Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
This is a first ! No, not the first time I’ve seen Ankaragucu beat Denizli, but the first time I’ve been at the stadium gate when the National Anthem was playing !
I left my school at 5pm, boarded the train at 5.15 and made it to the Stadium 30 Kms away in time for the KO thanks to the efficiency of the Ankara Metro system.
There I met up with all the kankas – Maniac Kanka Harun, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Posh Kanka Ahmet, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Horseman Kanka Osman and Nurer Kanka. Gecikondu and Kapali were full and Maraton almost full and the atmosphere was fantastic (as usual). There were about 100 Horos in the away end, but we didn’t hear a sound from them apart from the opening goal !
Dare I use the olde cliché ........... ‘a game of two halves’ ? Yes, I must, because it was !
It was mostly all Denizli in the first half with the Ankaragucu defence and midfield given the run-around. However, Denizli’s firepower and Korcan restricted them to only one goal. Ultimately, it was a happy ending with Ankaragucu showing more determination and skill in the 2nd half to send us all home ‘happy bunnies’.
ANKARAGUCU 2 Denizlispor 1
From the opening minutes of the match it was plain for all to see that Denizli were not here to defend. They were spreading the ball around and giving Ankaragucu few chances to exert pressure on the solid Denizli defence.
It was little surprise therefore when Denizli made the breakthrough on the 25 minutes mark with a textbook goal. From a throw-in on the left, the Denizli winger left everyone in his wake and crossed an inch perfect ball to the far post where it was met with an equally perfect header across Korcan and in at the near post.
Things were looking ominous at this stage and Ankaragucu had to withstand intense Denizli pressure, but thankfully the defence held firm as the half time whistle beckoned.
However, Ankaragucu’s only two serious efforts on goal in the first half then gave us hope. Firstly, Pursila headed just past the post from an excellent cross from Kenan.
Then in time added on, Ankaragucu won a corner on the right. Erdem swung it in and there was Alihan perfectly positioned to power in a superb header for the equaliser.
Phew ! What a let-off and happy faces all round with expectation still high. The other downside of the first half was Ilhan limping off injured after 15 minutes to be replaced by Doka. Let’s hope it’s not a serious injury.
Ankaragucu came out for the 2nd half with all cylinders firing and laid siege to the Denizli goal. This was more like the Ankaragucu we have been accustomed to of late, and it was no surprise when the winner arrived in the 72nd minute. A corner on the right was met by Umut who’s glancing angled header deceived the goalkeeper and we were all dancing and singing again in anticipation of 3 points.
Kehinde replaced Arif on 67 minutes and he almost scored a 3rd when he went on a mazy run, but as he was about to shoot it looked like he was brought down by the goalkeeper, but the referee had other ideas and gave him a yellow card for diving ! I think the referee got that one wrong, but fortunately it didn’t affect the final score !
Into extra time and the 3rd goal almost arrived again. A neat head flick by Kehinde into Kenan’s path, but his final shot was weak and saved.
Sighs of relief all round at the final whistle as the players did their customary misket dance and then a lap of honour. A misket performance by the kankas also drew applause from Sag Kapali supporters !
It was back to The Bira Park to celebrate and discuss next Saturday’s vital match away to 2nd top of the league, Giresun.
Today, top of the league Umraniye are away at Erzurum and the final score is 0-0 Another confidence boost for Ankaragucu as if one was needed !!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim