Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Besiktas
It was about time that one of our new friends James came along to a match (confusingly we have two new James' Kankas joining us in the last few months). A few beers at The Alerta and then met up with Dan the Man, young Efe, and not so young Kevin. A good crowd with the Besiktas fans filling their away sections and a few thousand of us Gencler fans. Lots of pro-Republic chanting before the match started and then...
Kick-off and bam... a very different Genclerbirligi from last week's rubbish. Stancu was out with a virus of some kind. Muriqi started up front and had a good game in my opinion (except for one chance he had but failed to get a shot off). No Rantie for this one, although he came on very late). Everything else was as expected.
Anyway, Gencler had a wonderful first half and could have scored a few. Just one scored though and it was a beauty. Irfan half hoofed it, half passed it high into the air and the ball was set to bounce about five metres outside the box. A defender was on Serdar but for some very strange reason the Besiktas keeper came out to get it. He hesitated and Serdar chested it down, ran around and had a shot with his left foot. It was difficult but the keeper of course was no where near the goal. The ball bounced and went in. hahahahahaha.
|"Points lost in the capital": Interpretation:|
"No one exists except for the Istanbul clubs.
Second half though and things were very different. It wasn't that we started playing badly, it was that Besiktas stepped up and their quality players started showing why they are worth so much. Their goal came from a short cross by Quaresma, man what a player he is, that was then headed in. Lots of time on the clock and it was only thanks to some heroic keeping by Hopf, the odd brain explosion from Besiktas attackers and some great saves by our defenders Mr. Post and Mr. Bar that kept us in the match.
We had a few chances, Irfan was denied by a brilliant save after a free kick, and in the end we held on for the draw. Phew.