Thousands in the central city of Sivas and many of their fellow countrymen celebrated Thursday as Sivasspor, their hometown team, won its first trophy in the club’s history after defeating Kayserispor in the 60th final of the Ziraat Turkish Cup.
The central Anatolia derby, which was played in Istanbul, ended in a 1-1 draw. Yukatel Kayserispor took the lead in the 38th minute as defender Ramazan Civelek found the net from right outside the penalty arc. Demir Grup Sivasspor responded in the 60th minute with Aaron Appindangoye, who only had Kayserispor goalkeeper Silviu Long to beat after Max Gradel’s long free kick and Mustapha Yatabare’s head pass.
Sivasspor took the lead in the extra time as Gradel’s classy shot hit the woodwork and ended up in the net in the 95th minute. Kayserispor equalized in the 107th with forward Ilhan Parlak’s header. Four minutes later, Olarenwaju Kayode slipped through Kayserispor’s defense from the right and passed the ball to Pape Moussa Konate, who converted into a goal through a shot in the six-yard box, scoring the winner for Sivasspor.
In addition to a packed Atatürk Olympic Stadium, tens of thousands of fans gathered in central squares of Sivas and Kayseri to watch the final on giant screens.
Following the victory, the historic city square of Sivas turned into a carnival site with thousands of fans taking to the streets, forming convoys and cheering.
Journalists covering the Ziraat Turkish Cup final chose Kayserispor’s Romanian goalkeeper Silviu Lung as the man of the match.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was among the Turkish officials and dignitaries that congratulated the club, fans and the city of Sivas for their success.
The victory enabled Sivasspor to represent Turkey in the European competitions for the third consecutive season, and the club gained a ticket to UEFA Europa League play off round.
While Kayserispor has won the Turkish Cup once, Sivasspor made its first-ever appearance in the final, which was first held by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) back in 1962-1963. Sivasspor became the 16th club to win the trophy.
Kayserispor last won the trophy in the 2007-2008 season when it beat Gençlerbirliği in the final in an epic 11-10 penalty shootout, after the stipulated time ended in a 0-0 stalemate.