SIFIR ALTI (06) DOWNED BY ON ALTI (16)
Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
A great weekend was only spoiled by the result.
No denying the best team won, but our post match ‘activities’ would have been even more enjoyable had we been able to celebrate with a much needed win. Bursa certainly proved that their 6th place in the League is no fluke and that UEFA Cup qualification could be on for them.
Bursaspor 2 ANKARAGUCU 0
Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Phillie Kanka Jamie, Connect Kanka Steve and I met in The Platin Pub on Friday night and we also met up with Maniac Kanka Harun and Yankee Kanka, but only FIVE of us were scheduled to make the journey to Bursa.
Then, surprise surprise, shock horror, Maniac Kanka jumps into the taxi with us and off we went to ASTI (the Bus Station) to catch the midnight express to Bursa.
We arrived in Bursa Bus Station at 5.30am just as the sun was coming up behind the mountains. Time for tea and borek (cheese pie) before heading into the city.
We took a gentle walk around the city admiring the sights and then Maniac Kanka came up with one of his brilliant ideas. Why don’t we walk up the winding road to the top of the city and take a ride on the ski lift ? Great idea, well ……. until we were half way up and still climbing, slightly out of breath – apart from me that is !
Eventually, we reached the top after over an hour on the hoof (Mountaineering Kanka Robbie would have been proud of us !), and ……….. no prizes for guessing the outcome.
It was bloody well closed wasn’t it !!
A few choice adjectives were directed at Maniac Kanka, but he saved himself from physical harm by buying the bus tickets for the journey back down again !
We headed into Ataturk Park, near the Stadium, for breakfast, washed down with some luvvlie Efes at 1030 am. A world record for the kankas perhaps ??
We then went to the Stadium one and a half hours early to savour the atmosphere and were lucky enough to see the Ankaragucu Team Bus arrive and give the players a warm welcome.
The Stadium is in a great location. With the huge Ataturk Park outside, and surrounded by mountains, it certainly is well positioned in this beautiful city. Slightly smaller than the Ankara 19 Mayis Stadium, it has a capacity of about 20,000.
As usual with these two ‘brother teams’ we were mostly all mixed together, and as the crowd built-up to full capacity, there was a ‘family atmosphere’ in the Stadium.
However, the most amazing aspect of the whole thing was the Bursa tribunes singing Ankaragucu chants and vice versa. Also, both teams were called to opposite tribunes to be applauded – even Bursa’s notorious Texas tribune responded. I defy anyone to tell me where in the world this happens !!
Things were pretty much evenly matched in the first 10 minutes or so until our midfield general, Ceyhun, had to leave the field injured. Metin replaced him, but with De Negris suspended, this left Jaba up front on his own, supported from midfield by the diminutive Semavi and the ineffective Murat Duruer. Also, Semavi came in for some crunching tackles from ‘old boy’ Kirita during the match.
Cue for Bursa to take control, which they did, and only 5 Star performances from Serkan, Santos and Boozy allowed us to go in at half time all square. To be fair, Metin and Semavi had long range efforts which brought out great saves from Ivankov and on another day they might have ended in the back of the net.
The second half was still all Bursa, but at least Ankaragucu were trying at attack to break the deadlock. At this stage, I would have been happy to take a point !
However, I suppose justice was done in the end. 20 minutes to go, and Bursa finally sussed out the Ankaragucu ‘achilles heel’. With El-Yasa absent from his usual left full back position, Bursa started to concentrate their attacks down the right wing.
From a flowing Bursa move, the ball was taken to the right wing goal line by the speedy Volkan Sen and cut back for the inrushing Sercan to slot it in with the defence nowhere and Serkan given no chance.
10 minutes later a carbon copy move saw an identical 2nd goal with the players in opposite positions and Sercan getting final touch this time. Both goals straight out of the training manual and a defender’s nightmare to deal with.
Game over, and more relegation woes for Ankaragucu in the run in. Only 7 matches left now to avoid the unthinkable – The Big Drop !
Back to Ataturk Park then to drown our sorrows, then back to the city centre to find a pub for pre-dinner drinks.
Then came the highlight of the evening. A genuine Iskender Kebab in the original restaurant in Unlu Sokak which gave its name to this delicious Turkish culinary delight.
Time to head the six exhausted bodies back to the Bus Station for the return journey. It was a bleary eyed 6 kankas who arrived back in Ankara at 5.30 am this morning !
Our opinion of Bursa-the-City and the weekend (apart from the footie) ? Brilliant !!
The future of Ankaragucu now rests in their own hands. Only a win next weekend (probably Sunday – details later) against Eskisehirspor will offer hope in what is undoubtedly a difficult run in. Let’s hope Ceyhun’s injury is not serious and that De Negris also returns to the line up !
PS ....... Thanks to Oz Kanka for posting the score prior to the report.
PPS ……. Some photos of the trip to Bursa will follow soon. (EDIT - done)
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim