I'll take that. Genclerbirligi draw with Besiktas
I don't really understand Genclerbirligi. Some matches we stand up, like last night, and others we just stay asleep. Weird.
Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Besiktas
It's that time of year again. The time of goodwill, pretending to like everyone and of course, over indulgence. So for me it was Christmas drinks, then put on lots and lots of warm clothes and then Little Oz Kanka and myself jumped into a taxi and off to the stadium.
Anatolian Emre and @SpineSideburn got into the stadium just a few minutes after us and despite the fact that Maraton was packed we managed to get standing spots quite close to each other. One other attendee tonight was Little Oz Kanka's mate Tom. His older brother supports Besiktas and so his old man got them all tickets for the Besiktas Kapali section. Tom has vowed though that he will continue to support Gencler.
It happens time and time again but there were a whole heap of Besiktas supporters in our section. While I guess that quite a few of them were season ticket holders there were also quite a few who had bought tickets. I know because the bloke in front of me at the gate was one of them. As soon as they got into the stadium they hung around near the locked gate between Maraton and Saatli demanding to be let into the Besiktas section. The cops weren't going to do it and during the match itself they even made a small charge at Gencler supporters. That's right, the cops charged our guys not the people who shouldn't have been there in the first place.
If they had even half a brain the cops would have simply rounded up the Besiktas supporters and kicked them out. But no, that would be too logical.
Onto the football and Gencler came out in an attacking mood. Petkovic, Jimmy and Lekic had a good start and if Azo had been a bit more precise with some of his passes I reckon Lekic could have had a couple. All the attacks in the first few minutes were ours and, unlike during so many other matches against "lesser" teams, we were forcing the Besiktas keeper into making saves.
The pressure paid off and we scored yet another goal from a set piece. Azo took a free kick from the left about half way into their half. He sent it into the box and seemingly over everyone except for Ante Kulusic who came flying in and booted it in.
The stadium roared and the Istanbul Cocuklari were quiet for the first time.
We kept up the attack but it was Besiktas who scored after a very unlucky deflection off one of our players. Ouch.
And then we had what I thought was a very decent penalty appeal turned down when Hursut was pushed over in the box. Then another one turned down when they handballed in the box. The refereeing has been absolutely awful in the last few months or so and this was yet another example.
Second half and er.... it was Besiktas all the way. Between minute 45 and 70 I doubt we even had the ball. This wasn't because we were playing badly just that Besiktas were brilliant. Some wonderful passing and if it wasn't for some good saves by Ramazan as well as some god awful shots from point blank, I reckon we could have lost it 3-1. Still, it was fun singing out in unison "Gerizekalı" at the unlucky player who had missed.
Last few minutes though we came back in and their keeper saved 'em. All the front guys were playing brilliantly but somehow or other the ball didn't go into the net. After three minutes of extra time the referee blew it up with us having the ball on the edge of the box. I know that the laws state that the game should end at the end of time, no matter where the ball is, but that is a law that is broken every single match! Once again the decisions just weren't going our way.
A draw against Besiktas is a good result and despite the cold it was a great game.