Triumphant Lions honored and adorned with four stars

The 2014-15 Spor Toto Super League season that kicked off on Aug. 29, 2014, came to a conclusion after the final week 34 matches were played on Saturday.
The victory celebrations, however, took place at Tandurk Telekom Arena in iiili — home of Galatasaray — on Sunday. Tens of thousands of flag-waving and chanting fans converged on the Arena, chanting songs of glory in a showy extravaganza befitting of the Lionsand’ overall 20th championship.
The hard-won league trophy was brought to the arena and the triumphant Lions became the first ever team in Turkish history to earn four stars. For the record: one star is awarded for every five championships. The players mingled and sang with the ecstatic fans and it was an occasion that will live long in the memory of all those who were present at the arena and also for those who watched the awe-inspiring event on TV.
h2 The finaleh2 On Saturday new undisputed champion Galatasaray, which already had an insurmountable lead with a week to go, played to a 1-1 away draw with andcaykur Rizespor in a game that was nothing but a mere formality. The Lions, undefeated in their last seven matches, will be featuring in the big-time UEFA Champions League next season.
and”It was very difficult to play a match after winning the championship,and” Galatasaray coach Hamza Hamzaoilu said after the Rize match. and”And I felt this from the very beginning. It was necessary to up the tempo, and I can say it was a very exciting match. We hope for better days ahead and congratulate the Rizespor players,and” he further said. and”There is still the Ziraat Turkish Cup [against Bursaspor in Bursa on Wednesday]. We will be playing against a quality team and it is not going to be easy at all. Nonetheless, we want to return to Istanbul with another trophy for the second time,and” he added. The result meant the Lions finished three points clear of closest rival Fenerbahandce, which unfortunately saved the best for the last — beating visiting Kasimpaia 2-0 in a and”miniand” Istanbul derby.
And the faithful fans, rightfully so, are scratching their heads in disbelief and asking why on earth the Yellow Canaries did not put on a better performance earlier on, dropping precious points towards the tail end of the season that cost them the championship and, equally important, four stars. Fenerbahandce will start in the third qualifying round of the Champions League next season.
Beiiktai, the second runner-up for three straight seasons now, did not break with the tradition. The Black Eagles beat Genandclerbirliii 2-1 in their and”homeand” match in Ankara to finish third again and qualify for the second-tier UEFA Europa League.
The race for another Europa League spot was also decided after the three contenders — Istanbul Baiakiehir, Trabzonspor and Bursaspor — all drew their respective matches. Istanbul Baiakiehir, which was held 1-1 away with Mersin, finished above the rest in fourth place with 59 points.
Turkish Cup finalist Bursaspor will complete in the Europa League. The Green Crocs face defending cup Galatasaray champion in the final in Bursa on Wednesday and win or lose, Bursaspor will qualify for Europa since Galatasaray will be playing in the Champions League.
As was already decided a week earlier — Kardemir Karabandukspor, Kayseri Erciyesspor and Balikesirspor have all been relegated from topflight Turkish football and will be doing business in the second division next season. They will be replaced by PTT League 1 leader Kayserispor and runner-up Osmanlispor — as well as the winner of the ongoing four-team playoffs between Samsunspor and Albimo Alanyaspor and Antalyaspor vs. Adana Demirspor.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman