Turkish Football News

Half-time in the Turkish Super Lig

Half-time in the Turkish Super Lig. Turkish Super Lig goals

After 17 action-packed games, the Turkish Super Lig goes into the winter break with an unexpected league leader and a number of suprising statistics.

The first half of the 2018/2019 season of the Turkish Super Lig ended on Monday night with the last match being between Antalyaspor and Fenerbahce, and Akhisarspor and Konyaspor, both ending in bore draws.

Istanbul Basaksehir a serious contender for the title this season, are leading the pack in first place with 35 points after 17 games.

Trabzonspor, the sleeping giant who is looking to return to their glory days, managed to secure second place with 29 points. Malatyaspor, one of the newcomers to the league, are in third place, followed by Kasimpasa. Galatasaray are the only team from the Big Three to make it in the top five, trailing behind their city rivals Kasimpasa.

Super Lig giants Fenerbahce continued to struggle despite hiring a new coach after sacking Phillip Cocu, and remain in the relegation zone for the time being with just 16 points while Rizespor are placed dead last with 12 points.

Kasimpasa’s in-form striker Mbaye Diagne is leading the charts as the league’s top scorer with 20 goals, followed by Trabzonspor’s Hugo Rodallega with 9. Besiktas veteran Ricardo Quaresma topped the list of most assists with 8 in 14 matches.

Istanbul Basaksehir goalkeeper Mert Gunok has been the shot stopper of the season thus far, conceding just 8 goals in 17 games.

Statistics show an average of 2.55 goals were scored per game, with teams scoring a total of 391 goals in the first half of the season, far less than the first half of last season when 461 goals were recorded.

Kasimpasa are the most prolific team so far, with 37 goals scored in 17 matches. Trabzonspor are close behind with 32 goals. On the receiving end, Kasimpasa top the list of teams that conceded the most goals with 28, an unenviable spot shared with Rizespor.

The biggest change to the league this season has been the addition of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system introduced at the beginning of the season, which has fueled the debate over controversial referee decisions.

VAR was a dominant force on the pitch, with 98 decisions changed in total, affecting the outcome of games. The system ruled out 24 goals and awarded 7 to teams in games where the main referees on the pitch had canceled goals.

The new system also played a major role in yellow and red cards. Referees issued 16 red and 23 yellow cards after re-examining offenses through the system.

Bursaspor were the most affected team by VAR, with 5 canceled goals in the first half of the season. The team’s striker, Diafra Sakho, saw three of his goals revoked after re-examination.

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