Genclerbirligi 2 - 2 Trabzonspor
What a lovely evening. The cold weather that hit us during the bayram has dissapeared and it was a good turnout at the Chopin for Friday night's 2-2 draw with Trabzon.
As for that turnout, German was the second most popular language at the table with Lanky Kanka Jorg, Alpine Kanka Wolgang, his son Christoph and Robbie all babbling away with Ilker, Eskisehir Onur (who was in town for the weekend) and your good correspondent not having a clue what was being said. Strangely enough Flying Dutchman Kanka understood everything, even though he can't speak German... I credit the Efes.
Off to the match and I had to hang around to give Oguz a ticket and so got in five minutes late. Just about to sit down and the first touch of the ball I saw was the final kick that saw Trabzon go one up.
A depressing start and it wasn't long later that Gencler lazily lost the ball and Trabzon launched a great attack to go two ahead. The Trabzon fans were taunting us and quite frankly I could have curled up and fallen asleep. Our play was atrocious. Hardly a single pass was sticking. Balls were being kicked straight at Trabzon players and in defence we were too slow at closing down their forwards. Dreadful really.
Then something happened... we started playing... and playing well. Harbuzi got the first goal at about 30 minutes in thanks to a great pass from Mustafa Pektemek. Us Gencler fans finally had something to sing about (as you can see in the video posted below).
The rest of the half was pretty much all Gencler. A couple of near misses but at half time the general mood amongst the Gencler smokers huddled near the toilets was that we could grab this game.
Second half and both Harbuzi and Pektemek were taken off, with Hursit and Bilal coming on. It was the same replacement strategy that Thomas Doll used in the game against Ankaragucu last week. I have a feeling that Doll isn't happy with the fitness of either of them.
Hursit came on to great applause. The man is fast becoming my favourite player. Not due to any particular genius on his part but because he provides great entertainment. If I had to sum him up I'd say he is absolutely bursting with the confidence of a Maradona and the ability of an Eski Kanka Jim going for the double 20 after 23 beers.
Hursit set up the second goal against Ankaragucu last week and at times last night it looked like he could easily set up one for us once again. Instead we got some laughs out of the man. One nice one was when a ball was played to him in the air, he turned around - probably hoping to make a run - and instead the ball whacked him in the back of the head. Another time was a great header to stop the ball from going out of play. Only hassle was he was over the touch line at the time.
Still it was his confidence that got us the freekick that resulted in our second goal. Anyone else just outside the box would have been looking for someone to pass to... not our Hursit! He decided to go through his markers and was tripped up.
Bilal stood to take the free kick and for a long time Hursit was free at the edge of the box. Luckily someone from Trabzon twigged and ran in to mark him. Otherwise Bilal would have passed to Hursit and then God only knows what laughs may have ensued. Instead Bilal had a shot himself and we drew level.
The last 10 minutes or so was all Gencler but the winning goal just wouldn't come. The biggest chance lost was when Sandro sent a ball wide that really should have been in the back of the net.
Match over and back to Kizilay for more beers with the Alkaralar fans. The general mood... very, very upbeat. In Thomas Doll we might finally have a coach who can do something with the team.