Galatasaray 1-1 Saints
Match Reports

Galatasaray 1-1 Saints

5th August 2021

Galatasaray 1-1 Saints

Saints recorded a brilliant result in Istanbul this evening as they drew 1-1 with ten-man Galatasaray in their UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round First Leg match.

The hosts started the match on top and should have taken the lead after 3 minutes but Mostafa Mohamed lashed his effort over from close range.  

Saints though weathered the storm and created a couple of chances of their own during the first half through Murray Davidson and David Wotherspoon.

Saints took the lead on 58 minutes as they were awarded a penalty after a short back pass put Galatasaray keeper Fernando Muslera in trouble and he pulled down Chris Kane in the box, leaving the referee no option but to point to the spot and send off the Galatasaray captain. Jason Kerr stepped up to take the penalty and he smashed the ball low to the right of substitute keeper Berk Balaban.

However, Saints lead didn’t last for long as Sacha Boey equalised for the hosts 2 minutes later.

Despite being a man down the hosts pushed for a winner but fantastic defending by Saints saw the game out to setup a huge return leg in Perth next Thursday evening. The winners of next week’s tie will take on Danish side Randers in the UEFA Europa League play-offs whilst the losers will drop into the UEFA Conference play-offs against either FK Vojvodina of Serbia or LASK of Austria.

Saints will now return to Scotland and get ready for their next game which will be on Sunday afternoon against Motherwell at McDiarmid Park, kick off 3pm.


Saints were in Istanbul this evening as they took on Galatasaray in a UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round First Leg match. Saints got their league campaign underway at the weekend as they drew 0-0 with Ross County in Dingwall and Callum Davidson made one change for tonight’s game as Callum Hendry dropped to the bench and he was replaced by Chris Kane. Galatasaray were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League qualifiers last midweek as they lost 2-1 to PSV Eindhoven in Istanbul, losing 7-2 on aggregate, and Head Coach Fatih Terim made five changes to his side for this evening’s match. DeAndre Yedlin, Ömer Bayram, Emre Kilinç, Bariş Yilmaz and Jesse Sekidika dropped out to be replaced by Sacha Boey, Patrick van Aanholt, Taylan Antalyali, Berkan Kutlu and Ryan Babel.

This evening’s match was being played at the Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium as Galatasaray’s Türk Telekom Stadium was unavailable due to renovation works. The hosts got the match underway and they created the first chance after 3 minutes as Aytaç Kara sent over an inviting ball into the box from the left and it fell nicely to Mostafa Mohamed but the Egyptian forward blasted over with the goal at his mercy.

The Turkish side created another great chance to take the lead on 8 minutes as another Kara cross from left was played back by Mohamed to Kerem Aktürkoğlu who saw his effort hit Zander Clark’s right-hand post. The loose ball then broke to Mohamed but Clark made a great save to deny the Galatasaray striker however, play was pulled back as Mohamed was deemed to have been offside.

Galatasaray were controlling the early stages and a Ryan Babel corner on 15 minutes picked out Marcão but Clark was able to parry the header from the Brazilian defender.   

Then a minute later Saints created their first chance of the game as a Shaun Rooney long throw into the box broke to Murray Davidson but his shot on the turn was saved by Fernando Muslera.

Saints were starting to show more composure on the ball and on 29 minutes Ali McCann brilliantly won possession in midfield. The Northern Ireland internationalist then broke forward before slipping the ball to Wotherspoon who switched the ball to his right foot before seeing his curling effort saved by Muslera.

Before the second half got underway Galatasaray made three changes as Ryan Babel, Patrick van Aanholt and Mostafa Mohamed were replaced by Arda Turan, Ömer Bayram and Mbaye Diagne.

On 47 minutes Sacha Boey sent over a good ball from the right which was met by Berkan Kutlu but the header from the Turkish midfielder didn’t trouble Clark.

Then 2 minutes later Ali McCann won Saints a free kick on the edge of the box after he had been fouled by Taylan Antalyali. The free kick was taken by Wotherspoon but his delivery into the box was headed clear by the Galatasaray defence.

The game then changed on 55 minutes as Kane chased down a short back pass to Muslera and the Galatasaray keeper failed to deal with the ball and ended up pulling down Kane in the box. Swiss referee Sandro Schärer then pointed to the spot to award Saints a penalty and also sent off Muslera for the foul on Kane. Before the penalty could be taken the hosts brought on substitute keeper Berk Balaban and the first thing the Turkish keeper had to do was pick the ball out of the net as Jason Kerr smashed the ball into the left corner to put Saints a goal up.

However, Saints lead didn’t last for long as Sacha Boey levelled the match for the hosts, sending a low strike past Clark and into the far corner of the net.

Callum Davidson then made his first change of the game on 62 minutes as Stevie May replaced Chris Kane. May was quickly involved in the action as on 68 minutes he won the ball from Balaban who had failed to clear his lines before curling the ball towards goal but Marcão got back to block the ball on the line.

Another change for Saints came on 76 minutes as Callum Hendry replaced Michael O’Halloran.

The closing stages saw the hosts push for a winner as on 86 minutes Diagne’s effort deflected off Jamie McCart for a corner. The corner was sent into the Saints box from the left, picking out Christian Luyindama but Clark made a brilliant one-handed save to deny the Congolese defender.

However, the Süper Lig side couldn’t find a way past a well organised Saints defence as the Perth side saw the game out to secure a fantastic result in Istanbul and setup what will be a huge game at McDiarmid Park next Thursday evening.  

Galatasaray: Muslera, Boey, Luyindama, Marcão, van Aanholt (Bayram 45), Kara (Balaban 57), Antalyali, Aktürkoğlu, Kutlu (Sekidika 86), Babel (Turan 45), Mohamed (Diagne 45)

Unused Substitutes: Yedlin, Öztürk, Falcao, Taşdemir, Yilmaz, Kilinç, Feghouli  

Booked: Antalyali, Marcão, Turan

Sent Off: Muslera

Scorer: Boey (60)

Saints: Clark, Kerr, Gordon, McCart, Rooney (Brown 87), McCann, Davidson, Wotherspoon, Devine (Booth 87), O’Halloran (Hendry 76), Kane (May 62)

Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), Sinclair (GK), Muller, Ballantyne, Northcott, Craig, Denham, Moreland

Booked: Kane, Kerr, Devine

Scorer: Kerr (58 pen)

Referee: Sandro Schärer

Match Report by Daryl Scott

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