CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Monday, May 9, 2011
Freddy Adu helped Rizespor work their way back into promotion contention while Jozy Altidore and Bursaspor had an unexpected weekend off.
Caykur Rizespor 3 - 1 TKI Tavşanli
Rizespor returned to the promotion play-off zone with a resounding win thanks to a game-winning header from Freddy Adu.
Mehmet Al opened the scoring before Adu added a second. Mehmet Akyüz tried to arouse a comeback for Tavşanli, but second-half substitute Çağrı Yarkın sealed the win for Rize in the closing minutes.
Adu saw a full ninety as a starter and notched his fourth goal of the season in the 29th minute.
Mehmet Al put the hosts ahead after 25 minutes after coolly slotting home a penalty drawn by defender Evren Kürkçü, whose strike in the box had made contact with defender Cemil Adican's arm.
Only four minutes later, Adu found himself in prime position at the top of the box to power home a header off a Erkan Kaş service from the left touchline to bring Rize to a 2-0 lead.
Mehmet Akyüz brought Tavşanli back into the game with a fine 25-yard free kick that slipped under the outstretched arms of Rize keeper Ramazan Kurşunlu to make it 2-1 at the half.
Striker Çağrı Yarkın entered at the start of the second half for Rize and produced the play of the game in the 83rd minute with an arching golazo from 25 yards out that slipped just under the crossbar.
The 3-1 win brings Rize into fifth in the standings, and in play-off contention for the division's third promotion spot. With 51 points and seventh-place Boluspor only two points behind, Rize need no less than a win to ensure a shot at making the Süper Lig next season.
The season culminates in grand fashion next Sunday when Rize roll into Samsun to face the holders of the top spot in the 1st Lig.
Saturday evening's encounter between Jozy Altidore's Bursaspor and Beşiktaş JK was canceled due to pre-game fan violence and will be replayed at a later time.