Genclerbirligi 2 - 2 Kayserispor
A perfect sunny day in Ankara saw the Kankas come out in force. Down at the Chopin we had Arja, Roger, Spine, French Kanka Hande, Scott, Rob and young son Stephen, Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo, Genc Kanka Eddie and of course Eski Kanka Jim. At the stadium we were joined by Berrak, Cem, Yamaç, and finally Oguz and his son. Did I forget anyone?
As far as I can see we had eight different nationalities, that's if you consider Scottish as a nationality, not a bad crowd at all.
Beers in and off to watch fourth versus fifth. Many of the newer Kankas bought Genclerbirligi scarves and somehow or other we timed it so well that the national anthem was being played just as we entered.
Referee blows his whistle and Gencler were off, off their game that is. We played like crap, French Kanka Hande realised how bad we were when the crowd clapped because we had strung a couple of passes together. The Gencler players seemed nervous, the first touch on so many occasions seemed completely missing and passes were going straight to Kayseri players.
The ref wasn't helping things either, as Roger pointed out at the time: "This ref is rubbish".
Which made the first goal so surprising. Mr. Fish sent in a freekick which managed to go just over the heads of both a forward and one of their defenders, instead going through to Engin Baytar who had a go from a very difficult angle which somehow ended in the back of the net.
Kayseri kept on attacking but somehow we went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Second half and it was more of the same disapointing football. Kayseri came back with a headed goal and then the man that this blog loves, Isaac Promise controlled a through ball and then toe poked it over the keeper and into the goal. 2-1 up and really I couldn't believe it.
Then something very silly. Eren Aydin went in hard on a Kayseri player and was given a direct red. At the time it was difficult to see if it was right but this morning Eren himself made a public apology for going in too hard. Half an hour left, down a man and playing like crap. Conceding another goal seemed just to be a matter of time, even still, the manner in which it was scored had us all with our head in our hands. It was an own goal with Mehmet Nas, seemingly on his own with no pressure sending a pass from a Kayseri player into the back of the net. A great goal, except for the fact that Nas plays for Gencler.
Scott argued later that the keeper Recep should have come off his line to claim the ball. I agreed at the time but having seen the replay today I'm not so sure.
Kayseri kept the attacks up but somehow failed to score. 2-2 all up and I'd have to say we were very lucky to come away with a point.
It was then back to the Chopin to watch Chelsea-Arsenal. What a difference in quality and skill compared to the stuff we had just sat through. After that match the Chopin put on Antalya - Fenerbahce and the locals were definitely surprised when all of us yabancis cheered the Antalya goal.
Spine has promised to send me some photos from the match which I will post here as soon as he recovers from his hangover. (DONE)