Monday, August 20, 2012

Gencler wobble but end up fighting through

Victory this evening was certainly deserved but there is no way that I can say that we were brilliant, or even that it was a comfortable win. What was brilliant about it was the way the crowd got behind the team when we were down, the way the team never gave up, and, probably most important, the way Gencler look like being a truly united team. The scenes after the final whistle were great to behold. Fuat Capa is really looking like the kind of coach who can really weld together disparate personalities. All augers well.

Post match celebrations. Photo courtesy of @kirmizikara on Twitter

Genclerbirligi 3 - 1 Antalyaspor

It's the middle of August. It is summer. This is the time for swimming, cricket, complaining about water cuts. It is not the time for football. So it was that I grabbed Little Oz Kanka and reluctantly headed off to the Beer Bus where we were joined by a new Kanka, Matt, and his old man Bruce. Oguz showed up a bit later and we all reluctantly had a beer or two.    

Having got our chewing gum to mask any signs we may have partaken in some amber fluid we were shocked when entering the stadium when the boys in blue indicated that we had a problem in the boot of Oguz's car. In between various scuba diving equipment were a couple of bottles of spirits.

I had no idea that an airport style "no liquids" policy was in place at the 19 Mayis car park (let me repeat, this is at the entrance of the car park, not the stadium itself). Oguz tried to reason with our police friend but it was clear that reason would never enter the head of one of Ankara's finest.

The conversation (this is approximate because a: it was in Turkish and I only understood part of it and b: I've made most of it up, not too much though).

Us: "The booze will be staying in the boot."
Copper: "Sorry you can't have alcohol in a car"
Us: "We aren't taking it into the stadium."
Copper: "Sorry you can't have alcohol in a car"
Us: "So what can we do with it?"
Copper: "You can leave and park outside the car park"
Us: "But we are in the car park because we want to park the car"
Copper: "Sorry you can't have alcohol in a car"
Us: "Can we leave the booze with you and get it after the match?"
Copper: "No. But you can leave it in the rubbish bin conveniently positioned right next to me. You can then take it after the match."

Booze was then placed in the bin and off to the match we went.

Got in just in time for the national anthem and was pleasantly surprised to see that despite most of Ankara being away for the bayram and the rest listening in to the closing stages of the third test between England and South Africa we had a decent crowd. Maraton was pretty full... well it wasn't as empty as I was expecting and the young kids from the Genclerbirligi school were out in force at the Kapalı section.

A cagey start and it wasn't long before Antalya looked like scoring. In the end a cross hit the crossbar but it was a little bit disturbing. A couple more attacks but Gencler didn't seem too rattled. In the crowd though we were getting a bit restless. First home match of the season... attack you buggers!

Then came a very weird decision against our keeper Ramazan. A foul for having thrown the ball whilst being outside the area. It certainly didn't look like he was outside the area, but in the end Tita sent the free kick out.

We started to put the pressure on but there wasn't much happening and then it seemed certain we had a penalty with the Antalya goalkeeper taking Zec out. It looked certain to me but it wasn't given. Yet again I went back to biting my nails. I look forward to seeing the replays of that one.

Half time and ... er... not the best football, but I guess we were slightly ahead.

Us fans were still in good voice and it was clear that the Gencler players were trying but it was Antalya which scored first in the 60-something minute after Azo clearly fouled one of their players. The free kick was well taken and met by the head of someone-or-other and Antalya were one up. How many bloody times have I felt this kick to the guts?

With not that much time on the clock Gencler go for it, and obviously Antalya tried to slow down play.

Azofeifa took a corner which went straight to an unmarked Oktay and then in. The crowd goes up. This is a match we can win. A full 81 minutes gone and all is on.

Just two minutes later with the crowd roaring them on Oktay got a lovely pass in the box through to Zec who had to merely tap it in. In the lead now and all is good.

90th minute and an amazing four minutes of extra time was added. God knows why so many.

Hursut almost got another after bamboozling his opponent but managing to send the shot just wide and then, deep into extra time, Zec takes control of the ball just outside the box, aims, shoots, then does a somersault after seeing the goal awarded. In the stands, we are all hugging each other.

And that was that. We had won and the team came over to the stands dancing the halay.

After the match our coach Fuat Capa told reporters:

"We did our work, us on the field, our supporters in the stands," Capa said. I'd like to thank our fans who came despite it being the bayram. From the first minute they gave us great help."

One down, 33 matches to go. No one, I repeat no one, can stop us from finishing ninth this year.

Oh yes, checked out the rubbish bin after the match and... the booze was still there. Time for a quick snifter.

UPDATE It seems that this year Digiturk have finally woken up to the idea that if you don't want your match highlights put up on Youtube, you had better put them up at least on your own website. So, here are the highlights  


  1. Great 1st paragraph about the booze 'problem'. Must admit I scrolled direct to the end to find out if the booze had 'disappeared'. Whew ..... that was a miracle !!

    Great result. It's 3 points and Gencler eased Akhisar off top spot.

    Looking good, but let's not get carried away. We've all been here before. Let's see Gencler take some points off the Big 5 before we talk about League positions.

    Away to Akhisar next week. Will Akhisar's bubble burst ??!!

  2. well done gencler, good result and good start to the season