Better than 8-0

There is nothing worse than being 3-0 down after 13 minutes, well, being 8-0 down after 90 minutes is worse, but I guess I should start up with the happier part of the day. ie before a ball was even kicked.

Wonderful autumn sunshine in the capital brought the kankas out of the woodwork. Even a couple of Ankaragucu kankas showed up for the pre-match beers, with Little Oz Kanka Matthew and his schoolmate Carlo doing their best to convert Sir Eski Kanka Jim to the Gencler cause. (photo soon I hope)

A few beers in the sun and then off to the stadium where we all got hopelessly separated. Being in charge of two under five year-olds for the day meant I wasn't able to perform my usual duties... ie sort out the rest of the kankas.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 3 Besiktas

In our seats just in time for the national anthem and then ... disaster.

Three minutes in and we give away a soft goal. A couple of minutes later and another soft goal. Just over 12 minutes on the clock and Besiktas scored a third. Demoralising stuff.

The Bizanslar behind the goals were singing away while our lot were totally quiet. Shell-shocked is the word.

As a die-hard supporter it was difficult to enjoy anything from this point on. Even though we then started to outplay Besiktas.

For both the rest of the first half and most of the second we were clearly the better team, but once again we failed to find the back of the net. Besiktas' keeper made a couple of brilliant reflex saves but with the scoreline at 0-3, there really was no hope.

Kahe did manage to get one back for us when we were awarded a clear-cut penalty and for a little while the Gencler fans were shouting again.

Some rough play from Besiktas, in particular Ali Tandogan who should have been given a red card (instead the man whom he fouled, Ergun, was given his marching orders) gave the match a sour taste. The referee was hopeless, as were the linesmen.

Aussie Bruce and James Troisi came on in the second half and both played fairly well with Aussie Bruce unlucky to have a shot blocked by Rustu. At least the bloke is having shots on goal, something that the rest of the team needs to start doing.

As the sun slowly went down, we dragged our sunburnt selves out of the 19 Mayis and off home. A depressing end to a beautiful day. As I said 1-3 was depressing, but at least it wasn't a display as inept and embarrassing as Besiktas' 8-0 loss to Liverpool. Sorry Besiktas supporters, you may have won today, but you are still the butt of all European football jokes.

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