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Soccer News of Thursday, 6 May 2004

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Ahinful Wins Turkish Cup

Turkish Cup final
Scorers: Mehmet Yilmaz 23, Gokdeniz Karadeniz 70, 77pen, Augustine Ahinful 89pen
Red card: Souleymane Youla (Genclerbirligi) 88
Halftime: 1-0; Attendance: 30,000

Trabzonspor trounce Genclerbirligi to win Turkish Cup

ISTANBUL, May 5 (Reuters) - Black Sea club Trabzonspor beat Genclerbirligi 4-0 to retain the Turkish Cup on Wednesday, lifting the trophy for the seventh time and boosting their morale as they race Fenerbahce to the league title.

The final was a replay of Trabzonspor's 2003 victory against the Ankara side. Like last year Trabzon's Mehmet Yilmaz and Gokdeniz Karadeniz scored three goals before Ghanian Augustine Ahinful sealed the crushing win with a late penalty.

Turkish international midfielder Karadeniz forged into the Genclerbirligi half on the counter attack and set up Yilmaz who fired the ball past keeper Damir Botonjic from the edge of the area to open the scoring in the 23rd minute.

Trabzonspor maintained control throughout the first half, giving their Ankara opponents few chances to pull level and seek revenge for their 3-1 defeat in last year's final.

They remained dominant in the second half and Karadeniz extended their lead with a powerful shot after 70 minutes, latching onto a wayward header from a throw-in into the Genclerbirligi area.

Seven minutes later Karadeniz scored from the penalty spot after Huseyin Cimsir was brought down in the area.

With Genclerbirligi's hopes crushed and Trabzon continuing to push forward, the referee awarded the Black Sea side a second penalty. Amid fierce protests by the Ankara side, Guinea forward Souleymane Youla was sent off for pushing the referee.

The heavy defeat marred an eventful season for outgoing Genclerbirligi coach Ersun Yanal. He now has just two games left at the club, having been appointed coach of the Turkish national team in a four-year deal.

He steered his unfancied Ankara side, eighth in the first division, to the fourth round of the UEFA Cup where they lost to Valencia after beating Blackburn Rovers, Sporting Lisbon and Parma in earlier rounds.

Despite their defeat, Genclerbirligi still qualify for next season's UEFA Cup as Trabzon have already guaranteed second place in the league and their entry into next season's Champions League.

Trabzon coach Ziya Dogan will now be looking to build on his side's cup success by winning the league title. However, they will need leaders Fenerbahce to slip up. The Istanbul club are two points ahead with two games remaining.