Genclerbirligi 2 - 0 Gaziantepspor
Little Oz Kanka came home from school the other day with a curious letter in his bag:
Dear Parents, Carers and Friends,
Mr. Abdel El Saka, father to ... and ... and defender for Genclerbirligi Football club, has very generously invited all BESG children and their families to watch a football match on Sat. 12 April at 19 Mayis Stad at 3 pm, between Genclerbirligi and Gaziantepspor.
Very generous indeed, even if tickets for today's match were only 1 TL. The point is not that it cost El Saka (or most probably the club) next to nothing, but that it got a lot of people to the match who would normally not have bothered. Just the idea of a free ticket got quite a few people off their arses, including...
Back to regular report
It's been a good few years since I managed to get Mrs. Oz Kanka down to a match, but today I succeeded. In fact today we had few of the regular Kankas at the Chopin, just myself and Flying Dutchman, but we more than made it up with a couple of blokes from some Australian government department who are in Turkey to make sure that the ANZAC Day commemorations don't go belly up.
We also managed to get along Jeske from the World Bank (any chance of a loan to Gencler?) and his son, the Aussie Ambassador and his wife, kids and friends of the kids also showed up. Scouser Kanka Steve disappointed all by ordering cay at the Chopin and it was with a laugh of contempt that the waiter told him that the pub only served beer. Bloody hopeless that bloke (Scouser Kanka that is, not the waiter).
Also showing up at the Chopin was Ozgur Korkmaz, sports editor of the Turkish Daily News and a true Gencler supporter (although that won't stop us from attacking him and his paper in the future).
Alpine Kanka Wolfgang was met at the stadium and at one stage I even met Emin (from our darts competition who can normally found in the protocol section). We even had Berrak and Cem form my darts team who showed up looking after a whole heap of kids. Mrs. Oz Kanka's workmate Ceren, a football virgin until today, also showed up and despite the fact the match was sold out managed to scam a ticket. (looking lost and being female obviously helps when one is in this situation)
All that long intro and finally onto the football.
First half was rubbish really. Pretty much all Gencler but we really were going through the motions. Gaziantep were crap and we were playing flatfooted and without desire. The best chance came at about the 22nd minute when we hit hit a shot over the post from a position that I thought we were certain to score from. No prizes for guessing that the man who missed was Isaac Promise.
Half time and it was 0-0 and I couldn't see any way that it would change. We were crap, and so were Antep.
I took Little Oz Kanka off to the loo, pausing for a minute for some people from haydigencler.com to take my picture to put on their website (I think they must have thought I was Sir Eski Kanka) and then on for the second half with Gencler attacking the goal to our left... ie attacking the goal where the Gencler fans were.
Now this was a much better performance. Okan Ozturk had been taken off (Kahe came on) and it wasn't long before a small cheer went up in our section of the stadium as Isaac Promise was replaced by Mehmet Cakir. The difference was immediate. Passes were being fed through to people on the run, sure the odd offside flag was ruled every now and again but this was much better stuff. It wasn't brilliant but it seemed to be working.
Then Mehmet Nas, who had a pretty crappy game I thought, passes never quite reaching their target) had the ball on the right of the goal and got a pretty good cross in, someone got to it and the ball was in the back of the net. I asked everyone whom they thought had scored and the consensus was that it was Burhan. It may have been but I see now that the Anatolian news agency is crediting it as an own goal. Who cares. It was a goal.
The crowd singing away and while there were a few scary pieces we held our nerve and then with just a couple of minutes on the clock Kahe scored with an angled shot that nutmegged the keeper. Phew.
Outside the stadium and I gave an interview to a lovely girl whom I had met at half-time and who had said she had do do a story on foreigners living in Turkey. She said her teacher at high school had given her this assignment as homework. I was only happy to help the pretty young thing in her pursuit of educational excellence. Mrs. Oz Kanka watched from a distance as I gave the interview while Little Oz Kanka played footy with an empty water bottle.
All up, a bloody good day. Now all we need is for Ankaragucu to beat the hell out of Manisa on Sunday.
PS: I finally decided to put one of my articles through a spell check. Have I spelt scouser wrong?