Tetteh rescues Yeni Malatyaspor from defeat against Gradel’s Sivasspor

Benjamin Tetteh
Hamza Hamzaoglu’s men were on the cusp of defeat before the former Ghana youth international levelled matters against the Braves

Benjamin Tetteh was the hero for Yeni Malatyspor in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Sivasspor in a Turkish Super Lig fixture.

Looking like his team would begin the new year on a losing note following Erdogan Yesilyurt and Max-Alain Gradel’s goals for the visitors, the on-loan Sparta Prague striker ensured that the four-goal thriller ended on a no winner, no vanquished note.

Hamza Hamzaoglu’s side into the game with the ambition of ending their three-game winless streak, however, it was the Braves who took an 18th-minute lead through Yesilyurt. The German midfielder profited from a poor defending from the hosts to head past goalkeeper Ertac Ozbir after meeting Robin Yalcin's cross.

Nevertheless, they levelled matters seven minutes later courtesy of Cote d’Ivoire forward Moryke Fofana, who acrobatically converted a cross from Morocco defender Issam Chebake.

In a goal-laden first half, Gradel put Sivasspor ahead in the 32nd minute after rising tall to head home a cross from Yesilyurt from a hurriedly-taken corner. That effort was the Ivorian’s fifth in his debut season for Rıza Calımbay’s squad since he joined them from Toulouse.

Not willing to go down without a fight, Yeni came out stronger in the second-half, even if they bungled several scoring chances.

Their tenacity paid off three minutes after the hour mark through Tetteh, who slotted into an empty net after his initial header was punched to his path by goalkeeper Ali Sasal Vural.

Sivasspor would have their luck to blame in the 80th minute as VAR adjudged Mustapha Yatabare’s strike for an offside. With no goals scored in the final minutes of regular time, honour was shared at the New Malatya Stadium.

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Tetteh and Chebake were on parade for the home side from start to finish, while Fofana was replaced in the 65th minute by DR Congo’s Jody Lukoki with Nigeria’s Sincere Seth, Burundi's Youssouf Ndayishimiye and Zimbabwe's Teenage Hadebe not dressed for action.

For Calımbay’s Braves, Gabon’s Aaron Appindangoye and Yatabare played for the entirety as Gradel was substituted for Nigeria’s Olanrewaju Kayode in the 81st minute. That was not the case for Mali's Mamadou Samassa, Cote d'Ivoire's Arouna Kone and Morocco's Faycal Fajr who were not considered for action.

With this result, Sivasspor are 13th in the log having accrued just 19 points from 16 outings as Yeni Malatyaspor occupy the tenth spot with 21 points from the same number of games.