CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Jozy Altidore and Bursaspor fought to a goalless draw with Ankaragucu while Freddy Adu was the hero for Rizespor.
Bursaspor 0 0 Ankaragücü
The Green Crocodiles played out their third tie in a row on Monday, with Jozy Altidore seeing action as a second half substitute.
After a quarter hour, Bursa's Volkan Şen created the first chance of the evening, cutting across the top of the box and curling a shot that keeper Özden Öngün lifted over the bar.
In the 31st minute Ozan İpek inspired a diving parry from Öngün after unleashing a blistering free kick from 30 yards out that sneaked through the defensive wall.
Three minutes before the halftime whistle Ankara's Roman Bednar got a good look at goal from the left side, but Dimitar Ivankov got a glove on the right-footed strike.
Altidore entered at the half for midfielder Pablo Batalla, and set up Kenny Miller 20 minutes later for a dangerous strike. The on-loan Villarreal man found the Scotsman with a great feed, which Miller fired past the far post and just inches wide.
The two switches roles in the 77th minute, this time Miller setting up the American for a turn-around strike at the penalty spot that sailed high over the bar.
With neither squad able to find a breakthrough, the scoreless draw puts Bursaspor in solid third with a road-trip to Fenerbahce in two Sundays after the international break.
Akhisar Belediyespor 0 2 Rizespor
Rizespor secured the second spot in the standings on Saturday thanks to Freddy Adu's second goal of the season and a late consolation penalty from Mehmet Al.
Adu started in the midfield for Rize and sparked the scoring before being subbed out after 63 minutes.
The opening minutes saw a great chance for Volkan Özcan, who collected a cross-field delivery from Sertan Vardar, beat his man, and got a sliding left-footer that flew just over the bar of Gürkan Ekren's net.
Adu then tested the keeper with a 14th-minute strike from the top of the area, shuffling and shifting left, but firing a yard over the crossbar.
Rize's first goal came in the 22nd minute courtesy of Adu, after Özcan triggered from the top right corner of the box. The Akhisar keeper tried to scoop the shot, but only managed to dish out to Adu waiting for the easy strike from eight yards out for the lead.
Akhisar's Anıl Taşdemir closed out the first half in the first minute of stoppage time with a 35-yard free kick that curled just inches over the crossbar.
Just before entering the locker rooms, both Akhisar's Burak Akyıldız and Rize's Theo Weeks were booked for an altercation.
Akhisar Hakan Ateş joined the referee's book in the 52nd minute after or a studs-up slide tackle on Sertan Vardar that ended his day, with Besiktas loanee Erkan Kaş getting the call.
Adu's shift ended in the 63rd minute with Yunus Murat Ceylan getting the nod.
The turning point for Akhisar Belediyespor was in the 72nd minute when Bukak saw his second yellow card.
In the 81st minute Al Mehmet found himself on a breakaway down the right side and tried to angle in a shot pastEkren, but fired wide left.
The visitors were able to add a consolation goal in the 89th minute after Serkan Yalçın brought down Mehmet in the box. Mehmet opted to take it himself and made no mistake to give Rize the two goal lead and win.
Rize find themselves in second behind Samsunspor with 43 points, and host eleventh-place Altay on Sunday