Trabzonspor 2 - 0 Genclerbirligi
Well that was a strange night.
Spine, French Kanka Hande and a newcomer to Turkey, Kiwi Kanka Greer picked me up and we taxied off to Kizilay to join a group of around 20 Gencler fans at the Beer Bus bar.
Spine, Oz Kanka, French Kanka and Kiwi Kanka at the Beer Bus
Beers and stuff and the footy was on.
This was third versus 14th (or wherever we are) and I wasn't expecting much. So I was pleasantly surprised that we came out looking for the win. Trabzon were pressing us constantly, giving us no time on the ball but at times we looked good.
Troisi had one great chance snuffed out by the Trabzon keeper who just managed to get a finger on the ball. If the keeper had failed Troisi would have had an open goal in front of him. Troisi had another shot come off the bar. Frustrating stuff.
Our midfield was a bit slow and passes weren't always going to the right player, but much of this was due to the Trabzon tactics of full-on pressure.
In the end it was a piece of individual brilliance from Yattara which sunk us. The man got through two or three of our players and sent off a 20 yard shot which was unstoppable.
At about this time Kiwi Kanka Greer moved from beer to wine. Why? She had just had her first experience of a Turkish squat toilet and had decided she didn't want to fill her bladder again.
As we all laughed at the newbie it was pressing on for full-time and Gencler went on looking for the draw. It was attack after attack but somehow or other we never scored.
Then in the last moments of extra time Trabzon sucker punched us.
Full-time and amazingly the bill for 20-odd people didn't descend into an argument over who didn't eat any chips and we headed off for a bar/disco across the way. It was a great bar playing all sorts of weird old/new Turkish pop. Us four certainly felt very old amongst all the 20-somethings but luckily the alcohol had kicked in and at one stage I even found myself at the head of a Conga-line of Gencler supporters.
Post match beers
Birthday girl Berna framed by Orcan's hand.
Back to Spine's place for a couple more beers, Greer fell asleep and I finally did something sensible on the evening and escorted our new Kiwi friend back to her place. With Greer safely home I jumped into a taxi and got back to my place to discover the time was 3 a.m.
A bad result footy-wise, but a fun night nonetheless. I'll post some photos as soon as I get over to Spine's place to get my forgotten camera. EDIT: DONE