ANKARAGUCU'S 2nd HALF WAKE-UP CALL NOT ENOUGH !
Photo from last week prior to Manisa match. Our much loved Head Waiter in The Chopin Bar, Ismail, having a love-in with Eski Kanka. We forgive him for supporting Beshiktrash because ....... his 2nd favourite team is ........ Hibernian !!!
Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
It was all eyes glued to the TV screen today with pictures from the half full Sanliurfa Gap Arena bathed in sunshine and a hundred or so Fanatik Gecikondu Boyz there making their presence felt and …. heard !
Unfortunately, it was not to be Ankaragucu's day !
Sanliurfaspor 3 Ankaragucu 2
Gokhan, Orhan, Umit, Aytac, Mehmet, Serkan, Mert, Bilal, Gokhan, Hasan and Timur.
The match started at a fast pace and Urfa was looking dangerous. 'Olde Boy', Tonia Tisdell, in particular was showing the skill and pace which he showed last season for Ankaragucu and he was causing all sorts of problems for the Ankaragucu defence.
In the 7th minute he was put through but only a brave save at his feet prevented a goal. Tonia was adjudged to have left his foot in and was shown a yellow. A harsh decision in my opinion. He is not, and has never been, malicious.
3 minutes later it was Tonia again who nipped in smartish between two Ankaragucu defenders but luckily he skied the ball when it would have been too easy to side foot it in.
Then on the half hour mark Ankaragucu made their only serious attempt on goal in the 1st half when they scored an offside goal. A cross came into the box from a free kick and a weak header was sent in, but a 2nd Ankaragucu attacker took a 2nd header and scored, but he was clearly offside.
5 minutes later and Urfa went in front. A cross came in from the right to No88 lurking unmarked on the left. He headed a great cross into the centre for Kivanc to sort of bundle the the ball in with the defence nowhere ! There was a strong suspicion of offside against Kivanc, but perhaps the linesman on the right wing was suffering from heat exhaustion and didn't have the strength to raise his flag ! Actually, it was bloody obvious that it was offside !!!
5 minutes to the interval and the goal had Urfa playing with even more confidence and giving Ankaragucu the run-around.
Then, in the dying minutes of the half an innocuous looking penalty was awarded to Urfa when an Ankaragucu defender attempting to clear the ball, kicked the leg of an Urfa player who made a meal of going down in agony. The referee obviously didn't think this one through before blowing !
Koray stepped up to take it and struck a poor penalty. However, it was still going in but well saved by Gokhan nevertheless.
Half time and it has to be said that Ankaragucu didn't really threaten. It was an all round lethargic 1st half performance which handed Urfa the initiative to take control of the match. Perhaps Ankaragucu was pacing themselves because of the heat ?! It was 36C in Ankara today, so God knows what the temperature was down in the South East of Turkey !
Dare I say ….... a game of two halves ??? Anyway, Ankaragucu came out looking hungier and a piece of good luck turned the match around.
5 minutes in and the Urfa goalkeeper made a hash of a clearance straight to Gokhan who strode forward and crossed from the right for Serkan to make a looping header over the stranded goalkeeper and tie things up at 1-1.
Game on I was thinking.
3 minutes later and Captain Mert (the outstanding Ankaragucu player this week and previous weeks) was replaced by Muhammed. Must have been an injury and not tactical.
Ankaragucu had stepped up a gear and not before time ! However, Urfa was still in it. A scary moment occurred on 59 minutes when a cross from the right came in. Gokhan went up for it and dropped the ball at the feet of an Urfa attacker who snatched at it and sent it just past the post. One minute later an inviting pin-point cross came over from Tonia but Kivanc blasted over when all he had to do was touch it in.
Straight from the clearance, Ankaragucu went in front for the first and only time of the match. Gokhan was put through the middle and he coolly stroked the ball into the corner. Cue …. Gecikondu Boyz upped the volume !
Was this the turning point of the match ? Aaaahemmm …..... NO ! 9 minutes later Urfa's equaliser arrived from a great cross from the right and and equally well directed great header which had Gokhan well beaten.
15 minutes to go and all square. However, another stupid piece of defending gave Urfa another penalty. An Urfa break down the right and some nice footwork from Serkan when he slipped the ball around the Ankaragucu defender and was about to round him to chase the ball to the touchline when he was pulled back. A totally unnecessary foul with the ball probably going out !
This time Serdar took it and made no mistake from the spot giving Gokhan no chance.
There was no way back for Ankaragucu now with the team running out of ideas and steam !
Tonia almost made it 4 but Gokhan got down to smother what was a real chance and then at the death, Gokhan made another brave save at the feet of an Urfa attacker after Tonia had put him through.
It would be easy to say that Ankaragucu should have retreated and shut-up-shop after going ahead, but Urfa is not the type of team to give up easily after going behind. They dug deep and kept pressing forward.
Also, I have to say that Timur was a big disappointment up front. He ran around like a headless chicken and was dispossessed too easily all through the match. Perhaps Sinan should be given a start next week with Timur on the bench ?!
So, in summary, I think a draw would have been a fair result, but when you are at the bottom of the league you have to make your own luck, and goal opportunities count. Dubious penalty awards are part and parcel of football and Ankaragucu must shrug this match off and concentrate on winning next Sunday against Kartal for …... THREE points ….... and ….... NADEEM !!!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim