RECAP: WEEKEND TURKISH ACTION
It was a mixed bag for the Americans in Turkey with Freddy Adu seeing his first action for Rizespor while Jozy Altidore had to exit after a half an hour with an injury in a crushing defeat for Bursaspor at home.
Bursaspor 1 4 Gaziantepspor
Bursaspor struggled to find their way at home, watching the fifth place holders pile on two goals within the first half hour, and finishing them off with two from Cenk Tosun.
Jozy Altidore started for the Green and White, but exited at the 32nd minute mark after picking up a minor ankle injury.
The hosts looked to take the lead after 20 minutes when Kenny Miller swung in from the right side for Altidore darting toward the net. Defender Elyasa Süme was there with a toe-poke that didn't miss the left post by much.
The first goal from the visitors came two minutes later, as Bulgarian Ivelin Popov did well to crossover and evade defender Mustafa Keçeli, and swing in a cross for Wagner darting in at the back post for the strike past ydrūnas Karčemarskas for the lead.
In the 26th minute Altidore went down holding his right foot after getting tangled with Dany Nounkeu, and exited the game for Sercan Yıldırım.
Ismael Sosa set up the eventual winner for Gaziantepspor in the 32nd minute with a free kick on the left side that Yalcin headed home from the rear post for the two goal lead.
The hosts looked to stay in the game and got a lucky break three minutes later when Volkan Şen from the left side tried to find Miller in the box, but instead saw Nounkeu nod into his own goal to make it a one goal game.
Tosun authored the final two mails in the coffin, the first coming in the 63rd after a fine effort to evade the Bursa defense. Collecting a midfield pass, Tosun sprinted into the box with defender Ömer Erdoğan tightly on him, shook him off and slotted home from a tight angle past ydrūnas Karčemarskas
With a quarter hour remaining Tosun performed a carbon-copy of his first goal, once again chasing past and making a fool of a baffled Erdoğan to slice in a left-footer from near the baseline, giving the visitors the surprising final scoreline.
In spite of their second consecutive win-less weekend, Bursa remain in contention in third with 45 points and have a Friday night trip to Bucaspor to prepare for.
Caykur Rizespor 3 0 Orduspor
Freddy Adu's debut was a memorable one for Rizespor with two assists in a three-goal rout of the regional rivals.
Mithat Yaşar opened the scoring after 13 minutes with a fine individual effort. Orduspor thought they had fended off a Rizespor delivery into the area, but Yaşar pounced on the loose ball outside the box, shifted left, and chipped an arcing shot just out of reach of Orduspor keeper Fevzi Elmas.
Adu helped out the second goal at the hour-mark, streaming through the midfield and finding Gökhan Kaba just behind the backline. Shaking off two defenders, Kaba lifted a left-footer past Elmas for the two goal lead.
The 21-year old wasn't finished as he set up Gökhan Kaba in the 77th minute with a back-heel flick that sent him streaming down the leftside.
Stopped in the penalty area, Kaba was brought down by defender Caner Osmanpaşa, prompting referee Bülent Yildirim to point to the spot and issue a yellow for Osmanpaşa. Kaba converted the strike with ease for the three goal lead and eventual final scoreline.
Mehmet Al entered for Adu in the 84th minute, ending his first appearance for the Turkish team since coming on loan from Benfica.
The win brings Rizespor to third in the Bank Asya 1st Lig standings, and only two behind the top spot. Next up is a trip to Istanbul to face off against 11th place Güngören Belediyespor on Sunday.