Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
How about starting on a happy note with a photo to remind us of what it is like to win the league. Can Ankaragucu do it again this season ??!!
Back to the present though, and on a cold autumn evening in Ankara, it was another close fought tussle with Ankaragucu scoring the only goal of the match in the 1st half to keep up the pressure on the top two in the league and move into 3rd position.
ANKARAGUCU 1 Istanbulspor 0
The 3 kankas met-up at The Bira Park, Maniac Kanka Harun, Horseman Kanka Osman and yours truly, and as you can see, the Maniac Kanka was doing his best to play-down his famous name of ‘our maniac’.
However, after much teasing from the Horseman and me, he thankfully reverted to type, so his ‘almost new name’ (Pussy Cat Kanka) has been withdrawn !!
There was a surprisingly good crowd for a Monday night match with Gecikondu, Maraton and Kapali almost full, and surprise ... surprise, the away end was only filled with stewards and police !
Both teams started on the front foot and we were pleased with the quality of Ankaragucu’s football with the ball being sprayed about seeking openings. However, it took until the 20th minute for the first serious goal attempt when Umut’s overhead attempt went past the post.
6 minutes later and it was a close thing at the other end. Korcan pushed an Istanbul free kick around the post for a corner. Another good save resulted from the corner and we were able to breathe again !
Then, 10 minutes before the half time whistle the deciding goal arrived. A free kick outside the box on the left wasn’t dealt with by the defence and centre back Alihan was on hand to slot the ball in.
Istanbul almost equalised before the break, but a ferocious shot was deflected for a corner.
Going in 0-1 down was perhaps harsh on Istanbul, but the bottom line was that Ankaragucu took their chance and for long periods of the 1st half were playing the better football. Although I have to single out the No77 of Istanbul who proved a real thorn in the side for the Ankaragucu defence, but we can thank Man of the Match Erdem for blunting his danger.
During the half time break we had a visit from Posh Kanka Ahmet, who was sitting with some of his friends in another part of Sag Kapali. Always good to see him !
Ankaragucu should have put the game to bed in the 2nd half with the woodwork coming to Istanbul’s rescue on two occasions.
We were only one minute into the 2nd half when, from a corner, Alihan headed against the post. 3 minutes later a screamer of a shot from Doka went fizzing past the post. More sustained pressure from Ankaragucu in the 52nd minute and it was Ilhan this time who’s header hit the post and bounced off the goalkeeper for a corner.
Kehinde came on with 20 minutes to go for Doka, Kenan replaced Umut and Yusuf replaced Pursila.
Into the last 10 minutes and Istanbul continued to search for the equaliser, but all credit to the Ankaragucu defence for thwarting the Istanbul sustained attacking.
Ankaragucu almost stole the 2nd goal in time added on when they broke out of defence and from a cross, Kehinde almost scored with a goal bound header which was well saved.
So, not the most emphatic of wins, but a win nevertheless, which moves Ankaragucu into 3rd position in the league.
Confidence is sky high with team and there is no doubting their efforts over the 90 plus minutes. This attitude will be necessary in the weeks ahead as Ankaragucu press the top two to clinch top spot in the league.
Ankaragucu is away to Eskisehirspor next Sunday afternoon and there will probably be a ban on travelling supporters attending this match due to the problems there a few years ago when two Ankaragucu supporters were stabbed and almost killed.
So, the kankas will be watching this match in The Yeni Sedir
Bring it on !
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim