CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Monday, March 7, 2011
Freddy Adu scored the game's only goal to help Rizespor towards promotion into the Super Lig while Jozy Altidore started for Bursaspor in a home draw.
Bursaspor 1 - 1 Istanbul BB
Bursaspor looked to carry the home momentum to a win after scoring first, but Istanbul had other plans with a second-half strike leading to a stalemate.
Jozy Altidore made a return to the starting lineup after a minor ankle injury had kept him out of last weekend's game, and went 76 minutes in coach Ertugrul Saglam's lineup.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 36th minute after converting a routine drive down the left side into a defense-opening look at goal. Left-winger Mustafa Keçeli began the play, finding Kenny Miller in the box for a header back to Altidore at the top of the area.
The former Villareal man struck well, but straight at teammate Pablo Batalla, posted seven yards out. Instead of letting the shot through, the Argentine collected the ball, and struck for himself past the grounded Istanbul keeper Oğuzhan Bahadır for the 1-0 advantage.
Istanbul found the back of the same net in the second half to equalize with build-up down the left from winger Ibrahim Akın. The Turkish striker arced over a ball for second-half substitute İskender Alın, whose one-touch was flicked forward somehow by Efe İnanç for the all-important equalizer in the 64th minute.
Altidore's day was over in the 76th as he exited for Turgay Bahadir.
Bursa maintain their pressure on the top spots with the draw, currently in third with 49 points and two behind Fenerbahce, and head to Karabükspor next Saturday afternoon.
Rizespor 1 - 0 Gaziantep
Freddy Adu returned to the scoring card in style with an individual effort that gave the hosts the win and a boost up to second spot in the Turkish 1st League.
The 21-year-old went the distance and found the back of the net in the 32nd minute, his first professional goal in over a year.
Taking much of the Gaziantep defense by surprise, Adu received a midfield pass
stepped up above the box, turned from his defender, and delivered a blazing left-footer out of the reach of Kazim Sari.
The win brings the Rize squad up to 39 points and in second, with the third and fourth place team on 38 each with a game in hand. Rizespor takes the field again on Sunday when they travel to current 16th spot holders Giresunspor.
Adu's last tally was on February 17, 2010 with Aris Thessaloniki in a 3-0 victory over Skoda Xanthi.