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UEFA Champions League

  • October 23, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Türk Telekom Arena, İstanbul
  • Referee: P. Tagliavento
  • • Attendance: 39013

Live Commentary

  • Till next time then, this is Jeremy Lim, signing out!
  • It's painful to see a relative great punished by the Romanian minnows, but you have to hand it to Cluj for doing everything right. They're now looking odds on to qualify for at least the Europa League, if they fail to seize second, but for Gala the prospects of an early European exit loom large in their windscreen.
  • Well, it was a terrible night by all accounts for Gala supporters, who will be leaving their beautiful arena downtrodden and deflated, after seeing their team squander chance after chance to win this crucial match.
  • 90' + 1'
    Embarrassing miss from Yilmaz, who apart from his goal, has offered little penetration. Unmarked at a free-kick, it was Inan's turn to pick out the hitman with precision, only for his attempt to go right into the side netting. Again, it would have been easier to score.
  • 90'
    This is desperate stuff from Gala, who pile bodies forward in search of the winner that would keep their European hopes alive. Could say they had it coming though, for their amateurish profligacy in key parts of the match. Not the sort of naivety you'd expect from one of Turkey's greats.
  • 88'
    Phew! Speculative effort from Luis Alberto, who attempts an outrageous chip from the halfway line to try and catch Nestor Muslera off his line, with what would have easily been goal of the round. The ex-Lazio keeper manages to get back in time however. Danger still for both teams; anything could happen in the last few minutes, plus stoppage time.
  • 84'
    Close call for Cluj, as Nicoara commits a foul on the edge of the penalty box. Inan steps up, but can't keep his shot down. Would have been better blasting it through gaps in the wall there, from that range. Should have done better.
  • 83'
    Amrabat deserves the Man-of-the-Match award by my reckoning. The Morocco internation, in tandem with Riera down that left, have been a force truly unstoppable. Here, he tees up Bulut again, but the 29-year-old's header falls kindly into the arms of the grateful Cluj net-minder.
  • 82'
    Well, Cluj were on course for their fourth consecutive away Champions League victory, but that looks unlikely now, as Gala pile forward in numbers, desperate for the three points which could crucially take them off bottom of Group H.
  • 78'
    SubstitutionPantelis Kapetanos Gabriel Muresan
  • 77'
    Assist Nordin Amrabat
  • 77'
    Goal Burak Yılmaz
    GOOOAAALLLLL GALA! And the Turk Telecom breaks into rapturous applause! Amrabat, so fantastic with his deliveries all evening, deposited the ball on Yilmaz's head for the forward to make no mistake from close range! GAME ON!
  • 77'
    It's really only what Gala deserve, but had they taken their chances, they'd be leading by a four-goal margin here! No time to regret however, as the action comes thick and fast in the final ten minutes. No sign of Cluj budging from their area though, it's all the Istanbul side at the moment.
  • 76'
    INAN! The playmaker collects Amrabat's corner and slams it at Cluj's goal! The titanic Felgueiras gets down to block that well, however! Frustration is boiling over for the Gala players, as Sarioglu went into the book earlier for arguing with the referee. They're going to need to keep cool heads here - a few are already on cautions...
  • 73'
    Yellow Card Sabri Sarıoğlu
  • 72'
    SubstitutionRafael Bastos Viorel Nicoară
    Off goes Bastos with an injury, although he can rest contented he's put in a solid shift on the night.
  • 71'
    Now Gala are really missing them for fun, as Melo wastes another opportunity to level scores by completely misheading Colak's ball. The Pitbull then takes out Luis Alberto in frustration.
  • 69'
    And Sarıoglu marks his entrance by rifling his first touch over the bar!
  • 68'
    SubstitutionEmmanuel Eboue Sabri Sarıoğlu
  • 64'
    That was the Turkish outfit's 15th attempt on goal. Surely they have to make something out of their relative dominance?
  • 63'
    Selcuk found Nounkeu lurking in the box from a searching free-kick, with the strapping Cameroonian rising tall to plant his header at Cluj custodian Felgueiras. The Gala players are now lining up to take turns firing shots away!
  • 60'
    The last few minutes have seen Gala wake from their slumber. Inan and Melo in particular are keeping play flowing over in the centre, utilising some extra space that has appeared ever since Cluj went down to ten-men. The visitors are encamped in their area, under siege and unable to break out. Perhaps it's only a matter of time before the inevitable...?
  • 59'
    That's better by Gala, and Bulut reminds the visitors exactly why they've not got the result in the bag yet. Fantastic chest-control from the Turkey international, who lets the ball drop before firing a daisy-cutter beyond the frame of the goal!
  • 57'
    Although you can't blame the players really, the ingredients for a good game were never on the table for a start. I'm still perplexing over why we hadn't seen this match postponed.
  • 55'
    Someone kill me already.. This is Sunday League entertainment going on in-front of me, not football of the standard fit for Europe's premier club competition. It's an ordeal keeping my eyes open, a continuous story of: Gala play long-ball, Cluj collect ball with ease, Cluj clear, Gala collect ball with ease, Gala play long-ball...
  • 53'
    SubstitutionLaszlo Sepsi Ionut Rada
  • 50'
    Yet more absolute shockers from Gala, who miss chance after chance to get their first European point. Yilmaz would have buried such an opportunity in the SuperLig, such has been his prolific domestic form. How he conspired to miss that snapshot from close range, when it was honestly easier to score after being put through by Bulut, is absolutely beyond comprehension.
  • 48'
    No one even attempted to get up at that cross from Riera! That was a real beauty, and the Spaniard has continued being a real live wire for his team, even with the chips being down. Surely he doesn't deserve to be on the losing side?
  • 46'
    And we have the restart, as the home side get openings underway. Can they claw one back, or turn things around in this absolute do-or-die encounter?
  • This has all the ingredients of a memorable European night, and not for the right reasons. It's hard to understand why the game wasn't called off after the deluge we saw before kick-off. It's seriously hampering the efforts of both sides, on what potentially could have been a very good game.
  • The numbers are telling. Gala have enjoyed 62% of the possession, and hit nine shots on target to Cluj's three. They merely have not been doing what counts in key moments; that Melo penalty and defensive lapse by Kaya for the Romanians' goal. Not that Cluj will mind, of course.
  • I'll be waiting to see how Terim talks to his men at half-time. Will he be in need of the hair-dryer routine (literally too), or will he take a more encouraging approach, seeing as they've been undone from every conceivable circumstance?
  • 45'
    Well, it's really playing into Cluj's hand, as they have the advantage, and can afford to sit back and allow Gala to come at that in such conditions.
  • 44'
    It's hard to see how much longer this match can continue, honestly. The ball is refusing to travel along the playing surface. A miserable night, on all counts, in Istanbul.
  • 42'
    SubstitutionJohan Elmander Emre Çolak
    Things are getting bad to worse. Nothing has been going to plan all night for the Turkish champions. Elmander is down on the ground clutching his thigh, and the former Bolton man is replaced by Colak, also after the Swede received a cut to his head earlier.
  • 40'
    Well, Altintop is off, as Terim opts for an even more offensive looking line-up. Burak Yilmaz, sought after by several European clubs in the summer, will try to add some punch upfront with Bulut.
  • 39'
    SubstitutionHamit Altıntop Burak Yılmaz
  • 38'
    The Gala supporters really have done nothing to deserve their team miss such a gilt-edge chance. The atmosphere at Turk Telecom has taken a visible hit, with the dour weather conditions doing nothing to lift spirits.
  • 37'
    Yellow Card Rafael Bastos
  • 35'
    Missed Penalty Felipe Melo
  • 35'
    Penalty save Mário Felgueiras
    ...And the Cluj players break down in celebration as the hard-tackling Brazilian sends the penalty straight into the arms of Felgueiras!!
  • 34'
    And just like that, the Romanians are on the verge of surrendering their lead. Sepsi looks to have been very unfortunate there, as the ball came off his arm! The team watches anxiously as Melo steps up to take the spot-kick...
  • 33'
    Indeed, Cluj are digging deep, as the defence sends the ball out for a corner.
  • 31'
    Yellow Card Felipe Melo
    Again, the Italian official will have to be discerning as he flashes his cards around. Melo is on the receiving end of a caution this time, as the ex-Juventus man charges into a challenge.
  • 28'
    Yellow/Red M. Aguirregaray
    Ok I withdraw my defence of the Uruguayan's intentions. If the first booking was harsh, this foul totally deserved that yellow brandished, as the midfielder receives his marching orders! Andone looks furious on the touchline!
  • 28'
    Honestly, it's hard to comprehend what Aguirregaray was thinking there. Riera was in no-man's land there, and did nothing to deserve being brought down so rudely. It's an uphill task for Cluj to defend their lead now, as the game's pace slows down from the increasingly waterlogged pitch.
  • 25'
    Yellow Card Nordin Amrabat
  • 25'
    Yellow Card M. Aguirregaray
    Really, did Aguirregaray deserve a card there? He and Amrabat went in pretty hard on each other, but in light of the conditions, was that honestly avoidable? Ref will have to be careful from being too trigger-happy tonight, else the entire team gets sent off!
  • 23'
    Elmander is lying bleeding like a slaughtered cow on the floor, having been caught by an elbow. Nasty injury, not for kids in the stands to see.
  • 21'
    Where did that come from? That's really been the story of Gala's European hopes. Defensive lapses, profligate finishing. As I mentioned, such fantastic supporters really deserve more.
  • 19'
    Own Goal Dany Nounkeu
    And where has that endeavour gotten Gala tonight? NOWHERE, as slack defending from Kaya allows Carmona in! Rolling the ball into the danger zone, Kapetanos picks it up, and slams it home, courtesy of a massive Nounkeu deflection! GALA 0-1 CLUJ!
  • 18'
    The rain and waterlogged conditions are making a horrible mess of things. A neat interchange in midfield for Gala fails to come off, as the ball gets bogged down yet again in a puddle. Luckily for Cluj, they would have found themselves in a very exposed position, such was the qualify of that exchange.
  • 18'
    The rain and waterlogged conditions are making a horrible mess of things. A neat interchange in midfield for Gala fails to come off, as the ball gets bogged down yet again in a puddle. Luckily for Cluj, they would have found themselves in a very exposed position, such was the qualify of that exchange.
  • 16'
    Well, looks as if Gala have come out of their early shell, and are making their own statement of intent down the left in particular, with Riera looking especially prominent during these early exchanges.
  • 14'
    Yellow Card Umut Bulut
    Bulut collects a blocked Altintop shot, but is brought down in the box. Amazingly, he's booked for his trouble. Was it for simulation? Anyone's guess.
  • 13'
    The first sight of goal for Terim's men there! Riera makes avenues down the left, before finding a teammate. Arambat takes the ball in his stride and found himself clear, but instead of opting to shoot, decides to round the Romanian keeper. Wasted chance, as Cluj gratefully clear.
  • 10'
    Melo is getting stuck in as usual, but came off worst in a challenge and is down receiving treatment on the pitch.
  • 7'
    Eboue sees the first meaningful Gala attack bog down as he vastly overhits his ball into the arms of the Cluj keeper. The ball obviously isn't working as expected in such wet conditions.
  • 4'
    Early proceedings still, but Cluj have given a signal of intent by taking the game to the Turkish outfit, and appear anything but intimidated by the rowdy home crowd.
  • 3'
    Bastos did much better just after his earlier horrifying miss. Chesting down a ball, the midfielder turned on a dime and released a belter that went much closer. The Brazilian bears close watching tonight!
  • 2'
    Oh my, scandalous defending at the back from the hosts, and Cluj really should have been up 1-0 there! Rafael Bastos failed to connect with a Camora cross, and it's gone embarrassingly wide. An insight into why Gala sit bottom of the table, perhaps?
  • 1'
    And we have kick-off! Cluj getting us underway!
  • We're looking at a waterlogged pitch, and I'm referring to a Chelsea-type of waterlogged. Let's hope we're in for a good game of football. Either team have players capable of turning on the style!
  • The Gala supporters are kicking up a storm tonight. They've got a magnificent stadium, and a magnificent support. It's hardly seems to have dawned on them their team have suffered two losses; they just keep cheering on! Time for the players to pay back their supporters the way they deserve...
  • This is how Ioan Andone's men will be turning out on your screen's tonight - Felgueiras, Pinto, Sepsi, Piccolo, Cadú, Camora, Rafael Bastos, Godemèche, Luís Alberto, Aguirregaray, Kapetanos.
  • Cluj on the other hand have produced consistently good showings in Group H, having held their own against Man U before eventually succumbing. They'll hope to galvanise their position tonight.
  • You'll see Fatih Terim's men lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, with Hamit Altintop returning to give the Turkish champions a boost: Muslera, Nounkeu, Kaya, Eboué, Altıntop, İnan, Melo, Riera, Amrabat, Elmander, Bulut.
  • It's safe to say the Turkish champions have had one of the most underwhelming starts seen yet during this start to the European season, as they have fallen to consecutive defeats to Manchester United and Braga in Group H.
  • Evening guys - I'm Jeremy Lim, and I'll be bringing you all the action LIVE as it happens at Turk Telecom Arena. where Gala host Cluj eager for their first win of their Champions League campaign!