Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Yes, but ..............
ANKARAGUCU 2 Kasimpasa 2
Remember the late great Bill Shankley, the Liverpool Manager ? He was the one who kept stating the obvious .... the game of footie is for 90 plus minutes, and how many times did Liverpool prove that to opponesnts in their heyday under Shanks ?!
This is one of the basic errors being made by Ankaragucu and so it proved again yesterday when they took their foot off the gas for most of the 2nd half in the assumption that 1-0 was enough to see-off Kasimpasa.
The kankas met up in The Chopin - Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Connect Kanka Steve, Phillie Kanka Jamie, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Noojoysay Kankie Natalie, Sweet Mini Kankie Kate, Arizona Cowboy Kanka Charlie and yours truly.
The 'Indian Summer' weather brought out a big crowd and we were lucky to find seats in Maraton. Jackets had to come off in this unusually warm November sunshine ! Lots of singing from all the tribunes, who like us, obviously expected a comfortable win, especially with our first choice strike force in the starting line-up for the first time.
Koray, Ediz, Broggi, and Brabec
Hurriyet, Barbaros and Adem
Vassell and Meye
2nd half substitutes used - Murat, Emre and Konate
It was not an auspicious start at the kick-off when Ceyhun passed the ball to the referee, but that was a sign of things to come for him on a rare off-day !
However, Ankaragucu was quickly into their stride and had Kasimpasa back-pedalling for most of the first half.
Vassell had a great chance to open the scoring after 10 minutes when the ball was crossed from the left wing to the unmarked Vassell at the back post. Unfortunately he headed over when it looked simpler to head the ball down and into the unguarded corner of the goal.
Ankaragucu was passsing the ball around in fine style and mouting waves of attacks but it just wouldn't happen for them. Then, with time running out before the half time whistle, Koray made the break through. Again the cross from the left and the unmarked in-rushing Koray showed Vassell how it should be done with a powerful header.
So, lots of happy smiling faces at half time and we were all licking our lips in anticipation of more goals to come.
Yes, but ............... NOT from Kasimpasa ....... grrrrrrrr !!
All credit to them though for coming out in the 2nd half and having a go at Ankaragucu.
Ankaragucu passes started to go astray and Kasimpasa began to win more tackles and more possession in midfield from the sloppy Ankaragucu midfield and defence.
Senecky was irritating the hell out of me with his speculative high balls to Vassell and Meye which were being swallowed-up by the Kasimpasa defence. Also, his handling was not too confident and there appeared to be a lack of communication with his defenders which caused a few scares during the match. Time for Serkan to return PDQ me thinks !!
The arrival of the Kasimpasa goals were therefore not surprising and they were not flukes either.
The first from Gokhan was a long range shot which arguably could have been saved. The second was an unusual goal, but if Moritz meant it, then it was brilliant. The cross from the left which seemed to be covered by Senecky, but he didn't expect the back header which looped over his head and flew into the net.
Stunned silence for a few minutes, the cue for Ankaragucu to wake up !!!
Better late than never I thought !
It was all Ankaragucu now in the last 10 minutes of the match which saw them camped inside the Kasimpasa half. Corner kick followed corner kick until the dying minutes when Meye poked in the equaliser when he pounced on a loose ball in a goalmouth melee.
Relief ? Yes, but if we had been blowing hot for bloody 90 plus minutes there would have been no need for Ankaragucu to scramble in a goal to save a match which should have been won much earlier !
My Man of the Match was the busy bee, Hurriyet, who didn't stop running, which was just as well with Ceyhun having an off-day. In fact he almost scored near the end with a fierce shot which Tolga did well to tip over the bar.
So, as I said, a disappointing performance in the 2nd half and something which Hikmet Bey needs to rectify over the next 2 weeks in the training ground and, dare I say it, in the classroom !
Ankaragucu's next match is away to Eskisehirspor on 22 November and a few of the kankas will be making the journey there on the Hizli Tren (High Speed Train). Looking for a 90 plus minute performance from the team to give us cause for celebration in Eskisehir's many pleasant watering holes !
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim