Galatasaray wins to maintain title challenge


Second place Galatasaray beat Istanbulspor 5-3 in a postponed league match Wednesday, to keep alive its hopes of a fifth straight Turkish title. A thrilling start saw six goals in the opening half-hour. The Turkish champion was 2-1 down after just 13 minutes, Istanbul scoring through Sertan Eser and Albanian forward Alban Bushi, with Arif Erdem replying for Galatasaray. Champions League quarterfinalist Galatasaray hit back with a 16-minute hat-trick from forward Serkan Aykut to take a 4 2 lead into the interval in a match postponed earlier this season due to Galatasaray’s European commitments. In the second half Istanbulspor closed the gap when Murat Erdogan’s long range shot took a chance deflection. But Galatasaray ran out a 5-3 winner with a late effort from Arif. The win leaves Galatasaray three points behind its Istanbul rival Fenerbahce, which aims to complete the first stage of a league-cup double when it meets long-shot Genclerbirligi in the Turkish Cup final later Wednesday. The two Istanbul sides will clash later this month in what looks like a title decider.