Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Bellshill Kanka Nadeem's annual pilgrimage to Turkey to see Ankaragucu this season proved to be a winner. Blue skies, sunshine, and more importantly, lots of goals to enjoy and celebrate.
ANKARAGUCU 5 Pazarspor 0
Team – Gokhan Akkan, Orhan, Gurkan, Volkan, Onur, Gokhan Erdogan, Selim, Harun, Kaan, Levent and Umut
Substitutes used – Aydin (club captain), Emre and Batuhan
We met up at Nadeem's hotel – Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Cider Kanka John and the gorgeous Basak Kankie. At the Stadium we met some friends from Gecikondu, Ozan and his family who then introduced us to Club Chairman, Mehmet Yigner, who was doing a walk-about around the Stadium to meet the supporters. A photograph of this event will be posted by Nadeem next week !
Into the Stadium we went where we were joined by Apple Kanka Erman, Yankee Kanka, Huso Kanka and Gecikondu Kanka Bugra.
Pre-match comment from Nadeem …...... he mentioned in a previous post that Selim should be in midfield and Volkan in defence and that is how it turned out for this match. Obviously the Coach has been reading our Blog !!
Match comment from Damon …...... he is pleased to see that Ankaragucu is starting to bring the ball out of defence rather than hoofing it into the other half more in hope than anything else which has been the case in previous matches. This is obviously something that has been worked on in the training ground.
Lots of noise from a full Gecikondu and an almost full Maraton with the expectation of a win and maintaining top position in the league.
Ankaragucu started the match in full throttle and were taking the match to Pazar who were pressed back into their own half for the first half an hour. Ankaragucu had the lion's share of possession but without creating many scoring opportunities. Also, it took until the 28th minute of the match for Ankaragucu to win their first corner but it was easily cleared by the Pazar defence.
After the half hour mark, Pazar started to come more into the match and they almost scored when Gokhan was lobbed by a Pazar attacker, but the ball went past the post much to our relief. There followed another scare when Gokhan and Volkan got in a tangle with each other and almost gifted a goal to Pazar. Fortunately, Gokhan was able to retrieve the situation and another sigh of relief all round !
A few minutes later there was more 'panic stations' in the Ankaragucu defence from a Pazar free kick with Gokhan requiring treatment after falling awkwardly.
Just as I was thinking that Pazar might 'steal' a goal and even win the match, all hell broke loose. Ankaragucu suddenly exploded into action in the 5 minutes before half time.
First, it was the ever reliable Levent who received a flick-on from (I think it was Umut) and he opened the scoring much to our relief. Then, just as we were thinking …... hmmmm …. 1-0 at half time is acceptable ….... Umut scored what for me was goal of the match. He received a great through ball on the right and was one-on-one with Pazar's keeper Fethi who did well to narrow the angle. With everyone, including Fethi, expecting Umut to blast the ball, he coolly flicked the ball around and over Fethi with an outstanding piece if skill.
No sooner, had we stopped celebrating than we were up on our feet again. Kaan received the ball on the left wing, and with the Pazar defender backing off, he shot just outside the penalty area into the opposite corner of the goal being guarded by Fethi for Number 3.
What an end to the first half after 40 minutes of frustration !
Into the 2nd half then and Ankaragucu continued where they left off by taking the game to Pazar.
5 minutes in and it was almost 4 when Levent cut the ball back for Kaan who sent in a screamer but just over the bar.
However, we didn't have to wait long for the 4th goal when a cross came in from the right wing and Umut was well positioned to head in.
With 15 minutes to go, the moment arrived which we have been waiting for. Club Captain Aydin came on to a tremendous welcome and took up his customary position in central defence.
With 2 minutes to go and following a chorus of ….. bes bes bes (Turkish for Five !!) it duly arrived courtesy of substitute Emre who sent a rocket into the corner of the goal with Fethi well beaten. The impressive Emre almost made it six just before the end with another shot which hit the post and was cleared to safety.
My Man of the Match was Levent who impressed me with his work-rate, tackling back and his constant harrying of opponents. He is turning out to be a great signing for the Club.
After the customary lap of honour by the players, it was off to The Chopin to celebrate.
A great day for us all and especially for Nadeem to see FIVE goals.
Photographs will be posted here by Nadeem next week on his return to Scotland.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim