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Hakan Şükür sparks Galatasaray stroll

Panionios GSS 0-3 Galatasaray AS Substitute Hakan Şükür turned back the clock, scoring one and helping tee up the others as Galatasaray kept hopes alive.

Hakan Şükür was the difference between the teams in Athens
Hakan Şükür was the difference between the teams in Athens ©Getty Images

Half-time substitute Hakan Şükür turned back the clock as he inspired Galatasaray AS to a 3-0 victory against Panionios GSS in Greece to breathe life into the Turkish giants' faltering UEFA Cup campaign.

Spot on Song
Having lost their opening two Group H fixtures, Galatasaray's slim hopes looked to be fading as they went in for half-time in Athens with the scores goalless. Needing to do something, coach Karl-Heinz Feldkamp brought on Hakan Şükür for Tobias Linderoth and it proved a masterstroke. Within five minutes of the restart, the 36-year-old's flick had released Serkan Çalık to make it 1-0 and just after the hour the pair combined again to earn a penalty that Rigobert Song converted after Grigorios Makos was sent off. With time ebbing away Hakan Şükür completed a memorable performance with a goal of his own as Galatasaray leapt to third in the standings.

Makos dismisssed
The open, inventive second period was in stark contrast to the first half as the sides, with a point between them in Group H before this meeting, sought to give nothing away. Panionios winger Dario Fernandez, alone, provided a threat but his final ball too often let him down and as the teams trudged off at the break the odds were stacked in favour of a goalless draw. Hakan Şükür had other ideas, however. He fed Serkan Çalık to break the deadlock and then, 13 minutes later, Hakan Şükür repeated the feat, sending his strike partner clear and Makos fouled, earning him a yellow card before dissent elicited another.

The No9 sealed the win eight minutes from time, spreading the ball out wide for Mehmet Güven, and continuing his run into the area to power in a pinpoint header. The result lifted Galatasaray to third in the section and should they win their final game against FK Austria Wien on 19 December – and Panionios fail to win both their remaining matches – they will progress.