitch. Volkan, Rigobert Song, former Yellow Canary Servet Cetin, and several other Lions would work hard to get their team back in the match. However, several mistakes by the Lions' goalkeeper would allow Fenerbahce opportunities to increase their lead. Just over ten minutes into the second half, a spectacular shot on goal by Fener was stopped but not contained by the goalkeeper, finding Deivid de Souza on the left side of the goal to easily put the ball back in the net. With a 2-0 lead, Fenerbahce was confident and ready to put the game out of hand.
Both Fenerbahce and Galatasaray would have more scoring chances as the second half wound down, with one spectacular left-footed shot from Roberto Carlos outside the box sailing just high. Behind the superior play of Volkan Demirel, however, Galatasaray never got on the board, preserving the magnificent 2-0 victory for Fenerbahce.
The game featured several scuffles between the teams and several cards handed out. Ugur Boral, Semih Senturk, Edu Dracena, and Deivid de Souza all picked up yellow cards. Rigobert Song, Volkan, Yaman, and Arda Turan picked up yellow cards for Galatasaray. Deivid de Souza was sent off with a red card in the 78th minute, but it would be too late for Galatasaray to capitalize. After the game, Deivid told reporters "I certainly did not deserve to be punished with a red card tonight. I was discussing with a Galatasaray player, if the referee had had to show a card, he would have punished both of us but he chose to show the card only to me which was quite an unfair decision."
Mateja Kezman made his first appearance for Fenerbahce in over a month, replacing Semih Senturk in the 72nd minute. Kezman had been out of service following knee surgery in late October. Obviously glad to be back on the pitch, Kezman stated after the game "We attached a great importance to this derby and now we are of course very happy that we managed to defeat Galatasaray infront of our great fans. I congratulate all of my friends on this fantastic victory. It was not easy for me to recover from that serious injury but I'm doing my utmost to lead Fenerbahce to victories." Colin Kazim-Richards and Gokcek Wederson also came on as substitutes for Zico's side.
Saturday's edition of "The World's Biggest Derby" was the first for superstar Roberto Carlos. He told reporters after the match "Tonight we really could have scored more goals against Galatasaray. Now all I can say is that we are always the favorite of every game we play. I really wanted to score against Galatasaray, but it did not happen. I'm happy that I helped my team with my leadership." Volkan Demirel, one of the stars of the match, told reporters "We dedicate this precious victory to our great fans who never let us alone. This derby was like a festival. This week I could not participate all training sessions because of my sickness, but I was ready to play no matter how ill I was."
Semih Senturk has become a rising superstar in the Turkcell Super Lig, emerging as a major scoring threat for Fenerbahce. His goal in the first half was his first career goal against arch-rivals Galatasaray. "I have been dreaming of scoring a goal against Galatasaray which made me a real canary now. I'm so happy and want to dedicate my goal to my family" he said after the match.
(photos courtesy of Hurriyet)

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