Antalyaspor 2-2 Bursaspor (06:11:10)
Ulas Gürsat continues his new weekly column for EFW. Ulas is a football reporter for the Turkish daily Haberturk Newspaper:
The Mardan Stadium isn't the best place in Turkey to watch football. It's an ugly, modern 'shopping mall' in the middle of nowhere. Its been nicknamed 'Mardy Bum' by some lazy English bloggers looking to crowbar an Arctic Monkeys song title into any article about Antalyaspor (hi ya - Ed.).
Antalyaspor started to play in Mardy Bum this season as their old Atatürk Stadium - a name so common for stadiums in Turkey - was shut down, deemed to be both old and dangerous.
Mardan itself is a complex which opened in 2008 and run by Mardan Palace Hotel. Antalya is regularly used by teams from Turkey and beyond for pre-season training camps. So, the Mardan Palace Hotel saw this potential and built the 10,000 capacity stadium - so different to what fans are used to in Turkey.
The move has changed the profile of the fans of Antalyaspor. They now have to travel out of town to watch their football in a stadium devoid of any history. The passion has gone and the noise the Akrepler (Scorpions) were famous for has become a distant memory. It goes against all good feelings about watching football and being a supporter, and nobody expects them to be playing at Mardan for much longer.
If you come to Antalya for a game you can go to coincide it with a visit to the beach as it's hot all year round. The game kicked off in November, but the temperature was still in the mid-twenties. Before the match, fans relaxed in swimming pools and down by the sea. If you're reading this back in England, and you're feeling the chill, you might want to consider supporting Antalya!
Pre-match Antayla style.
Just in case....
I'm hearing you liked the Turkish food recommendations in the last article? Well, there are a couple of places to eat Pideli Köfte (Meatballs on pita) around the stadium. It's not as good as the Iskender which I mentioned before, but still It's good to eat. You should have it with tahinli piyaz - a kind of bean salad with a sweet sauce.
As expected, we saw Coşkun the Raper in the stands. He lives in Antalya, is a big fan of Antalyaspor, and is well respected by the fans. His real name is Coşkun Göğen and he was an actor - always playing the bad guy in the movies. He became famous for playing the role of a rapist in nearly all his movies, which made him a bit of a cult character. He doesn't act in movies any more, but he is still ugly.
Coşkun arrives to the ground.
Pideli Köfte anyone?
Bursa had played Manchester United a few days before this match in the Champions League, and the tiredness showed early on. Antalyaspor were two up at half time and in cruise control. But, Bursaspor's manager Ertuğrul Sağlam is making quite a name for himself and his half time team talk worked wonders. They pulled two goals back in the second half to draw the match 2-2. Not a bad result for last years champions Bursaspor, because Antalyaspor are a good side, and it's still not really easy to play two games in a week for Turkish teams.
The match ended on a sour note for Bursaspor's experienced right back Ali Tandoğan - who'd scored the first goal. But, in doing so, he clashed head with a defender. Tandoğan's skull is broken and that could mean the end to his playing career. This was of course the biggest loss of Bursaspor in Antalya and turned us all into Mardy Bums for the day.
Mind your heads.
The obligatory netting over the away fans.
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