Friday 29 August 2014
Turkish Süper Lig
Balıkesirspor 1-2 Akhisar Belediyespor
Having been all ready to go following his move from Belgium, receiving a hero’s welcome and impressing in pre-season with a couple of goals along the way, groans could be heard all around Venezuela upon the news on the morning of the opening day of the Turkish season that Ronald Vargas was again injured and would miss Balıkesirspor’s first match. Lider En Deportes, a Venezuelan sports publication, immediately updated and attempted to bring renewed attention to their recent article that claimed that since moving to Europe six years ago, Vargas has lost 65 weeks of his playing career to injury. However, while it was not the start anyone would have wanted, he has since undergone tests and been discharged, with this particular injury not believed to be serious and many Venezuelan commentators are anticipating that he will make his debut immediately after the international break.
In the game itself, amidst a rather hostile atmosphere for an opening-day match, his team were undone early on by a sixth-minute goal from Burundi-born Saïdi Ntibazonkiza who took advantage of a loose ball that fell kindly to him following a cross from the right and then celebrated having punctured the noise with his debut goal by falling to the ground and kissing the turf. Just over ten minutes later, the away side also hit the crossbar from a 40-yard effort as goalkeeper Zeki Ayvaz was out of position following a poor clearance and not long after, Greek international Theofanis Gekas had a goal ruled out for offside. However, the Brazilian Danielzinho, who had already been giving the opposition right-back the run-around, got Balıkesirspor back into it in the 35th minute when he rifled in a superb half- (well, eighth- might be more accurate…) volley with his left boot just inside the box. In the second-half, Ivory Coast international Didier Zokora made an appearance for the visitors who also had the better of the chances with Gekas coming close on two occasions but they had to wait until the 77th minute to get the winner as Saïdi Ntibazonkiza played a ball over the back of the defence for Mehmet Akyüz to strike in low from a slightly acute angle. However, it has to be said that the goalkeeper Ayvaz will certainly feel he should have done better with it as it was hit very close to him and, given his earlier mistake, will not be wanting to see a replay of this match any time soon. Balıkesirspor will be looking to rectify this disappointing start to the season in their next match away to Konyaspor on 13 September and this will be followed the next weekend by a home match against Galatasaray – hopefully Ronald Vargas will be back for at least one of these games.