Friday, December 07, 2018

Ankaragucu vs Basaksehir match preview!

Ankaragucu host leaders Basaksehir on Monday night as they look to bounce back after a disappointing 4-2 defeat at Bodrumspor in the Cup midweek. Its 4 games since Ankaragucu have won a game and they dont come tougher than Basaksehir. The team will take some encouragement that Sivasspor went to Basaksehir last week and won 2-1.

Ismail Kartal has almost a full squad to chose from with players returning from injury and suspension. The likes of Moulin, Hertauex, Bifouma, Mokhtar and Faty are all back in contention for a place in the starting line up.

Ankaragucu again will have to play this home tie in Afyon as they Yenikent pitch is still unplayable so the TFF have decided to send Ankaragucu 4 hours away to play another home game. Baring in mind the game is on a Monday night, the expectations for Ankaragucu fans to travel that distance in December is ridiculous.

The midweek game was an opportunity for some of the Ankaragucu fringe players to impress and make their case for a place in the starting line up. Unfortunately none of them grabbed that opportunity and instead Bakary Kone showed once again that he cant be trusted and shouldnt be anywhere near the team. He gifted 2 goals to Bodrumspor a team who play in the 3rd tier of Turkish football. Alessio Cerci again showed flashes of his ability but its almost as if he has come to Ankaragucu for an easy life.

Basaksehir are 4 points clear at the top and have quality all over the pitch. Edin Visca in particular is their key player who makes things happen. He can create and score goals and will be the dangerman pulling the strings in midfield. They also have Emmanuel Adebayor up front who has only scored 2 goals this season but still a danger in attack. At the back Basaksehir have the best defensive record in the Super Lig having remarkably only conceded 6 goals.

Having just missed out on the title the last two seasons, this will be the best chance for Basaksehir to be champions of Turkey. They have had a settled team for the last 3-4 years and added small pieces each window. Having a settled team is certainly showing the benefits as they dont have the best individual players, but to date have the best team who work very hard for each other and are very well organised under Abdullah Avci.

Ismail Kartal will need to pick his players up from the disappointing results over the last couple of weeks and get Ankaragucu back to playing the way they were against the likes of Fenerbahce and Kayserispor. Attacking play with quick wing play and hard work in the middle of the park. Hopefully we see the return of Bifouma, Erdem and Kenan as there presence has been missed.

Jim will have the report on Tuesday morning and will post the meeting instructions for the game.

Thursday, December 06, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

There can be no excuses for Ankaragucu’s 2nd half capitulation to the ‘amateurs’ of Bodrumspor today in the Turkish Cup 5th Round match 1st Leg.    Nor should Ankaragucu point to the fact that some first team regulars were missing.

Kone had a shocker of a match and gifted two goals to Bodrum, but having said that, they thoroughly deserved their moment of glory.     On this performance, I would guess that Kone has played his last match for Ankaragucu !

Bodrumspor       4              ANKARAGUCU      2

Team – Korcan, Alihan, Erman Sen, Kaan, Mehmet Sak, Ender, Mahmut, Putsila, Cerci, El-Kabir and Kehinde

Substitutes – Mohktar and Kone

The match was played in the city of Mugla due to the Bodrum Stadium being waterlogged after last week’s heavy rain storm.

Bodrum started the match brightly and it was clear from the outset that they were not over-awed by their Super League opponents.     They were chasing every ball throughout the match and refused to give Ankaragucu any time on the ball.

The first real chance of the match fell to Kehinde from a Cerci pass but he blasted his shot over.    Kehinde huffed and puffed throughout the match but in all honesty he never gave the Bodrum defence too much trouble.

Bodrum had two good chances leading up to the half hour mark, but the 1st was saved by Korcan, and the 2nd was missed after an excellent sweeping move from their own penalty area to the other end without the ball touching an Ankaragucu player.

Approaching half time and Kehinde made a clever reverse pass for Cerci on the right but his shot was saved by the goalkeeper.

All square at half time and there was no inkling of what was to come in the 2nd half.

Ankaragucu started purposefully and Kehinde had two chances in the opening minutes to score.   Firstly, when put through by Mehmet but his shot was past the post.    Secondly, again he was put through but due to his lack of acceleration, a defender was able to dispossess him and clear for a corner.    Then Cerci had a great goal bound header saved.

I felt the break through was coming, and so it did in the 53rd minute.   A long ball was sent into the box but two defenders missed their clearance and Mahmut was there to accept the gift and he duly slotted in to open the scoring.

I’m sure we could all be forgiven for thinking that was that.    Ankaragucu will put the sword in now.     Wrong !!!

3 minutes later and the equaliser arrived when Orhan received the ball on the left from a defensive block.  He looked up, took aim and sent a well judged angled shot into the top right hand corner with Korcan helpless.

7 minutes later Ankaragucu had the ball back in their court and again I was thinking that this was definitely the beginning of the goal rush.    Ankaragucu was awarded a free kick half way into their own half.   The ball was flighted into the Bodrum penalty area where it was met by the unmarked Alihan who powered in one of his now-famous headers giving the goalkeeper no chance.

Would Ankaragucu now put the match out of sight ?      Wrong again !!!

5 minutes later there were panic stations in the Ankaragucu penalty box from a cross on the   left and the ball was bundled in by Harun with the defence all at sea.    A needless and sloppy goal to concede !

2 minutes later and Bodrum almost went in front, but for a great reflex save from Korcan from a close range shot.

10 minutes to go to the final whistle and I had resigned myself to a share of the spoils, but then Kone decided to spoil the party.    He needlessly gave the ball away when under no pressure and the Bodrum attacker must have shouted ‘thank you Kone’ as he left him for dead.   He crossed to the unmarked Emre in the centre of the box who fired in a bullet of a shot to give Korcan no chance !

There didn’t seem any way back for Ankaragucu, but who would have bet on Bodrum thrusting the knife in one more time.     

5 minutes to go and an innocuous cross was sent over from the right wing and there was Celal to head in at the far post with Kone beside him admiring his heading ability.     Aaaaargh, Kone should have been watching the flight of the ball and could easily have cut it out !!!

It was a lamentable 2nd half performance from Ankaragucu against a team of ‘amateurs’ (no disrespect to Bodrumspor intended).     Ankaragucu now has a mountain to climb in the 2nd Leg on 18 December to make further progress in the Turkish Cup.    In all honesty, I am doubtful if they will be able to do it !

In the meantime, Ankaragucu has only 3 days to prepare for the league match against top of the league Basaksehir.     Let’s hope the ‘regulars’ are fit and able to play, ie, Pinto, Djedje, Heurtaux, Erdem O, Yalcin, Faty, Bifouma and Kubilay.      We do not need or want to see another performance like this one today !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Bodrumspor vs Ankaragucu match preview!

Bodrumspor will be looking for their 2nd Super Lig scalp and to cause another upset in the Turkish Cup this Thursday as they host Ankaragucu in the first leg of the tie. The game will be played in Mugla due to problems with the Bodrumspor pitch after flooding.

Bodrum is more known for its beaches and holiday resorts than it is for football, but the Lig 2 side have big ambitions to play at a higher level and firmly put themselves on the map of Turkish football. A brilliant 2-1 win over Sivasspor in the last round raised a few eyebrows and they now have Ankaragucu in their way of a place in the next round of the Cup.

Two poor results of late see them sit just outside the playoff positions in Lig 2. A 5-2 home defeat against Sakaryaspor, and 3-0 defeat at Amed Spor will be a bit of a concern for their manager Engin Ipekoglu especially conceding 8 goals in 2 games.

The match against Bodrumspor will be another opportunity for Ankaragucu fringe players such as Younes Mokhtar, Ilhan Parlak and Alessio Cerci to impress and stake a claim for a place back in the starting line up. It will be interesting to see how Ismail Kartal lines up in this match with the game against Basaksehir coming up on Monday.

The Turkish Cup is an opportunity for Ankaragucu to win silverware and qualify for Europe, but at the same time we have already seen how bare this Ankaragucu squad is. A few more injuries to key players could play a big part in the teams fight for survival in the Super Lig.

Ankaragucu were lucky to come away from the Rizespor match with a draw, and the absence of the likes of Erdem, Faty, Bifouma and Kenan were a big loss for the team. The good news is that Moulin and Heurtaux are both back fit and in contention for a place in the team again. The Frenchmen have struggled with injury since coming in but now seem to be over the worst and will play a big part in helping the team avoid relegation.

The game will be played at 1pm Turkish Time and is live on A Spor. We look forward to another Ankaragucu victory down in the Turkish coast and one of Jims favorite places!

Monday, December 03, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Spare a thought for bottom Club Karabuk languishing at the bottom of the League on Minus 2 points after 14 matches played !!

They were unfortunate to catch Gencler in a ruthless frame of mind last Saturday, as Gencler recovered from two consecutive defeats to go on a goal spree !

GENCLERBIRLIGI      6          Karabuk    0

It’s not only Ankaragucu who must travel out of the city for their home matches these days.   Gencler has now suffered the same ignominy when the TFF sent them to Eskisehir due to the poor condition of the Osmanli Stadium pitch in Yenikent.    There is still no news about the New Eryaman Stadium concerning its state of readiness.      It goes without saying therefore that the sooner its ready the better !

Among Gencler’s scorers were Nadir Ciftci, Deniz Yilmaz and Stephan Sessegnon.   So, Gencler remain on top of the league 5 points clear of Denizli in 2nd.   However, both teams will meet each other next Sunday in Denizli in what is sure to be a closely fought encounter.

Prior to that though, there is the small matter of a Turkish Cup match to negotiate when Gencler play host to Hatayspor at the Osmanli Stadium tomorrow (4 December).   I’ll put the result of that match in the comments section of this report on Wednesday.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, December 01, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It wasn’t really a ‘game of two halves’ even allowing for the fact that Ankaragucu went in at half time in the lead.    It was mostly all Rize pressure on the Ankaragucu goal, but thanks to Man of the Match, Altay, Ankaragucu escaped from the ‘Tea Party’ with one point.   The defence also stood tall on the many occasions when Rize threatened and special mention here for Pinto, Yalcin and Djedje for their heroics in restricting Rize to only one goal.

It was also fortunate for Ankaragucu that the Rize strikers were on strike, because their build-up football had the Ankaragucu defence in panic mode sometimes.   Their football belies their league position with only one win in 14 league matches.    However, on this performance Rize will surely climb out of the relegation zone before the end of the season.

Rizespor        1                     ANKARAGUCU       1

Team – Altay, Djedje, Yalcin, Kone, Pinto, Moulin, Sedat, Cerci, El-Kabir, Ilhan and Kubilay (surprisingly Korcan was named as substitute.    However, Altay once again proved his worth and is fast becoming a rising star in the team).

The kankas met-up at The Anasson Bar.   Maniac Kanka Harun, Nurer Kanka, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and Kenan Kenan Kanka.     The place was full with not a Rize supporter in sight !!

It was Rize who started the match like a train and were looking up for it.   They took the match to Ankaragucu for the first 20 until Ankaragucu scored against the run of play.

El-Kabir received a pass on the left and drove into the box.    He crossed to the far post to Ilhan who returned the ball to El-Kabir who had continued his run expecting the return pass.   When it came, he slotted in to send us all wild.

Was this the turning point in the match ?     The simple answer ......... no !

Rize continued to press forward searching for the equaliser and it took great defending from Altay, Yalcin and Djede to keep them at bay until the half time whistle brought some much needed relief.

Ankaragucu did have one further chance 5 minutes before the break when from a Moulin free kick, El-Kabir’s header was well saved.

The optimistic kankas going in at half time 1-0 up and hoping for a victoreeee and all 3 points !!

Rize began the 2nd half as they finished the 1st with all out attack and it took Altay with some great saves to keep the score at 1-0.  

It took until the 60th minute for Ankaragucu to make inroads on the Rize goal when Pinto had a great goalbound shot saved.

However, the inevitable equaliser came 6 minutes later with a real peach of a goal which had skill written all over it.   Some nice football just outside the  penalty box, a chipped weighted pass to Umar who was sandwiched between THREE Ankaragucu defenders, but still managed to bring the ball under control and score inside the left post with Altay helpless.   A goal to savour, especially for the Rize fans !

Still Rize continued to press forward and Altay came to the rescue yet again with 75 minutes gone.    At this stage of the match I was settling for a draw with play going in one direction, ie, towards Altay !

Then a mistake by Djedje with only 10 minutes to go when the referee decided that he impeded a Rize forward inside the box.    It could be argued that the Rize forward made a meal of it, but the experienced Firat Bey was adamant and so the inevitable penalty.

Once again it was Altay to the rescue when he guessed correct and dived to the left to parry the penalty.    A Rize attacker pounced on the rebound but his shot went past the opposite post and out.     Relief all round !

Almost on the final whistle and Altay saved another shot from outside the box, and with the last kick of the match Kehinde’s shot was just past the post.

So, as you can gather from the above report, it was a fortunate point for Ankaragucu, but all credit to the team for not capitulating while under pressure for most of the match.

The next match will be the home match against league leaders Basaksehir on Monday 10 December KO 8pm.   Venue unknown at the moment, but watch this space for the answer in either Nadeem’s preview or in the comments section of this report.

This match will be a true test of Ankaragucu’s credentials against a team in fine form and going well at the moment.    They could quite possibly be 8 points clear at the top of the league after this weekend’s results.

However, as we know as Ankaragucu supporters, we can never discount this team of ours !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, November 26, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It’s not only the teams in the relegation zone which feel the pressure, even at this stage of the season.   It also happens to the teams at the top, and Gencler and Bolu are a prime example, with both teams losing again at the weekend.

Surprisingly, Gencler lost their 2nd league match of the season last Saturday against Istanbulspor who had only won 3 previous matches, but Gencler is still in pole position.    However, the chasing pack are now closing-in and breathing down their neck !

Istanbulspor    2                     GENCLERBIRLIGI      0

It was Ibrahim Yilmaz who inflicted the damage, scoring in each half, a result which took Istanbul out of the danger zone.

As I mentioned 2 weeks ago, Denizli is now the team who pose most danger to Gencler, and with their win against Giresun, are now only 3 points behind Gencler in 2nd place with Bolu 2 points further back in 3rd.

Next Saturday I expect Gencler to rekindle their early season form against bottom club Karabuk who are still without a win after 13 matches played.

This League title race is shaping up to be as nail-biting as last season !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, November 25, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Smiles were in short supply last night hence no smiley photos with this report !

Well, to be honest we did manage a smile on two occasions.   Firstly, when El-Kabir scored a well deserved goal after previous attempts were thwarted, and secondly, when Battle Damaged Kanka Damon returned from the toilet to report he had witnessed my modification to one of the cartoons above the urinals !!!    Check it out when you can !

ANKARAGUCU  1           Besiktas     4

Team – Korcan, Erdem, Alihan, Yalcin, Pinto, Faty, Djedje, Kenan, El-Kabir, Bifouma and Kubilay

Substitutes used – Moulin and Cerci

Before I talk about the match, I would just like to say that it’s frustrating sometimes being a supporter of Turkish football.   With the new Eryaman Stadium still unfinished, last night’s match was scheduled for the Osmanli Stadium in Yenikent which Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi have been using since 19 Mayis Stadium has been demolished.

Then on Thursday or Friday last week, Besiktas complained to the TFF that the playing surface was not to their liking and requested an alternative venue.   Of course, the TFF willingly obliged, and why not ?!    After all, anything to put the sword into Ankaragucu – as we know, no love lost there !!

So, the TFF in ‘their wisdom’ nominated Kayseri Stadium as Ankaragucu’s home match venue.  A classic TFF decision !!         We all know that Osmanli Stadium doesn’t have the lush GREEN grass of Easter Road Stadium in Edinburgh, but it’s the same playing surface for BOTH teams.     Aaaaaargh !!!

That was a typical Oz Kanka Chris rant, and one I hope he will be proud of ??!!

Anyway, back to the match in question, and Battle Damaged Kanka, Kaleci Kanka Tansu and I met up at The Anasson Bar full of optimism and the place was packed with mainly Ankaragucu supporters.

There were thousands of Ankaragucu supporters in the stadium on two sides with BJK supporters squeezed in at one end.    And .......... it took only 4 minutes into the match for the Ankaragucu supporters to make their presence felt when they threw ‘missiles’ from behind the goal at Karius the BJK goalkeeper which halted the match for a few minutes until order was restored !

On the restart Kenan almost scored when he latched onto a Bifouma cross but Karius saved well.

However, it was ominous at this early stage that BJK was looking dangerous and they almost went ahead in the 11th minute from a free kick outside the box on the right, but the effort hit the bar and was cleared.

5 minutes later and they did have the ball in the net but the referee obviously had a message from the linesman in his earphone and he called for a video replay.   The goal was chalked off and we still don’t know the reason.    Could have been an offside or an infringement off the ball ?

It only took a further 6 minutes for BJK to find the first goal and it was all down to the Ankaragucu defence being all at sea.    They will not relish the thought of Ismail Bey showing that next week in a video replay !!!    The BJK attackers were toying with the Ankaragucu defence playing tip-tap in the penalty area and the final ball was rifled in by Ljajic to give Korcan no chance.

BJK were rampant and giving Ankaragucu no time on the ball.   They were chasing everything and looking like a team on fire.    It was no surprise therefore when No2 arrived 4 minutes later and it was a peach of a goal.

A fast break down the right wing to the goal line, the classic cut-back which was back-heeled to the far post where Mustafa was lurking unmarked and he stroked it in with Korcan protecting his near post.

It was then time for the Ankaragucu supporters behind the goal to fire more ‘missiles’ at Karius and play was again held up for 3 minutes until order was restored !

Ankaragucu refused to throw the towel in and had two efforts on goal by El-Kabir which on any other day might have gone in.    Both goalbound efforts were saved by Karius for corners but the corners were wasted with poorly taken balls going straight to BJK defenders on the near post.

Two minutes from the break and the killer goal which again was a defensive howler.   The normally reliable Faty gave away a simple ball under no pressure and Guven had the benefit of the ball breaking in his favour to bear down on Korcan and calmly chip the ball over him for No3.

So, a catastrophic half with the defence all over the place and giving away too many free kicks, playing too many panic long balls out of defence and allowing BJK to totally control the match.

Cerci came out for the 2nd half in place of Kenan.

The 2nd half was only 7 minutes old when the Ankaragucu supporters near the corner flag decided to send more ‘missiles’ towards the BJK player attempting to take a corner kick.   This is surely going to entail a stadium ban for Ankaragucu.    Of course there is no excuse for throwing ‘missiles’ at players or coaching staff and we all know how the TFF takes delight in handing out punishments, especially to Ankaragucu !!!   So, I will be very surprised if the TFF don’t take action after studying the referee’s report.

At this stage of the match, BJK was stroking the ball around and making Ankaragucu make more mistakes and also making Ankaragucu concede yet more free kicks.

Then, against the run of play, Ankaragucu scored in the 60th minute when Pinto sent a great ball through to Djedje who evaded the chasing defenders and shot over the despairing dive of Karius.   However, celebrations were cut short when the video replay showed that Pinto had commited a foul before releasing Djedje.

El-Kabir had a chance 10 minutes later, but his looping header went just past the post with Karius beaten.

15 minutes to go and Korcan pulled off a reflex save to deny BJK and then El-Kabir had another header which went just over.

4 minutes to the final whistle and Ankaragucu conjured up a consolation goal thanks to some stubborn play from Cerci digging the ball out from a 50/50 situation with a defender.   He sent a peach of a pass to El-Kabir who angled his shot past Karius and in.    It was no more than El-Kabir deserved after his perseverance throughout the match.

Into the dying minutes of the match and BJK thrust the sword in deeper.   Another classic cut-back on the left to the unmarked Oguzhan who had the simple task of stroking the ball in with Korcan helpless.

Ankaragucu received a salutary football lesson and Ismail Bey has now a headache in trying to solve the defence problem.    He only has a few days to do it with the away match against bottom club Rize looming on Friday night KO 8pm.

As BJK proved last night, league positions should not be taken at face value.    There will be no ‘easy’ matches to come this season.    Let’s hope Ankaragucu can return from the Black Sea with 3 points to restore confidence.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim