Sunday, December 02, 2007

Fenerbahce Grinds Out Win in Denizli

Fenerbahce Grinds Out Win in Denizli
By Nathan L. Redd

It wasn't pretty, but Fenerbahce returned home from Denizli with three points on Saturday. Fener dispatched Denizlispor 1-0 behind a lone goal from Ali Bilgin.

Zico made several changes in the starting lineup to give some of the regular starters a break. Ali Bilgin, Yasin Cakmak, and Ugur Boral all got the start in the first eleven. Alex de Souza, Diego Lugano, and several other starters got a rest on Saturday with two huge games coming up for Fener. After the match, Ugur Boral spoke about his thankfulness to return to the starting eleven. "'Our coach Zico has stressed that he trusts me and wants to let me play against Denizlispor. I haven't been in the starting eleven for quite a long time, but I have always kept on working hard to stay fit and ready. The other Fenerbahce footballers are also a great example: Selcuk and Kemal have been playing for Fenerbahce for long years and they are always fit and ready to play. Of course I get a little frustrated when I don't get a chance to play but in the end we are all professionals."

The game's only goal came from Ali Bilgin ten minutes before halftime. Fenerbahce had opportunities to add an insurance goal in the second half, but their opportunities failed to result in another goal. After the match, Fenerbahce Manager Zico said "Today the most important fact was to win the precious three points against Denizlispor. To secure our position in the league, we were obliged to win Denizli. We had lots of chances to score but we could not use those chances in the best possible way. We could have scored lots of goals today but I am happy that we have won today, that is what matters to me the most."

The win proved to be huge for both Fenerbahce and Denizlispor. Fenerbahce moves within three points of both Sivasspor and Galatasaray at the top of the table. Denizlispor remains in fifth place with 21 points, tied with Ankaragucu who lost 1-0 to Konyaspor on Saturday. Sivasspor visits the capital to take on Ankaraspor on Sunday, while Galatasaray hosts Super Lig rookies Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor.

(photos courtesy of


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