Soccer-Galatasaray clinch 24th Turkish title with 3-1 victory


ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Galatasaray secured a 24th Turkish title with a 3-1 victory at Konyaspor on Sunday, ending the season three points above arch Istanbul rivals Fenerbahce who have not won the league in a decade.

Galatasaray triumphed for a second consecutive year after a season marred by controversy and violence on and off the pitch.

Argentine forward Mauro Icardi scored twice and Switzerland-born Turkish midfielder Berkan Kutlu added a third in Galatasaray's victory in Konya, igniting celebrations among their fans across Istanbul and beyond.

The two Istanbul clubs were head and shoulders above the other Superlig teams this term, with Galatasaray ending on 102 points and Fenerbahce, who thrashed Istanbulspor 6-0, 99.

Third-placed Trabzonspor have 67 points after a 4-2 home victory against Ankaragucu on Sunday.

Galatasaray lost only two league games this season, including at home against Fenerbahce a week ago which delayed their crowning. They scored 92 goals and conceded 26.

Fenerbahce had only one loss - but also six draws to Galatasaray's three.

Icardi was the league's top scorer with 24 goals ahead of Fenerbahce's Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko on 21.

Galatasaray's triumph completed a season punctuated by controversy.

In December, the president of Superlig club Ankaragucu, Faruk Koca, was arrested for punching a referee in the face at the end of a match, with the official telling police that Koca had also threatened to kill him.

Two weeks later, the Super Cup final between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh was postponed shortly before kick off due to reported controversy over the clubs' warm-up kits.

When the match was finally played in April, Fenerbahce's players walked off the pitch after one minute, forcing the game to be abandoned after media said the club's request to postpone the match due to a European fixture was rejected.

In March, Trabzonspor fans stormed the pitch and brawled with security forces and Fenerbahce players. Fenerbahce subsequently threatened to withdraw from the league, but ultimately decided to play on.

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Daren Butler; Additional reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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