Thiam inspires Ozil’s Fenerbahce past Ndao’s Fatih Karagumruk

Fueled by the Senegal international’s first-half strike, the Yellow Canaries moved to the summit of Turkish Super Lig

Fenerbahce secured a 2-1 away win at Fatih Karagumruk in Saturday’s Turkish Super Lig encounter, with Senegal international Mame Thiam scoring a first-half goal.

The Yellow Canaries had lost their last two games in all competitions – with their last league outing ending in a 1-0 home defeat to Galatasaray.

Against the newly promoted side, however, Erol Bulut’s men stepped up their game to leave the Ataturk Olympic Stadium with all points at stake.

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The hosts were presented with a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 13th minute but Kemal Ademi who was teed up by Jimmy Durmaz failed to beat goalkeeper Altay Bayindir – who punched for a corner kick.

Six minutes later, Fenerbahce took the initiative after Thiam profited from a Mesut Ozil free-kick from the right cross to drill past goalkeeper Aykut Ozer.

That goal was a reality check for the hosts who in turn dominated ball possession. Even at that, they were unable to break the rigid backline of Bulut’s squad.

Thiam was close to doubling his team’s effort in the 39th minute but the Senegal international’s shot off a rebound from Ozil’s shot was cleared by Aykut.

In the 53rd minute, the visitors extended their lead through Enner Valencia whose stylish shot from Ozan Tufan’s pass beat a helpless Ozer.

Not willing to give up without a fight, Senol Can’s side attacked in their numbers and that paid off in the 67th minute as Fabio Borini reduced the deficit. The Italian forward controlled a pass from Lucas Castro, beat his marker before hitting the ball hard into Bayindir’s goal post.

Despite a late surge to get the equaliser, the hosts ended up on the losing side – their seventh defeat of the ongoing 2020-21 campaign.

Thiam who now boasts six league goals in 19 appearances was substituted for Sinan Gumus in the 90th minute, while Tanzania star Mbwana Samatta came on for Bright Osayi-Samuel in the 72nd minute. Congolese defender Marcel Tisserand was introduced in the 81st minute following the substitution of Caner Erkin. Whereas, Papiss Cisse was an unused substitute.

On the other hand, Senegalese midfielder Alassane Ndao was handed a place in the starting XI, albeit, he was pulled out for Jeremain Lens in the 77th minute.

With this result, Fenerbahce lead the table with 51 points from 24 fixtures.

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