OKAN UDO – Hamza and his Lions hit poor Konya for ‘hamsa’

Hamza and his Lions hitpoor Konya for ‘hamsa’andldquoHamsaandrdquo means five in Arabic and the Lions, as Galatasaray is popularly called, are currently coached by their former midfielder Hamza HamzaoIlu. Some names can work wonders and maybe Hamza is one of those, as the Lions did something really befitting of this name by crushing Torku Konyaspor 5-0 away in week 13 of the Spor Toto Super League at Konya BuyukIehir Belediyesi Torku Arena on Saturday.

andldquoI congratulate my players,andrdquo said HamzaoIlu, who recorded his second win in as many league outings as Galatasaray coach. The Lions had beaten Akhisar Belediyespor, HamzaoIluandrsquos former club, 2-1 in Istanbul in week 12.

andldquoWe started well and dominated play until the last 15-20 minutes, which was a result of fatigue due to the tight schedule. Nevertheless, it was a lesson for us on how to play when weariness sets in.

Konyaspor is a good and organized team with quality players in defense and upfront. And we are extremely happy that we came out unscathed,andrdquo he noted.

Europe exitGalatasaray, ousted from Europe on Wednesday after being beaten 4-1 at home in Istanbul by Arsenal in their UEFA Champions League Group D finale on Wednesday, is now concentrating only on domestic action. And Hamzaandrsquos men proved without a doubt at Konya that they mean business.

The Lions had not scored more than two goals in the league this season prior to Saturday — and no one expected them to do so in Konya — let alone score five. But the fact of the matter is that Galatasaray, no longer under the tutelage of Cesare Prandelli, HamzaoIluandrsquos predecessor who did the team more harm than good, is fast regaining its old formAnd so it took 16 minutes for Galatasaray to break the deadlock against Konyaspor, with lanky striker Umut Bulut following a corner kick taken by Emre olak.

The second goal came just seven minutes later (23rd), this time from Emre, who beat Konyasporandrsquos Slovenian keeper, Vid Belec, with a powerful left-foot shot from the edge of the areaGoal-machine Burak YIlmaz also jumped on the scoring bandwagon in the 37th, outpacing young Konyaspor defender Selim Ay after a poor clearance to put the ball into the back of the net. And the first half ended 3-0: aantage Galatasaray.

The Lions kept up the momentum after the break. Burak was on target again in the 57th, scoring with a low header following a cross from the right flank by right-back Sabri SarIoIlu.

And German-born winger Hamit AltIntop put the game beyond reach in the 62nd, kicking the ball into an almost empty net after a Wesley Sneijder shot hit the near post and rebounded into play. It is worth noting that this was Hamitandrsquos first Super League goal since he joined Galatasaray from Real Madrid in 2012.

andldquoWe were disciplined and earned an easy victory from a very difficult match,andrdquo HamzaoIlu said. andldquoI wish Konyaspor success in its future matches and for us, we intend to increase the momentum from now on,andrdquo he added.

New Konyaspor trainer Aykut Kocaman, the man who led Fenerbahe to the league championship last season, was forced to bite the bullet and accept the downside of professional coaching.Other results in the Super League on Saturday: Akhisar Belediyespor 1, GenlerbirliIi 1 Istanbul BaIakIehir 1, Balikesirspor 0 and KasImpaIa 1, EskiIehirspor 0 On Friday, defending champion Fenerbahe walloped visiting Sivasspor 4-1 to make things more difficult for embattled Brazilian coach Roberto Carlos.

Week 13 of the Super League concludes on Monday with Trabzonspor hosting Rizespor at Huseyin Avni Aker Stadium in a Black Sea derby.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman