Bursaspor success creates a storm in Turkey

Bursaspor have stunned Turkey by wresting the title away from under the noses of Fenerbahçe SK on the final day of the season, winning 2-1 against Beşiktaş JK to take their first crown.

Bursaspor's crocodile goal celebration has become one of the club's hallmarks
Bursaspor's crocodile goal celebration has become one of the club's hallmarks ©Bursaspor

Bursaspor have become only the second club from outside Istanbul to win the Turkish title, taking the honour with a 2-1 win against Beşiktaş JK after Fenerbahçe SK dropped points at home against Trabzonspor.

Founded in 1963, Bursaspor have followed in the footsteps of Trabzonspor, with the Black Sea club having broken Istanbul's title monopoly, winning the last of their six titles in the 1983/84 season. Having gone into the final round of the season a point adrift of Fenerbahçe, Ertuğrul Sağlam's Green Crocodiles needed to win and hope Fenerbahçe failed to triumph if they were to claim the title.

They upheld their part of the bargain in Bursa, with Pablo Batalla handing them a 32nd-minute lead before an İbrahim Toraman own goal put them 2-0 up. Uğur İnceman pulled a goal back three minutes from time for the visitors, but there was to be no late drama.

Instead, there were celebrations after news filtered through from Istanbul that Fenerbahçe had drawn 1-1 with Trabzonspor. The Yellow Canaries started brightly, taking a 14th-minute lead through Spanish striker Daniel Güiza, but Burak Yilmaz equalised for the visitors within ten minutes.

Bursaspor coach Sağlam said: "After taking pole position in the league during the course of the season, we believed in our hearts that we could win the title. Despite losing the lead to Fenerbahçe we did not give up hope. We were always waiting to pounce if Fenerbahçe dropped points.

"Following in Trabzonspor's footsteps, we have brought success back to Anatolia," he added. "We have taken this honour. Now we have an even bigger responsibility on our shoulders; representing our country in the UEFA Champions League. We'll try not to let those who supported us down. The whole of Bursa has made history. We put together a good team and that was the key to our title success."