CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Thursday, May 26, 2011
Rizespor's plight for promotion to the Süper Lig came to an end on Thursday evening, unable to overcome a four-goal deficit amassed in the first of a two-leg playoff.
Freddy Adu did his best to inspire the offense, and managed to set up two consolation goals in a full ninety of action.
The U.S. Men's National Team midfielder nearly opened the scoring after 37 minutes with a curling free kick from 20 yards out that smacked the left post.
In spite of their attempts to get back into the game, Orduspor's İrfan Başaran blasted open the score just two minutes later with a blazing strike that left Rize keeper Ramazan Kurşunlu dazzled. Murat Akın led the charge through the midfield and found Başaran with room well outside the box for an improbable attempt from 30 yards out that sneaked inside the frame for the 1-0 lead.
Ordu found their second goal at the hour-mark after Müslüm Yelken and Ahmet Kuru beat the offsides trap and went off to the races towards Ramazan. Yelken carried the ball down the left and switched over to Kuru to slot home around Ramazan
Serkan Atak entered the Rize eleven for Mutlu Kiziltan in the 64th minute and found the back of the net within a minute, as the Ordu defense were unable to clear, leaving Atak space to pounce on the ball from close range to bring the score to 2-1.
Ordu added a third after 70 mintues when Abdullah Cetin launched a screamer from the right edge of the box while on the run, leaving the defense speechless.
Rize responded with two consolation goals in the final four minutes of regular time. Ilias Cakmak claimed the first goal in the 86th minute, redirecting in an Adu free kick at the left post on his way out of bounds.
Two minutes later, Adu found himself in the same spot for a 25-yard free kick. This time, both Rize's Evren Kürkçü and Ordu's Kürşat Duymuş went for the ball, but Duymuş only managed to lift into the roof of his own net, resulting in the 3-3 final
Orduspor won 7-3 on aggregate, setting up a promotional play-off with Gaziantep BB.