Sunday, December 09, 2012

Ankaragucu turn over a new (tea) leaf. Ankaragucu 2 Caykur Rizespor 1

I had just had lunch with my wife and in-laws, and it was now time to head to the stadium for what was hopefully not going to be another loss. I hailed a cab, and all was going well until we hit Ataturk Blvd. where the traffic was backed up.

Fortunately my Ankara born and bred cabby was a good conversationalist and I listened to his ideas about people in Ankara supporting Istanbul teams, about the differences between Gencler and Ankaragucu fans, and about the differences between the Inner-Anatolian dialect of Turkish versus other dialects.

By the time we reached the stadium I realized I was going to miss the beginning of the match. So I hurried to the ticket both where upon arriving some middle-aged, bearded fan in a panic pushed ahead of me in line and then scampered off with his ticket in one hand and his piece of cardboard (to cover the dirty seats) in the other.

I got my ticket and sprinted for the gate, passing my bearded friend along the way. As I went through the turnstile, I worried about two things: one, that the police doing the pat down would take my pen off me, and the other was that when I emerged from the short tunnel that I would look up and see that Rize had already scored.

Both of my worries were unfounded, and when I looked up and read the scoreboard a huge smile spread across my face. Not only were we not down, but we had actually scored in the first five minutes of the match. I quickly learned from one of my fellow fans that our midfielder Bilal had scored the goal off one hell of a throw in from 25 Gurkan.

Hakemler: Kuddusi Müftüoğlu, Ömer Faruk Yeşil, Baki Yiğit
Ankaragücü: Bayram , Aytaç , Volkan , Ümit , Mehmet Taşçı , Gürkan , Bilal , Kaan  (Dk. 86 Hasan ), Timur, Gökhan Erdoğan  (Dk. 88 Enes ), Sinan (Dk. 66 Mehmet Nayir )
Çaykur Rizespor: Loriya , Orhan  (Dk. 72 Fahri ), Serhat , Sezer , Onur , Abdullah , Cumali , Caner  (Dk. 46 Mehmet ), Kenan , Ahmet, Erhan  (Dk. 65 Çağrı)
Goller: Dk. 3 Bilal, Dk. 58 Gökhan Erdoğan (Ankaragücü), Dk. 90+2 Fahri (Çaykur Rizespor)
Sarı kartlar:Bilal, 89 Ümit (Ankaragücü)

As soon as I found my seat, I messaged Eski Kanka Jim (who was stuck at work) with the good news. His response was "make it two."

Easier said than done. Not that Rize were really threatening in any way. Weakened by the absence of their two dangermen Kalu and Jallow, every shot they took was off target, and our defense was as thirsty as Eski Kanka Jim with a bottle of Efes in front of him. Our captain Ümit Kurt in particular was soaking up everything that came his way. With his imposing frame he seemed to win every ball in the air and  was consistently able to muscle the ball away  from Rize on the ground. My vote for man of the match.

A hard decision though because a number of our other players were also superb. 07 Kaan Kanak caught my attention when he somehow managed to insert himself between the ball and the attacking player to which it was seemingly attached. He then proceeded to wrestle it away and clear it from our half all without even the hint of a foul. He sustained this level of play for all ninety minutes.

And then there was 10 Timur who appeared to be everywhere. His speed and endurence are impressive even if nothing concrete came of it in the first half which ended with the same 1-0 score that I had seen when entering.

During halftime, some of the young fans in one of the groups sitting in Marathon climbed behind the uppermost seats and mocked the Rize (which is lies on the Black Sea Coast) fans with their imitations of Black Sea dancing and hollering.

Apparently, some of the slightly less juvenile AG fans in their group took offense at this antagonizing of our opponents' fan groups Rotasızlar and Mekansızlar, though, and told them to come down and rejoin the group. When they didn't respond immediately and showed a bit of a rebellious streak, their slightly older mates lost their patience and came up after them. The kids quickly dispersed and then rejoined their group.

Not sure who this guy but he is a fantastic tribune leader.

The second half nearly began with an AG goal the way the first half had. 09 Sinan received a cross right in front of the goal but fumbled it. Then there was a great run by Timur who passed to 14 Erdogan whose shot was taken down by Rize keeper David Loria, formerly of the Kazak national team.

And then finally it happened. Ankaragucu made Eski Kanka Jim's words so. Gokhan Erdogan received a pass in the AG half and then proceeded to make a gorgeous run up the left side of the pitch. When Rize's 12 Hassan finally came to block his way at the top of the box, Erdogan cut right ala David Villa and launched a rocket into the upper right hand corner of the goal well beyond Loria's reach.

Rize were now desperate to make something happen, but AG managed to diffuse their attack until Rize were granted a free kick in extra time. 04 Fahri managed to place it in the upper-left-hand-corner just beyond Bayram's reach, and the score was now 2-1. Rize had a minute or so to equalize. Ankaragucu were not about to let that happen though, and a minute later there was great rejoicing both on the pitch, in the stands,

and in the Chopin bar where Eski Kanka Jim was waiting to celebrate.


  1. what a fantastic report damon, really enjoyed reading that. We must make Damon do reports more often if he gets the time :-)

    I managed to catch bits of the game on the Iphone whilst at work. I thought we were excellent, agree with damon that Rize missed Jallow and Kalu but all in all we deserved our win.

    Kaan Kanak seems to get better every week and is really starting to impress. Timur is so important up front with his running and Umit is class at the back.

    Next up denizli, lets hope we can make it two wins in a row and rescue our season.

  2. Anonymous2:22 pm

    Congratulations to Ankaragucu on a great victory!
    Hopefully, onwards and upwards.
    7tl for a ticket?!Thats not going to do a lot for the revenues......

    Dublin Neil.

  3. my ticket when i was there was less than that neil, fantastic prices but as you say the club wont make much money from ticket sales. Our support is of the working class and unemployed so putting the prices up means people cant afford them.

  4. Thanks Neil,

    Yeah, I have no idea how they make decisions about ticket prices. All us kankas used to have season tickets--which were also ridiculously cheap--but we decided that we would go with tickets this year.

    Actually, tickets would an interesting topic for an article. The management used to give large numbers of free tickets to various fan groups as a way of garnering support. Members of the groups would then sell them. That's a lot of revenue that the never went back into the team coffers.

  5. Great reading today. Well done to Ankaragucu! It's good to hear of a victory to get the season rolling at last, I hope.

    Black Sea dancing? I might try that one next week.

    1. Burra,

      Do you know the name of the guy in the red top in the photograph above?

    2. Not one of us! Or the guy in the dodgy tie!

    3. Whoever he was, he had great spirit, Burra--as does the guy in the "dodgy tie." ;-)

  6. Absolutely agree with Nadeem. Great (and colourful) report from Damon and also agree that we should employ him to write our reports more often !

    Grinding out a win against one of the top sides in the league will be a great morale booster for the team to take on another strong side next weekend. However, let's not get carried away with euphoria just yet. There is a long way to go and that January Transfer Window is looming ominously closer !!

    On the subject of tickets ....... I still love to tell the story about the time we went to The Stadium from Hell in Yenikent to see Ankaraspor v Ankaragucu and I gave the ticket box guy TL20 for my ticket. He comes back with ..... it's only 50 kurus so don't you have anything smaller ??!! Ho ho ho ha ha ha ..... priceless (forgive the pun) !!!

  7. I remember the away trip to play Ankaragucu, at the 19 Mayis a season or so ago. Again 50 kurus for a ticket. Ended up getting the change from my 1 lira taken away by the police.

  8. I remember reading that oz, thr gokceks used to do some ridiculous stuff with ticket prices

  9. gökhan erdogan played great. even aytac was good. very promising for the rest of the season. and very exciting to follow ankaragücü this season.

  10. Yeah gokhan can be a very good player for ankaragucu with his pace. These young players are improving evey week. Mustafa kaplan must take credit for improving the defence.

  11. Yeah, İstanbulafk, I should have given more credit to Gokhan. His goal was a beauty and, especially in the second half, he was a constant threat to Rize. It is becoming an exciting season, indeed.

  12. "Or the guy in the dodgy tie!"

    Hahaha...Jim, you gonna take that?! :)

    Tell Burra the story of the tie.

  13. Congress have been moved to 6th january 2013

  14. Nah ! Burra Kanka owes me some revenge so I'll take it like a man !

    However, so as not to disappoint, there are only one or two great teams in the world to have their own tartan officially recognised by the Scottish Parliament and ....... Hibernian FC is one of them ! (I'll beat Nadeem to it .... Rangers is another !!).

    Notwithstanding our abysmal performance in Sheep Shagging Land last weekend, I'm proud to wear it ..... win, lose or draw !

    As a matter of history, when King Robert (Bruce) kicked the Ingallish out of Scotland in 13 on his way to Derby, so I doubt they will be invited to have a tartan in that wee lovely toon !!!

    All the best from blinkered Eski Kanka Jim

    btw, what a surprise surprise .... the Congress has been moved .... golly gosh jings crivens .... whatever next ??!!

  15. Correction ...... the year was 1314, but I was not present at that auspicious occasion !!!

    1. Had you already left for Cyprus? ;-)

    2. Respect to the tie indeed. Thanks for putting me in the picture. I'd buy one but don't need ties anymore.
      Didn't Robert Bruce initially side with the English?

  16. I think the bruce was english, well if you believe braveheart anyway lol. Melih gokcek tonight on tv said he would not be taking over ankaragucu