UEFA Europa League – Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray

After a disappointing loss to FC Twente of Holland in the 1st match day, Fenerbahçe was looking to rebound. After getting booed off their home stadium, letting Twente come back from a 1-0 deficit, Fenerbahçe needed a spark to get their European season back on track. The club would travel up to Moldova in order to take on FC Sheriff. While the jokes about the name of the Moldovan club may be obvious, any match on the road, especially for a continental competition, is anything but. The game would be a story of two halves. The first half would not have much action to speak of. The 11th minute would see Benjamin Balima of Sheriff unleash a hard shot, but went out of bounds over the top of the goal. In the 24th minute, a 30 meter shot from Roberto Carlos would end up in the hands of the Sheriff goalkeeper. The second half would see the action pick up. Fenerbahçe looked to have more confidence during the progression of the second half. In the 53rd minute, Semih Şentürk would make a run to the penalty area. He would find Alex at the penalty spot, and the Fenerbahçe captain would put Fenerbahçe up 1-0. Sheriff would try to make up the deficit, but most of their shots would not come close to the goal. Volkan Demirel would come up with clutch saves throughout the duration of the second half in order to preserve the lead. Fenerbahçe would end up with the three points and some renewed confidence going back into Turkcell Super League play.

Galatasaray seemed to be on a high in their European adventure. After gaining a win in Athens over Panathinaikos, Galatasaray looked to continue their European play with another win. Sturm Graz would come into the Ali Sami Yen stadium as heavy underdogs. The match would start out fast for the home team. Two chances in the first 15 minutes would have Elano involved, but he would miss the goal, first with a header, and then with a left footed shot. Galatasaray looked like they were dictating the pace of the first half. But the hearts of the Galatasaray faithful would be broken one minute into stoppage time of the first half, as Daniel Beichler would keep his shot low to beat Leo Franco to give the visitors a 1-0 lead into the break. In the second half, Galatasaray looked to get the tying goal. Milan Baros would blow a chance in the 59th minute, after a pass from Abdul Kader Keita would come off the defense, and Baros’ strike would go off the crossbar and out. Baros would tie the game in the 63rd minute after a pass from Elano would leave Baros alone with the Graz goalkeeper, and Baros would put it away. Galatasaray would get a few more chances, and Graz would have their shots at the goal. In the end, there would be no more scoring as the game would end up tied at 1-1. Galatasaray would be booed off the pitch by their fans, and this would be a disappointment after getting a draw against Eskişehirspor in league play.