Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Ankaragucu is now on course for heading southward, and I don't mean to Antalya ! On last night's performance against an average Sivas team they are assuredly favourites for the Big Drop into the Bank Asya League !
As I mentioned in my previous report, the team do not have a recognised striker, and no matter what Ziya Bey does to juggle his attacking formation, it can't be solved. Also, the defensive frailties at defending dead-balls and corners returned last night, and only the heroics of Ozden saved Ankaragucu from a thrashing.
Ankaragucu 1 Sivasspor 2
We met up at The Chopin (Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Maniac Kanka Harun, Vegetarian Kanka John, Josh, who was attending his first match in Turkey, and I). Off to the Stadium where we were joined by Huso Kanka. Gecikondu was full as usual and in good voice, Maraton was about half full and there was a small contingent from Sokak, all in all, not a bad attendance for a Thursday evening match.
The Team -
Ugur, Rajnoch, Aydin and Murat
Weeks, Hurriyet, Kagan and Ozgur
Tonia and Ergin
Substitutes used - Turgut, Gokhan and Ediz
Ankaragucu was straight into attack mode and they almost scored after 5 minutes when Tonia back-heeled a pass to Ergin but his shot was cleared for a corner. Sivas weathered the early Storm and the match swung from end-to-end.
On the 16th minute mark the usual song rang out from Maraton for Bursaspor, but Gecikondu did their best to whistle it down in protest against the move of Sestak and Adem. More of this later !
20 minutes gone and Sivas was coming into the match more and almost scored but for a great save from (my Man of the Match AGAIN) Ozden. The ball rebounded off him and the 2nd effort was cleared off the line.
Then on the half hour mark we had that feeling of deja vu when Navratil rose above the Ankaragucu defenders to head in from a free kick. A copy of the Besiktas goals and perhaps Sivas did their homework on the Ankaragucu 'Achilles heel' ?!
Ankaragucu persevered for the remainder of the half but their continual habit of lofting high balls up to the strikers were easily swallowed up by the tall Sivas defenders (don't they ever watch clips of Barcelona bringing the ball out of defence and try to copy this tactic ??!!).
Half time and I have to confess I was fearing the worst. However, 5 minutes into the 2nd half and the equaliser arrived. Some neat close passing on the left and the ball was squared to 'unsung hero' Kagan who first-timed a swerving shot into the corner. It should have been a wake-up call, but Sivas had other ideas.
Ozden was becoming the busiest players on the field and made numerous saves in the 2nd half to deny Sivas who were controlling the tempo of the match. So, it was no surprise when they took the lead again with 15 minutes to go.
Ankaragucu was caught out pushing too many players forward and this gave Sivas the chance for a fast break-away with Ankaragucu defenders scurrying to get back. Ozden spotted the danger and ran out to intercept Rasmussen and succeeded in reaching the ball at the same time as Rasmussen shot for goal. Unfortunately, the ball rebounded off Ozden and over his head and into the goal.
Ankaragucu battled hard to find another equaliser and there was no doubting their effort and will. However, it was like banging your head against a brick wall with the Sivas defence putting up the shutters.
In my opinion, this Ankaragucu team just doesn't have the ability or perhaps the belief for the challenges that now lie ahead !
5 minutes to go and we kankas left the Stadium. Not in disgust I may add, but for our safety. Gecikondu and Maraton started throwing insults at each other and saying things which I can't print here to save the blushes of any of our female readers. It was getting quite nasty and we were thinking that it might develop into a fully blown battle similar to the one which occurred at the Istanbul BBS match a few years ago. Better safe than sorry we thought !
I am not sure what will happen on Sunday at the Ankara Derby when both tribunes will occupy the 'away' end. A very good reason for us to watch the match in Kapali me thinks ?!
With Ankaragucu's abysmal record against Gencler over the past few seasons we can only hope that the defence can hold out for a 0-0 draw. However, and to be realistic, Ankaragucu may be propping up the League next Sunday at 10pm ! Here's hoping that I have to eat my words !!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim