Monday, February 23, 2015

Ankaragücü - Bandırmaspor: Kick violence out of sport!

Photo credit: Ahmet Kanka

As Eski, Cider, Ahmet and Apple Kanka walked into the stadium we were all handed leaflets by the police telling us to "kick violence out of sport". As it turned out, though, they should have given them out to the players... Someone was knocked over with varying degrees of footballing justification every few minutes, and the stretcher-bearers ended up getting more exercise than the goalies!

That isn't to say that the match itself was ugly. Ankaragücü have been working out new tactics since the winter break, and the result is a much more flowing, attacking game than before. Today, Ankaragücü were unlucky to be held to a draw by the top team in the league. It says a lot for the players and the coaches that today's team, while weaker on paper than it was at the beginning of the season, was playing a damn sight better on grass and mud.

And we should have won. Ankaragücü seemed very slightly the better team throughout most of the first half, and we had brief glimpses of Super League quality in some of the second half attacks. Our attacking style made us vulnerable to counter-attack, but Gökhan made some great saves where needed. In the 56th minute, four Ankaragücü men came flat and spaced out through the Bandırmaspor defence. There was one well-timed pass, then a second, and suddenly Teoman was one on one with the Bandırmaspor keeper, and kept his head to pass the ball into the back of the net. Gorgeous play! In the 5 minutes that followed, Bandırma were rattled, and Ankaragücü were able to mount three more dangerous attacks on the Bandırma goal, but to no avail.

At this point, Bandırma increased their physical game still further, sometimes even leaving Ankaragücü players on the ground a long way from the ball. The referee blew for some of the offences, but the more frequently they occurred, the less happy he was about stopping play. A certain Kanka of the Caledonian variety began to sound increasingly like a character from a Tarantino movie in response to the referee's decisions.

Then, in the 72nd minute, an Ankaragücü player was brought down in the Bandırmaspor box. The referee paused, and then brought out a yellow for diving, to which the aforementioned Kanka loudly made clear his dissent.

In the 75th minute, the mirror image. A Bandırmaspor player brought down in a challenge at the edge of the Ankaragücü box, and this time the ref makes sure not to repeat his mistake. The penalty was shot straight forward as Gökhan dived left, and Bandırma had equalised.

The score was a disappointment, but the game brought us hope. Whereas a few matches ago an unfortunate result would have brought about post-game angst over the closeness of the relegation zone, this one prompted grumbling about how we're squandering our chances of reaching the playoffs. The difference isn't our league position: we now look much more like a playoffs team (albeit 12 points behind with 11 matches to go, one in hand) than a team fighting relegation, and if we can play like this for the rest of the season, we might just have a chance.


  1. Excellent report from Cider Kanka John and spot on with his analysis.

    The 'mysterious' kanka who was showing dissent and questioning the referee's parenthood was fully justified !!! A shocking display which I hope was witnessed by a TFF Referees Assessor !

    So, let's keep dreaming of making it into the Play-offs. We CAN do it, and now that Teoman has hit the back of the net, I'm sure his confidence will be lifted and more goals will follow.

  2. Nice report John

    I'm happy with the way the team is playing, if only we started the season like this we would be safely in the playoff positions

    I cany see us making it this season, but next season we can if we lift the ban and don't sell our key players

  3. Sunday 1 March and the Kankas will attempt to access the Ostim Stadium for the Bugsas v Ankaragucu match.

    This is a great opportunity for Ankaragucu to make up ground in the table with a win today. With top team Bandirma playing 2nd top Goz....spit...tepe, and Hatay playing Nazilli who are both in the play-off zone, what better chance to make a statement of intent today.

    Watch this space for the report from Cider Kanka John.