Genclerbirligi have won just eight matches this season. Amazingly, five of them have been in the last six matches. This is one hell of a purple patch!
Genclerbirligi 3 - 1 Akhisar
Alex, Little Oz and me set off on a glorious sunny Sunday afternoon to walk down to Kizilay where we had pizza and beer and ice tea at the Union of Political Science Departments' (Mülkiyeliler Birliği) restaurant. The Revolutionary High School Union (DLB) were out and about protesting something and the Communists were selling newspapers. All up a typical Sunday.
Off to the stadium and our hopes were high. We may have lost last week to Besiktas but we put on a good show and certainly didn't the fans down. This week against Akhisar should be easy was our prediction.
Which is why is was a shock when Akhisar went ahead early on. It was one of their few attacks and our defence was just not fast enough. Arrrhghhh. Frustrating.
Gencler didn't really up the pace but continued to play attacking football but nothing seemed to be really penetrating. We seemed to be missing El Kabir (too many yellow cards), Stancu seemed a bit forlorn by himself up front and Campos didn't seem to have the spark to really go at the defenders. We had some chances, including one of the post, but it just wasn't happening for us.
there was a huge sigh of relief when just before half-time our defence failed to play a ball out of our half. Stupid mistake. One of the Akhisar players had a shot. Saved by Hopf... another shot is taken... again saved by Hopf... a third shot is taken and the ball sails high. All three shots were brilliant chances. Phew.
Half-time and I was still confident.
Ibrahim Uzulmez must have given one hell of a good half-time talk. Landel came on for Skullason (who had a pretty good game really) and Gencler started to really stretch the Akhisar players. Akhisar must have been worn out by the close pressing they were doing to frustrate us in the first half and we started to run some rings around them. Our new player Aydin Karabulut really came into his own in the second half with the left-wing being his play ground from where he sent in numerous great crosses.
In the end though it was a very clumsy miss-timed tackle that had the referee point ot the spot. Stancu kicked and scored. A few minutes later Stancu scored again with a toe poke into the right corner and then Campos, regaining his mojo, scored with a brilliantly angled shot.
All up fantastic. Bring on Kayseri next week.