Genclerbirligi 2 - 0 Gaziantep
A nice little crowd down at the Alerta Pub on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Spine and me and Kevin and Joe. It had been more than a decade since Joe first saw Gencler but he is back in town and already has his season ticket.
To the stadium where we were joined by Little Oz Kanka. There was a moment of remembering for those died in stopping the ateempted coup but no moment for the victims of Saturday nights suicide bomb attack in Gaziantep. The Gencler though fans did "sing" a few chants of support for the Gaziantep fans.
Kick-off and bam! Gencler were creating chances and playing fun footy. It was great and a huge surprise to me as we hadn't played anything like this in the "Turkish Sports Writers Assosiation Ankara Branch 15 July Democracy Cup".
It was absolutely no surprise when Stancu scored after about 15 minutes. It was a classic short cross in to a striker in the right place and kick it home goal.
At this moment I predicted 3-0. But then Gencler went back into the habit that has undone us so often in the past... we sat back and let Antep back in it.
We were still playing nice football but all urgency had gone...
Bulent Uzulmez obviously put a boot up their arses at half-time and Gencler did come out a bit bitter but then again they let Antep take over. Hopf ended up having to make a few routine saves and then two magnificent ones.
It was starting to get a bit nail biting. Our frustration was summed up when our new signing Mattai was free in front with the keeper miles out of position. He proceeded to kick the ball with less power that an Under 7s kiddie could muster... and still miss.
Uzulmez brought on a couple of substitutions and bang, we were back in it. And it was two of those subs who sealed the match for us. Aydin Karabulut on the right wing sent a wonderful long pass right onto the feet of Vedat Muriqi, our new Albanian striker, from just outside the box he seemed to toe poke it perfectly past the keeper.
And that's that. A good start to the season.
Spine told me later that Uzulmez told the media that he was also worried about the way we let Antep to control long periods of play after we took the lead. I look forward to that being ironed out by next week in what will be a very difficult match against Osmanlispor.
Çok şükür sezona 3 puanla başladık. Tüm takım arkadaşlarımın ayağına ve yüreğine sağlık... 🔴⚫️ pic.twitter.com/ReWQCBKqLw— Uğur Çiftçi (@ugur3333) August 22, 2016