13 September 2009
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Ankara Ondokuz Mayis Stadyumu
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23' D. Kaya
45' U. Karan
With Oz Kanka off to Greece to make his mark in International cricket with the Turkish cricket team, I was left in charge of doling out the season tickets at the Chopin bar prior to the match. At around six o'clock I made my way to Sakarya from Çayyolu passing through Eskisehir. I noticed the Eskisehirspor fans by the side of the road, getting ready to travel to the 19 Mayis Stadium under the watchful eye of the Ankara police. They were in high spirits judged by the cheers and signing and in passing I thought to myself that they were quite the rowdy bunch, not knowing then that I was going to be proven right about this just a few hours later. I was to meet with Sinan from Istanbul at the Chopin bar but unfortunately his meeting in Ankara ran late and he had sent me an e-mail saying he would go directly to the stadium. Unfortunately Sinan, I only saw your e-mail when I returned home after the match; sorry to have missed you.
Arriving at the Chopin bar I was met by Lanky Kanka Jörg and Minnas Kanka Uwe. After beers, Raki and having discussed the Dutch league, German league, the postponed match of Ankaraspor and European football we left at 8.30 to the stadium. Arriving at the stadium with 15 minutes to spare to get into the grounds both Jörg and Uwe headed for the protocol section and I found myself for the first time going to the match without another single kanka joining me. Well that was until half-time when I finally found Dan the Man in the stands. For the last few home matches I have found the security has loosened considerably since being carried out by a private security company. I first had to show my season ticket until I was at the turnstile giving access to the stands; noting it is was manned by one person only. Inside there was no frisking but just a gentle sweep with a metal detector and I got in just before the national Anthem. If anything I found the security a bit lax and I guess this was demonstrated by the flare incident after Eskisehirspor's first goal.
After a minute of silence for flood victims the match got underway with the Eskisehirspor supporters being as loud as ever. My eye was drawn to Orhan who continuously sought depth with his passes creating danger in the Eskisehirspor defence and leading to El Saka's first yellow card in the twelfth minute. At the 21st minute mark Kahe gets the ball from Burhan at the edge of the box and bounces it into Orhan who again plays it deep to Burhan who meanwhile made the goal line passing it back to Kahe who shoots from the turn… GOOOAAL! Great shot in by Kahe! But our one-goal-up was only short lived when Kaya makes the equaliser only two minutes later. The events followed each other in such quick succession that I was not able to see the goal. Looking at the television highlights it was quite a cannonball that left Serdar without a chance. The Eskisehirspor fans burst into celebrations with one of them igniting a flare. In my opinion the police then over-reacted trying to find the culprit thereby making the emotions of the Eskisehirspor fans "flare" up which resulted in chairs being thrown. How can one bring a flare into the stadium? Was I right in saying earlier that a gentle sweep with a metal detector is too lax in terms of security? I let you be the judge of that. Ten minutes later Kahe leads the attack where we have two attackers against two defenders, he passes it wide but unfortunately it is ruled off-side. In the extra time of the first half Karan scores the second goal for Eskisehirspor.
During half time about six to seven Ankaragücü fans run amok in the marathon section and the police escort them out of the stadium. Cue… this is when Dan the Man shows up and we get ready to watch the second half together.
In the 47th minute Eskisehirspor is dangerously close to getting a third goal in what is a big scrum in front of Serdar's goal but he makes a very good safe. Ten minutes later Burhan get the ball outside the box and sets up a one-two with Kahe who gets fouled by El Saka. Second yellow card and El Saka gets send to the showers. The free kick awarded is taken by Kahe and taking a deflection gets us our second goal, making the score level. It is from this point onwards Dan and I discuss that the Gençlerbirliği coach Thomas Doll, well at least in my eyes, is making a tactical error. With 30 minutes on the clock we play against a team with ten man yet we keep four defenders at the back throughout the remainder of the match. Why? The moment your opponent comes down to ten man you need to re-evaluate the team, see what changes the other coach makes in his team and adapt yours. We whole heartedly should have pressed on for that third goal. An opportunity missed I think. The longer it takes to get the extra goal the more the opponent starts believing in the draw.
The end of the match and there is five minutes extra time. Eskisehirspor is stalling for time with one of their players feigning an injury; they play the ball over the side-line. Gençlerbirliği taking the throw-in and not returning the ball to Eskisehirspor sets off a row between the players of both teams. Again chairs fly in the away section. Kocabey, Kaya and Burhan all get the yellow card for misconduct. The referee doesn't add extra time for the delaying tactics of Eskisehirspor and the match ends in yet another draw. I agree with Dan that we should have pressed on earlier the moment Eskisehirspor went down one man. A win was on the cards but it was not to be. Is Gençlerbirliği back to drawing games again?