A perfect night for football. The weather was a little chilly but the recent snowfalls haven't done much to bugger up the pitch at the 19 Mayis Stadium (anyone remember the bogs that we had to play in usually at this time of year?).
I'm getting ahead of myself. As usual for derby matches the Ankaragucu and Gencler kankas joined up for pre-match drinks at the Beer Bus with neither set of supporters feeling all that confident; After all, this was 13th versus 14th.
So for Genclerbirligi was myself, Little Oz Kanka, Flying Dutchman, Dan the Man and daughter Delia in tow. For Gucu there was, of course, Sir Eski along with German exchange student Fabio, Maniac Kanka and Caricature Kanka.
We went our separate ways and the match was on.
Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Ankaragucu
This wasn't a match of two halves, it was a match of 10 minute periods, where one side seemed to be in total control and then seemingly give the ball to the other and say "your turn".
It didn't take long for the Ankaragucu fans to start itching for a fight. A group of around 150 Gucu supporters were sitting next to us in Maraton and it was about the 10th minute that insults started flying at us. Nothing kicked off but I did move Little Oz Kanka away from the scene for a few minutes. I should add that this is the first time I've ever had to do this.
Later on it was clear that the Ankaragucu lot near us were Gokcek supporters when they started shouting anti-Cemal Aydin chants.
Gencler started out better taking control of the match but they seemed to be content to pass it around themselves until finally someone got bored and had a shot. Needless to say these sorts of shots from Orhan and Hursut from 30 metres out either went flying away or straight to the keeper.
It was testing stuff for us supporters and then right at the death of half time Ankaragucu pulled it off. Some bad defence left Sapara unmarked on the edge of the box. He struck it well and left the Gencler keeper Ozkan with no chance.
Even if they hadn't scored I would have given higher marks to Ankaragucu for the half. They just seemed a a couple of paces faster and our defence was... mmm... just a bit slow. For those Aussies following here, Jedinak came back from injury and started the match but seemed a bit out of sorts.
Second half was similiar to the first except that this time both teams had great chances denied, or stuffed up.
But first was a wonderful goal in the 61st from Oktay who headed in a perfect cross from Hursut.
Ankaragucu really should have gone ahead not long later but managed to fluff some quite basic stuff. I particularly remember the Ankaragucu No. 7 in front of goal and completely missing the ball. This was hair-pulling stuff.
Patiyo, who came on the Jedinak, had a great shot stopped by the Gucu keeper and then in stoppage time Oktay had a shot that missed by THIS MUCH.
Not a bad match. Not a brilliant match and with it the standing in the group stage of the Turkish Cup are:
Buca: played 2 - 6 points
Gucu: played 2 - 4 points
Gencler: played 1 - 1 point
Yeni Malatayaspor: played 1 - 0 points
Fenerbahce:: played 2 - 0 points
The top two go through to the knockout stage
So into a taxi, dropped off the other Gencler kankas in Kizilay and then the bloody thing breaks down on a hill. Little Oz Kanka and I had to walk the last 15 minutes or so. I'll never catch a Tofas taxi again.