A chat about philosophy and the intellectual underpinnings of vegetarianism, along with a bit of footy talk and it was off to the stadium.
Just about to enter the gates and I realised I had left my season tickets at home, all eight of them. Curses as we headed off for the ticket booth and, as luck would have it the first person I saw was Anil from the Alkaralar group. He happened to have one spare season ticket. Ten metres later we bumped into Fatih from Alkaralar and he also had a spare ticket. Sorted.
Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Ankaraspor
Nice cosy seats and the match kicked off. Playing under what looked like to us a diaphanous curtain of rain Gencler started off well. Ankaraspor were stacking the back and so we didn't have many chances but had we been a bit more purposeful up front we could have been ahead. Ankaraspor had a few nice moves on the counter attack and a couple of good shots as well but I thought we played the better football. Battle Damaged Kanka reckoned it was about even.
Second half and it was more of the same. Burhan and Mustafa Pektemek were playing well and our midfield were stringing good passes together. Battle Damaged said we looked a lot better than Ankaragucu have lately (admittedly that isn't saying much) but still we may be good at getting the ball to the box but the execution was lacking... yet again.
Then disaster struck in the 77th when Ankaraspor managed to get a ball across our goalkeeper and someone tapped it in. Appeals went up for offside, a foul and whatnot but the goal stood.
Just a few minutes later Mustafa Pektemek was clearly fouled in the box and we received a penalty. Kahe clearly wanted to lose the memory of his first miss in the penalty shootout in the cup final in May and stood up to take it. And in. 1-1.
The rest of the match was all Gencler trying to get the winner but again, the final touch was just not there.
Match over. 1-1.
Some questions must be asked of our coach Mesut Bakkal. We only used one substitute and it was pretty clear that we needed a fresh pair of legs, or more, towards the end. By the way, neither of the Aussie two played tonight. Disappointing for me and also for Battle Damaged as he wanted to see the Italian-Aussie James Troisi come on.
Just one other aside, it was raining all match and the artificial pitch still looked good. The ball was a bit slower at times when it was really bucketing down but all up I'm liking this new pitch better and better each week.