Turkey the Cup

The Cup. Unusual finalists – both reaching the final for the first time and neither had won anything before. Times were changing, indeed. Sakaryaspor vs Samsunspor. Given their performances in the championship and tradition, Samsunspor was the obvious favorite. On paper. Sakaryaspor won their home leg 2-0. Samsunspor was unable to win the second leg either – 1-1 – and lost the trophy in front of its own supporters.
Samsunspor, having its best season so far, ended emptyhanded. Standing from left: Ercüment Coşkundere, Burhanettin Beadini, Kasım Çıkla, Fatih Uraz, Zafer Çabalar, Gjorgji Jovanovski.
Crouching: Halil İbrahim Eren, Erol Dinler, Yücel Çolak, Emin Kar, Mustafa Sinecek.
In case like that – not favourties, not outsiders – it is hard to not to feel sorry for a team losing its chance for a first trophy. But one cannot be too sorry either, for they lost to opponent in the same situation and after all winners win and Samsunspor did not win even their home leg of the final.
The best moment in the history of Sakaryaspor – they won the Turkish Cup, their first and so far only trophy! Historic moment of triumph, a moment becoming an instant legend. The squad, however, remain a bit… unknown. Names are problematic, so here is mostly speculation. Top row from left: Yumit Gurcu(?), Engin Ipekoglu (?), Neset Muharemoglu (?), Muamer Gucuk (?), Bulent Erdek (?).
Middle row: Selcuk Igitlik (?), Rahim Zafer (?), Turan Sofouglu (?), Faton Bingazi (?), Erol Kolcu (?), Serdar Senkaya (?), Hakan Sukur, Sinan Turhan (?).
Sitting: Kemal Yildirim (?), Ogyuz Cetin (?), Erol Togay (?), Nedget Nis – technical director, Ozgan Kiziltan (?), Blerim Mulla (?).
At the time – not a single recognizable name. Possible Albanian refugees – Mulla and Bingazi. Or may be Kosovars? No matter at the end – among the winners was a name easily recognized in the 1990s: it could be said that Hakan Sukur started his road to fame with this success. Wonderful victory for Sakaryaspor.