Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Ankaragucu can hold their heads up high tonight after putting-in their best performance of the season against Super League Basaksehirspor in Istanbul.
It was a heart-breaking end to a fantastic cup-tie which Ankaragucu had seemingly rescued from the jaws of defeat.
Basaksehirspor 3 ANKARAGUCU 2
Team – Ilhan, Metin, Volkan, Aytac, Onur, Serhat, Erdem, Harun, Levent, Umut and Teoman.
I watched the match via TV and the Ankaragucu supporters could be heard throughout the match in the almost empty stadium. 4.45pm KO ? What do you expect ?!!
It was mostly all Ankaragucu in the first half when they took the game to Basaksehir and they were unlucky to go in at half time all square at 0-0.
The first chance came in the 9th minute when Levent was put through on the right wing. He almost reached the goal line before cutting the ball back into the centre only for the goalkeeper to stretch out an arm and deflect the ball away from the incoming Ankaragucu forwards.
9 minutes later Ankaragucu had a free kick outside the box. Present free kick specialist, Erdem, sent in a great goalbound shot which the goalkeeper did well to tip over the bar.
On the half hour mark, Teoman sent over an inviting near post cross from the right, but Umut couldn’t connect and the goalkeeper gathered.
7 minutes later, and from a throw-in on the right, Levent attempted an overhead kick, but it went narrowly past the post.
So, a good first half by Ankaragucu, but to be honest, I wasn’t fooled. Basaksehir had looked dangerous coming forward but Ankaragucu’s defence had protected Ilhan who hadn’t really had much to do. That was to change !
It only took one minute from the re-start for Basaksehir to go ahead. A throw-in came into the box but was headed clear by an Ankaragucu defender, but ……….. straight to Sezer lurking in the box. He shot, and his shot was deflected by an Ankaragucu defender and the angle of the ball deceived Ilhan. A goal is a goal even if it is against the run of play !!
Ankaragucu had a chance to equalise 2 minutes later when Levent was fouled just outside the box on the right. Erdem sent in another great free kick to the left but the ball hit the post and was cleared.
Basaksehir stepped up the pace and their 2nd goal came from a breakaway down the left wing. The pin-point cross came in and the in-rushing and unmarked Omer headed in with Ilhan helpless.
Basaksehir looked in command of the match now. Unsurprising I suppose when you are 2 nil up. It was almost 3-0 in the 68th minute when a fluid attacking move by Basaksehir was thwarted by a goal-line clearance by Onur.
The match was suddenly turned upside down 10 minutes later when Ankaragucu was awarded another free kick just outside the box on the right. Erdem made no mistake this time with his bullet of a shot to the left …………. and ………….. there was no post to stop the ball this time !
Game on …….. maybe …….. I thought. One minute later Ramazan (who came on as a substitute) almost scored the equaliser but the goalkeeper made another great save.
2 minutes to go and the deserved equaliser eventually came from an unlikely source. An Ankaragucu corner was cleared into the Ankaragucu half, but the ball was carried out and from about 30 yards out, Serhat let fly with a speculative shot which flew into the corner to leave the goalkeeper well beaten and stunned.
I was jumping up and down and couldn’t believe the great fight-back. Then the assistant referee put up the sign for 4 added minutes. I’m shouting at the players through the TV screen to hold the ball and blast it anywhere (normally against my priciples !!!). I’m sure Mustafa Kaplan was doing the same !
However, on the 93rd minute there was a Basaksehir breakaway with 2 Ankaragucu defenders in hot pursuit. The shot was made inside the box but Ilhan parried it to an Ankaragucu defender. He attempted to boot the ball clear, but the ball hit the other defender and bounced kindly for the Basaksehir attacker who probably couldn’t believe his luck as he slotted it in.
So, Ankaragucu was denied a deserved point in junjury time by tired legs in a defensive mix-up, or ……… if you aren’t an Ankaragucu supporter …….. by a comedy of errors !!
Anyway, Ankaragucu can take lots of positives from this performance and can still set their sights on realistically finishing 2nd in the Group. The acid test will be agaisnt Karabuk, but their confidence will be high after the way they played for the most part in this match.
So, I’m saying ……… still all to play for to reach the knock-out stage of the Cup.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim