Ankaragucu stomps Bucaspor
At the outset of his Ankaragucu-Bucaspor match preview, Bellshill Kanka Nadeem reminded us of the fact that "The last time the two clubs met, the game ended in a 0-0 draw in Izmir." There was also a 1-1 tie during the Turkish Cup, so while Buca doesn't look like much on paper, they have consistently been a thorn in our side.
For those interested in the numbers, they have only scored 25 goals all season and yet have eaten [using a Turkish expression that I love] 48, so basically they have been scored against about as often as we have and, yet, have scored about half as many goals as we have all season.
Despite their being one of the weaker teams in the league, a number of kanka's feared the worst for several reasons. First of all, we had not fared well against them all season. Secondly we knew they would put up quite a fight as every match is important to them if they hope to stay in the Superlig, and, finally, they had just recently defeated Antep which is the very powerful team we had just lost to. While all these worries did indeed make sense, these kankas need not have worried.
Ankaragucu 5 Bucaspor 3
After stopping by Maniac Kanka Harun's shop and betting Harun that Gucu would win this one (betting here is done by locking pinkies with eachother), I was off to the Beer Bus on the off chance someone else would be there. There was no one to be seen, so after grabbing a brew and a nosh, I was off to 19 May Stadium. It wasn't long before Yankee Kanka and Hussein arrived and then Ripoff Kanka Erman showed up.
Scanning the players warming up. It looked like we had Senecky, Uğur, Rajnoch, Aydın, Özgür, Adem, Gabriç, Kağan, Murat, Vittek, Doğan.
Even with many of our players absent due to either insult or injury, it still looked like a rather powerful lineup, but I was somewhat surprised that Güven was not back amongst them as Nadeem had read something that indicated he might be.
Scanning the stands, there appeared to be a good turn out in all the tribunes. Even Bucaspor was represented. Their numbers were not great (maybe forty or fifty) but their spirit impressive.
After the national anthem, things were off to a quick start. Within the first minute we had a corner, and within the first few minutes Buca were taking a free kick from a dangerous distance. The match went on like this for pretty much the entire ninety minutes.
We had a moment of peril when in the 14th minute a Buca corner nearly went in. Thanks to protection from Vittek's formidable frame, Senecky was able to smother the ball. This was clearly too precarious a position to remain in. We badly needed a goal.
And we got one. That goal game a few minutes later when, on a counter attack. Gabric raced down the right, entered the box and passed over the heads of friend and foe alike to have the ball land right in front of an onrushing Murat Duruer. Up one nil. Great feeling. All smiles in the stands.
We had our goal. Now it was time to go in for the kill, and we came at them with attack after attack after attack, but Buca put one in before we could extend our lead.
As Nadeem had predicted, Jebril the eighteen year old from Ghana had been giving us some trouble and then in the thirtieth minute took a shot from about 22 yards out. Senecky was screwed, because the shot was deflected off the back of another one of the Buca attackers. The deflection caught Senecky off balance, and despite lunging for it, the ball bounced slowly past him into the open goal. Score evened up at one all.
Both sides were firing with all guns at this point and we were dazzled by a string of goal mouth mêlées and balls ricocheting off posts, including a blast from Ozgur that would have taken off anyone's head had they gotten in the way.
Unfortunately, in the 45th minute, Musa Aydin, Buca's captain (and another one of the players that Nadeem warned us about) was fouled by our Aydin, Aydin Toscali just before entering the penalty area resulting in a yellow card for our Aydın and a free kick from about twenty yards out. The Izmir native and former Gencler player Erkan Taskiran took it. The ball curved around the Gucu wall, hit the inside of the post and found its way into the net behind an irate Senecky--beautiful even if you weren't a Buca fan.
So the first half ended with us down 1-2.
Buca looked strong as the second half began, but now it was our turn to score. Once again Murat led the way, this time with a lovely piece of scavenging. One of the Gucu players, perhaps Doğan, had come down the left and passed the ball into the box. Vittek managed to boot it into the air, but the Buca player next to him was able to get his head on it. The ball was once again in the air, and Vittek following its course, ran towards the other end of the box got control of it, kept it front of him as he pivoted and then fired a beautifully placed shot on the goal with his left foot. Buca's keeper Atilla lunged for it and was able to deflect it but was not able to hold it. It came off his hand a rolled quickly towards Murat who tucked it away with finesse. It was tied up at 2-2 now.
Now if we think back, I believe all of us can recall hearing Eski Kanka Jim's voice utter the words, "So, let me get the ball rolling and say that you have been too generous to Murat Duruer !! I'll give him ONE point for the ONE good pass he's made all season !!!!," or how bout this classic, "I was further affected by a wave of pessimism when Maniac Kanka told me that Murat Duruer was in the starting line-up ........ whaaaaaaaat ??!!," or even "Would Vittek's presence have made a difference to the result ? No, I doubt it ! However, if Umit Bey persists in playing Murat Duruer in his starting line-up I may decide not to buy a Kombine Ticket ...... that is, if we ever have the chance of buying one !!!" With this performance, for which the newspaper Hurriyet rewarded him with three points, perhaps even Eski will consider giving him another chance.
Fifty-five minutes into the match Ugur, who had entered the box from the right, was left lying on the ground after being hit by Erkan. The ref Cuneyt Cakır awarded Gucu a penalty kick. Vittek put it away cleanly and took his goal lap with arms outstretched as is his fashion. Ankaragucu were once again ahead. The score was 3-2
Unfortunately, Buca just would not let us relax and enjoy our lead. A mere three minutes later, Ankaragucu player (on loan to Buca) Ediz got his head on an incoming free kick tying it up yet again.
The attacking continued. Then in the seventy-second minute, Mesut the Messiah made the inspired decision to put Metin on in Doğan's place, and fourteen minutes later Murat lobbed the ball into the box to a waiting Ugur who headed it down. It wasn't immediately clear who would get to it first, but Metin Akan came in running like a locomotive and then sliding on his knees, so he could head the low ball into the goal--without a doubt, he grittiest goal of the match. Please, don't let me ever say anything negative about Metin. He's got balls the size of Diyarbakir watermelons.
In the eighty-eighth minute the ref, for no reason I could see, gave Vittek a yellow. Mesut, as we've seen in previously matches, doesn't like to risk keeping carded players on if he can help it and took Vittek off a minute later. As Vittek walked off, the crowd started chanting at the top of its lungs, "We love you, Vittek, we love you Vittek." He seemed pleased and warmly acknowledged our appreciation. Number 61, Twenty-four-year-old Trabzon native Ergin Keles came on in Vittek's place, and was fouled almost immediately by Ediz just outside the box.
Ozgur took the free kick from about twenty-five yards out and put it right into the upper right-hand corner. He was pumped, and so were we. The match pretty much ended at that point with the beautiful score of 5-3 shining down on us from the scoreboard.
The squad made their rounds. Somehow a young kid had gotten on the pitch and Rajnoch, who always seems to have a soft spot for the little ones, gave the kid his jersey.
Yankee and Hussein had already left, but Erman and I started to leave at this point. Kinda wish I hadn't as apparently Melih Gokcek had dancers dressed in huge Ankara cat costumes dancing the local misket dance. Like this clip but there most have been at least twelve "cats" out there. Some fans had gotten onto the pitch and were waving their gucu scarves around while dancing with the giant cats.
In retrospect, it is hard to think of a better day out, especially when you consider that the tickets only cost four little lira (aprox. $2.50 US).
Erman and I headed back to the Beer Bus where, as expected, we found Jim looking sharp, all decked out in his jacket and tie from the conference he had been at. However, quite unexpectedly, we found him in the company of his lovely daughter Laura who was there visiting from Scotland.
Shortly afterwards we also had the company of two friends of mine Yoel and Ibrahim who are also Ankaragucu fans, but do not yet have kanka names. I hope to remedy this soon.
Next week, we will be away to Istanbul B.B.S. This is sure to be a tough match. I look forward to Bellshill Kanka Nadeem's pre-match report. A presto a tutti.