Ibrahim Olawoyin became the unlikely hero for Çaykur Rizespor on Saturday, scoring a brace including a dramatic 92nd-minute winner to secure a thrilling 3-2 victory over İstanbul Başakşehir in the Turkish Super Lig.
The former AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek gave Başakşehir the early lead, but Olawoyin responded quickly, heading home in the 14th minute after connecting with a pinpoint cross from England international Jonjo Shelvey.
Dal Varesanovic restored Başakşehir’s advantage three minutes later, but just as it seemed the momentum was swinging towards the visitors, Ghanaian defender Jerome Opoku popped up with an equalizer on the stroke of halftime.
With the scores level and the match seemingly destined for a draw, Olawoyin stepped up once again in the dying seconds, unleashing a powerful shot from 20 yards out that found the net, sparking jubilant celebrations amongst the home fans.
This brace marked Olawoyin’s first goals of the season in 14 league appearances, making it a birthday to remember for the Nigerian who turned 26 on December 1st.
Rizespor manager İlhan Palut praised his team’s fighting spirit but acknowledged defensive shortcomings. “I’m happy that the team’s desire was rewarded,” he said. “We’re delighted to give our fans this victory at home, but of course, we could have defended better as a unit.”
With this win, Rizespor climb to sixth in the league table, while Başakşehir’s title aspirations suffer a setback.