Having said that, thanks for the gate receipts.
Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Galatasaray
If the Genclerbirligi bus had got stuck in traffic on the way to the ground things would still have been okay because us Kankas could have filled in. The Beer Bus was taken over as we had Flying Dutchman Kanka in goal, Carl at left back, Steve at fullback, Spine at fullback, Dan the Man at right back, Mark on the left wing, David in the centre, Our Finnish friend as the other centre, Oguz at right wing, and Aiden in a sort of slot behind your good correspondent who simply stood around doing nothing much for most of the match but was ready to take all the GLORY!!!
Fortunately the Gencler bus did arrive and we kicked off positively enough but it could have been for nothing when Schneider sent quite a good chance flying over the goal. I only know that it was Schneider thanks to the kids behind me (children belonging to us Kankas that is) actually recognising the Galatasaray players... I didn't say it at the time but ... "Istanbul cocukları!".
|We even had the ball boys and girls. |
Anna, Matthew, Tanner and Ville
One-nil up after only six minutes or so and well... could this be another amazing giant-killing performance? What was especially weird was the fact that for the last few weeks we have been absolutely crap.
Us Gencler fans, even those who had forked out 75 lira for the Maraton tickets, would have been very glad for the referee to blow his whistle there and then. It was below zero after all and the idea of going to a nice warm and cosy pub was very tempting. The Gencler players probably felt the same and while it was true that from that goal onwards our players were, at best, not the quickest to get balls back into play, we still played with attacking intent.
Our midfield was good with Gosso delivering good ball. The defence was solid, with Ferhat on the right particularly good, but yet again our last attacking force just wasn't good enough. Our blokes either took too long to get crosses in or else sent them too far. Perhaps Zec on the right should have been more attacking to get to some of the crosses... perhaps the player kicking the ball should have gone for a player, not a space.
But really, all this is me being picky. We played well, there was some wonderful individual football, some woeful refereeing (when has there not been) and it was a good crowd of maybe 15,000 watching what was a fun match.
Galatasaray got back in the second half thanks to yet the latest old-age pensioner to have some sort of Golden Pond moment at Galatasaray - Drogba. No complaints from me on that one. It was a decent cross in and Drogba, pretty much unmarked, simply headed it in.
We continued to play half-decent footy but couldn't really get many real chances. Just toward the end though Galatasaray really had us sweating. They were getting damn good shots off left, right and centre and if it wasn't for the heroics of Ramazan in goal we would have been toast. In the last three minutes I think he pulled off three match-saving saves. --- does that count as alliteration? ---
The referee blows the match up and us Gencler fans are pretty happy that we were able to stave off the kind of ugly result of something like what happens when England send a team of cricketers to Australia.
True Galatasaray fans, those from Istanbul, would have been disgusted with the result.... The mob there tonight were merely pleased to be seen on TV wearing their official merchandise.
As for us Gencler fans? Perhaps not delighted... but a point against Galatasaray is probably about all we we could have hoped for.