Ankaragücü 2 - 0 Tuzlaspor -- Merry Christmas!
And the view from the changing rooms.
Ankaragücü enter the mid-season break in second place, and everything to play for in the back stretch of the season.
A chilly day (see Chris's post yesterday for a more in-depth look at 90 minutes standing in the cold) would have been matched by the emotional coldness of standing alone on the terraces, but five minutes into the match Emir and the Pegasus boys came over and joined me.
Nothing else much happened in the first half - both sides played pretty scrappy football, with Ankaragücü looking the slightly stronger team.
The second half was very different: from the off, Ankaragücü dominated. It wasn't through some demonstration of tactical genius, sadly: Tuzlaspor just realised they were in danger and became extremely defensive - and Ankaragücü fans and players were noticeably chipper despite not ringing up any goals.
The Pegasus crew, meanwhile, had distributed themselves to the far reaches of the stadium. "This is for good luck," Emir told me. "We change seats until Ankaragücü score."
From there on in, the boys in sarı-lacivert managed to string together many consecutive attacks, which were all either offside, over the bar, deflected off a defender or beaten by a last-minute tackle. A counter-attack by Tuzla in the 72nd minute nearly soured things, with a desperate goal-mouth struggle ending in a Tuzla player skying the ball into the crowd.
A few minutes later, Ankara took advantage of a lapse in the defending to put a beautiful ball over to Emrah Bozkurt in a one-on-one with the keeper. His shot was placed at a tight angle, and there was a gasp in the stands for the millisecond before the ball bounced back, confirming it had hit the net.
From then on, Tuzlaspor tried, falteringly, to go into all-out attack, but Ankaragücü remained dominant. The referee even gave them a last chance for a Christmas miracle by refusing to stop the game, even after a lot of extra time.
The extra minutes didn't do them any good: Ankaragücü sealed their victory with a great goal in maybe minute seven of extra time which - thanks to the twin miracles of technology and Ankaragücü fanaticism - we can bring you here:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the readers of this blog!