Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Ankaragucu waited until the last 10 minutes of the match last night before they 'woke up' and played their 'Get out of Jail Card'. My guess is that Hikmet Karaman will be giving them extra training this week as a punishment !
ANKARAGUCU 1 Manisaspor 1
It was business as usual in the Chopin Bar last night when we met up. Lots of optimism and predictions of a 3-0 win for Ankaragucu. Typical start of the season hype which we all enjoy falling into !!
Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Kaleci Kanka Tansu and I welcomed Clueless Kankie Vicki back into the fold after a long absence from Ankara. Also, her friend Peru Kanka David was there for his first Ankaragucu match.
Off to the Stadium then where we met up with Maniac Kanka Harun, his brother Taksi Driver Kanka and his sweet daughter Angel Kankie Hazal.
The moment I was waiting for came and we held our breath as Serkan came out to warm-up with the team. Relief ....... Gecikondu and Maraton called him over for a round of applause and all was forgiven. Thank God for that !
Ankaragucu lined up without the suspended Santos as follows -
Serkan, Cihan, El-Yasa, Padilha and Kaan.
Semavi, Barbaros, Sosibo and Ceyhun.
Iglesias and Vassell.
Substitutes Henderson, Ufuk and Metin were all used in the 2nd half.
The teams went in at half time all square at 0-0. It was an end-to-end first period with Ceyhun and Vassell going close a few times and Manisa belying their reputation as whipping dogs.
Some of last season's weaknesses surfaced again with Ankaragucu's passing woeful at times. Also, the defence hit the panic button too many times with wild clearances and the sooner Santos returns to control the defence the better !
So, going in at half time 0-0 was a relief and I was wondering when Ankaragucu was going to wake-up and put the impressive Manisa defence under pressure.
More of the same in the 2nd half and I was thinking how many times we conceded goals last season from breakaways when it happened. Pushing forward to break the deadlock is all very well, but there must be cover to prevent breakaways - basic footie tactics me thinks ?!
Manisa stiker Simpson received what I thought was a harsh red card for a foul on El-Yasa on 70 minutes. OK, it was a foul, but I believe the referee was swayed by the reaction of the crowd and Ankaragucu players in bringing out RED.
So, open the floodgates and here come the goals ? Wrong !
All credit to Manisa for not changing their game plan. They kept coming at Ankaragucu and their breakaways were looking more dangerous as Ankaragucu kept up their pressure, and it was from one of those breakaways that Manisa opened the scoring with a simple tap-in from Isaac (remember him ???!!!) with 10 minutes to go.
Cue ..... wake up call ! Ankaragucu was looking a different team now and totally dominated the final 10 minutes. How many of us said .... why couldn't they play like that for 90 minutes ??!! That's a question for Hikmet Bey to answer !
With the clock on 90 minutes, and constant Ankaragucu pressure, the equaliser came. A goalmouth melee, the ball wasn't cleared for once, and it fell nicely for Vassell. Whack ! The net bulged and everyone started singing and dancing again. Actually, it was more like relief !! I believe, on the balance of play for the entire match, we just about deserved an equaliser and thanks to Vassell for getting us out of jail !
Men of the match ..... Vassell, not just for his goal, but he didn't stop running and tracking back when disposessed. Also, the South African Sosibo showed some nice touches until he tired near the end. Semavi was all huff and puff and lots of his passes went astray. He also needs to put his foot on the ball sometimes. Last week's hero, Ceyhun, had a quiet game by his standards. As for the defence, grrrrrrrr..... come back soon Santos !
Away to 'brother team' Bursa next weekend. Not another draw please - a win is required !! Venezuela Kanka Rom mentioned he might be at that match. If so, we can expect an eye witness report from him.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim