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Football Reporting


Ekuban scores as Gradel’s Sivasspor hold Trabzonspor

The Ghanaian’s first-half strike appeared to have sealed victory for the Black Sea Storm, but the visitors equalised in the game’s closing stages

Caleb Ekuban was on target as Trabzonspor settled for a 1-1 draw with Sivasspor in Monday’s Turkish Super Lig encounter.

Nigeria’s Anthony Nwakaeme was ruled out of the encounter having suffered a muscle strain to his right thigh posterior muscle during training, while his injured compatriot Kayode Olanrewaju was expectedly ruled out.

Having lost their last two games across all competitions, the Braves came to the Medical Park Stadium with the ambition of arresting their poor form. Luckily for them, they returned home with just one point.

Sivasspor began the game on a cheerful note and went close to scoring in the third minute but Mustapha Yatabare was unable to beat goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakır.

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The hosts had their chances too but Congolese Benik Afobe was a major culprit for missing clear-cut opportunities.

With the tight first-half heading for a goalless draw, Ekuban curled in a low shot past Malian goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa after receiving a pass from Turkish midfielder Abdulkadir Omur.

The second-half got off to an explosive restart with Rıza Calımbay’s men trying all their possible best to cancel the deficit.

They achieved that 14 minutes from full-time through Hakan Arslan who pounced home a short pass from Yatabare – which left Cakir stranded.

Despite a late surge from the hosts to get the winner, the encounter finished on a no winner, no vanquished note.

After playing for 67 minutes, on loan Stoke City striker Afobe was replaced by Mali international as Ekuban whose strike was his first of the 2020-21 league season saw every minute of action. Cape Verde international Djaniny was not listed for the game by manager Abdullah Avcı.

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On the other side, Cote d’Ivoire’s Max Gradel, Gabon’s Aaron Appindangoye, Morocco’s Faycal Fajr and Samassa were in action for Sivasspor from start to finish.

Yatabare was substituted for Ghana’s Isaac Cofie in the closing stages of the fixture while Cote d’Ivoire’s Arouna Kone was introduced for Chad’s Casimir Ninga in the 56th minute.

Thanks to this result, Ekuban’s Trabzonspor occupy the 12th position in the log with 13 points from 11 games, while Sivasspor who take on Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv in Thursday’s Europa League encounter are 16th with 10 points from 10 fixtures.



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