RACHEL – Lions devour 10-man Manisa in Turkish Cup quarters clash

Lions devour 10-man Manisa in Turkish Cup quarters clashGalatasaray did not pay heed to the Ziraat Turkish Cupand#39s reputation of being a tournament of upsets on Tuesday, as the club trounced hapless Manisaspor 4-0 despite missing a penalty in the first leg of the quarter-finals.Manisaspor was no doubt hoping for better, but its chances were naturally slim as a lower league club battling it out in the knockout stages with the current cup holder The Lions won the cup last year, but as a competition where the underdog often prevails, Manisa can be forgiven for holding out hope to aance, especially since Galatasaray was conserving extra energy ahead of its Spor Toto Super League derby against arch-rival Fenerbahe this weekend.

andldquoThere is not a lot to say. There is big a difference in level between Galatasaray and us.

We played against the league leader and we tried very hard,andrdquo said Manisa coach Dilaver Mutlu. andldquoWhen it was still 0-0 we had a shot but we could not take aantage of it.

If we had scored a goal we might have been able to hold out.andrdquoReality caught up with Manisaand#39s Tarzans in the 34th minute, when Galatasarayand#39s first goal was orchestrated and scored by Switzerland midfielder Blerim Dzemaili.

He passed the ball to midfielder Yasin ztekin, who returned it to Dzemaili for a shot that bounced off the right post and hit the net.Manisa could almost be considered lucky.

The loss could have been far worse. ztekin hit the post on one occasion.

Dzemaili had one shot on goal that was luckily deflected right off the line by a defender, beside his goalie. Galatasaray had 16 shots on target — which speaks volumes for the performance of Manisaand#39s two keepers — while Manisa had just two.

Two penalties, two headersRight back Muhammet Sercan Turkeri was shown a direct red card, further dashing Manisaand#39s hopes. Turkey midfielder Emre olak took the resulting penalty and popped it into Umut Kayaand#39s net.

Early in the second half, Galatasaray earned another penalty, again taken by Emre, only this time Kaya saved the spot kick.Even in its weakened and disaantaged state, 10-man Manisa held Galatasaray off until the 68th minute, when Macedonia striker Goran Pandev scored his first goal.

Second-half substitute keeper Bayram Olgun was lured out during a corner and Pandev headed the ball into the empty net.Substitute winger Olcan AdIn crossed a ball in front of the net in the 88th minute.

Pandev again got his head on it, sending it into the net behind BayramAnd that was the end of Manisa, for the first leg anyway. It can still dream of April 8, when Manisaspor will host Galatasaray at Manisa 19 MayIs Stadium, away from the imposing Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul.

But four goals is a huge deficit for any team to overcome, even in the tournament of upsets.andldquoIt will be really difficult to aance.

It is not easy to score five goals against a team like Galatasaray,andrdquo Mutlu said. It is not easy to score that many against anyone, but he is not folding yet.

andldquoWe are going to try to defeat them in the return match. We want to win the second game on our own pitch,andrdquo he added.

That is wishful thinking. Forget scoring five goals, even drawing would be a huge feat for the Tarzans if the first leg offers any indication.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman