10-man Fenerbahce shares spoils with Antep

The Canaries had fallen behind early on after a dead ball play that resulted in a strike by Guinea forward Aboubacar Camara. He tapped the ball into the net after Volkan Demirel failed to block the airborne cross. That put Fenerbahce in a position it does not like, that of playing catch up, as they saw their one-week league leadership fall back to rival Besiktas.

In other Sunday matches, Mersin İdman Yurdu defeated Caykur Rizespor 3-0, and İstanbul Basaksehir defeated Genclerbirligi 2-0.

Back and forth

“It was nice to see a goal as the result of a play we had worked on,” Antep coach Mutlu Topcu said. “In the second half they played long balls because they were a more dominant team with 10 players. We could have been calmer when it came to return balls and the balls we won, but in the end you are playing against Fenerbahce. No matter how calm you say you are, in the moment your thoughts are different,” he added.

“We conceded from the first dead ball. After that, our reaction was to try to score immediately. We tried, but as we were attempting to score we found ourselves with a player sent off, making our job even more difficult,” Fenerbahce coach Vitor Pereira said. Hasan Ali Kaldırım saw red in the 30th minute.

A long, powerful strike from defender Gokhan Gonul finally equalized for the Canaries in the second half, and they pushed for a victory, in pursuit of another goal.

But so did Antep. As Diego Ribas was contesting for the ball it bounced off his arm in the box, and the referee awarded a penalty to Antep. Muhammet Demir stepped up to take the kick and sank it past keeper Volkan Demirel’s fingertips into the net.

Penalty woes

Pereira was quick to criticize the referee after the game. “I am curious to know when referees are going to start awarding us penalties. I do not know if we are the only team that has not had a penalty awarded in our favor,” he said, also noting that the field was in very poor condition, which negatively affected Fenerbahce’s style of play.

Even Topcu said there could have been another penalty in the final minutes. “I mean, we could have won the match; we also could have lost it. It might seem nice to get a point from a big club like Fenerbahce, but with that result we lost two points,” he added.

It was Alper Potuk who got the Canaries’ second equalizer. Diego put in a dangerous ball from the right edge of the penalty box and Alper Potuk picked it up unchallenged in front of Antep’s goal. His subsequent shot deflected off the inside of the left post and went in.

“After conceding the second goal we tried to get the equalizer again. We gave our all. And even after managing the 2-2 we did everything we could for victory,” Pereira said. “If you had talked about such a result before the match I would definitely not have been happy, but the conditions brought us to this. We are coming away with a point. It could have been better, but it also could have been worse,” he added.