Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
As I mentioned yesterday on fb, Ankaragucu had to travel all the way to Afyon last night (350 kilometres) to play their HOME match !
As most of you know, the 19 Mayis Stadium is being demolished at the moment. The new stadium in Eryman which was to be a temporary home is not ready yet, and the 3rd option was The Stadium from Hell in Yenikent which is not fit for purpose ! So, Afyon Stadium was chosen by the TFF as the venue for Ankaragucu’s home matches until Eryman is ready.
Having said that, I must praise the stadium in Afyon which is a well constructed and compact stadium which has a capacity of 15,000 and the Ankaragucu fans who made the journey yesterday certainly made their presence felt !
As for the match itself, Ankaragucu dug deep and scored a memorable goal against a well drilled and organised Akhisar side who probably felt that they deserved a share of the spoils.
ANKARAGUCU 1 Akhisar 0
The Kanka Group met-up at The Anasonn Bar in Kizilay – Maniac Kanka Harun, his beautiful daughter Hazal, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Posh Kanka Ahmet and Nurer Kanka. We also welcomed 2 new members to the group, Kenan and Oguz.
Team – Hopf, Pinto, Alihan, Heurtaux, Djedje, Erdem O, Faty, Mokhtar, Bifouma, Ilhan and El Kabir
Substitutes – Sedat, Putsila and Cerci
The first 10 minutes of the match was played in the midfield area with both teams sizing each other up and trying to keep possession. However, the match exploded into action in the 11th minute with a sweeping move on the left. The ball was played into Mokhtar just inside the box on the left and with the cheekiest of back-heels, the ball was passed to the inrushing El Kabir who sent his shot just inside the left post to send us all up celebrating and high fiving ! Definitely a candidate for goal of the season !
Ankaragucu tails were up and they surged forward looking for No2, but shots were blocked and the Akhisar goalkeeper was in fine form.
Approaching the half hour mark and Akhisar was searching for a way back into the match and it almost came, but a timely interception by Alihan prevented the equaliser.
Almost on the half time whistle and another let off when a cross came in from the left but Alihan to the rescue again when he skied his clearance into the arms of Hopf !
The 2nd half was all end-to-end with some excellent football played by both teams. Akhisar came out with all guns blazing, but all credit to the Ankaragucu defence for holding firm.
Heurtaux made a saving tackle as an attacker was about to shoot and Pinto hooked away a dangerous cross.
Ankaragucu also went close when a sweeping move resulted in the shot going into the side netting. Bifouma should have scored when he rounded the goalkeeper and sent his shot wide and high. El Kabir also had a chance but was well tackled as he was about to shoot.
At the other end, Hopf pulled off 3 saves from goalbound efforts and on this form it will be difficult for Korcan to win back his place between the sticks !
Sedat sent in a screamer of a shot which went just past the post.
Into time added on and it was constant Akhisar pressure searching for the equaliser, but all credit to the Ankaragucu defence for holding out and weathering the storm.
This was an excellent team performance from Ankaragucu against a very good Akhisar side. So, 3 points brought back to Ankara and consolidation in mid-table which is probably more than we could have hoped for at the end of last season.
Ankaragucu is now playing football and no more hoofing the ball anywhere more in hope than anything else.
Next Friday Ankaragucu will be away to bottom of the league Erzurum KO 8pm, so we will be back at The Anasonn to hopefully celebrate another win and see Ankaragucu move into the top half of the league.
Can we start thinking about qualification for next season’s Europa Cup I wonder ??!!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim