Tuesday, May 21, 2019

ANKARAGUCU PRESERVE SUPER LEAGUE STATUS !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu swept Sivas aside last night in Ankara with a sustained attacking performance throughout which secured their status as a Super League team for next season.

Despite being without three key players (Djedje, Faty and Pinto) who left the Club last week for financial reasons, it didn’t seem to affect the team as much as anticipated.   It was a controlled performance from start to finish and a consolation goal by Sivas half way through the 2nd half didn’t have any bearing on the final outcome.

ANKARAGUCU       3                 Sivasspor       1

Team – Korcan, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Pazdan, Cebrail, Moke, Canteros, Boyd, Ilhan, Sacko and Orgill

Substitutes – Moulin, Sedat and Sadev

Maniac Kanka Harun, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I met-up at the Sumer Cafe in Kizilay full of optimism, but I was wondering yesterday if we would end up like this photo from yesteryear ??!!



My quote last night pre-match was (with all due respect to Sivas)  ............’if we cant’ beat Sivas we don’t deserve to be in the Super League !!’          Harun’s quote was more measured ............’I’ll settle for one point’ !!



Ankaragucu went straight into attack from the kick-off when Orgill was put through on the left channel, but with two Ankaragucu attackers free on the right he decided to shoot, but his shot was blocked for a corner.

Not long after that, Boyd was put through but he got tangled-up with defenders and the ball was cleared.   Then we witnessed some great skill from Sacko on the right, but he couldn’t get his cross in due the close attention of defenders.

The break through came in the 23rd minute when Man of the Match, Sacko, picked up a pass just outside the box in the centre and sent in a left foot shot to the right corner with the goalkeeper helpless.    Smiles all round and sighs of relief.    I said prior to KO that to go in 1-0 up at HT would be imperative to give them the impetus in the 2nd half !!

Ilhan and Boyd had other ideas !      On the half hour mark a sweeping attack on the right when Ilhan chased the ball down to the touch line and played the cut-back expertly for the inrushing and unmarked Boyd to sweep the ball in for No2.

Approaching half time and Korcan had to be smart to cut-out a dangerous Sivas attack which could have proved costly.

On the half time whistle and Canteros had a free kick just outside the box but his shot was sent over.



Ankaragucu started the 2nd half as they had in the 1st half on full out attack.   It was only 2 minutes old when Ilhan almost scored from a deft flick on the right at a difficult angle, but his attempt found the side netting.

However, 3 minutes later and Ankaragucu put the match to bed.    It was a sweeping move which saw Boyd’s shot saved, but Canteros was in the right place to pick up the rebound from the save and send in a well controlled side-foot shot to the left with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

At this point, the cameraman zoomed in on our Coach, Mustafa Kaplan, who was shedding tears on the touchline.    Tears of happiness yes, but probably also tears of relief that he would not be the man to take Ankaragucu back down to The Championship League !!!

Half way through the 2nd half and Sivas grabbed a consolation goal which was down to Ankaragucu’s defenders day-dreaming.   A cross came in from the left to the far post where 2 attackers were lurking unmarked with the Ankaragucu defence oblivious to their presence.   All credit to Braz who headed in with the unprotected Korcan flapping at air.

Ankaragucu didn’t allow that goal to alter the pattern of play.    It could almost have been 4 when Moulin’s shot hit the post with the goalkeeper beaten.   The rebound was picked up by Sacko who’s shot was miraculously saved and tipped over for a corner.

15 minutes to go and the referee made his one big mistake of the evening when he waved play on after Sacko was unceremoniously brought down inside the box.   He really should have consulted his VAR for that incident !!!

10 minutes to go and Korcan saved a certain goal when he got down smartly to save in the centre.

Ankaragucu was running the clock down in the last few minutes but Orgill almost made it 4 when his shot went just past the post.

So, Ankaragucu travel to Izmir next weekend for the final match against Goztepe and can relax in the knowledge that Super League footie is preserved for next season.   However, the result of that match will have a bearing on the relegation issue.

Akhisar and Erzurum look certain to go down, but it is still unclear if Goztepe or Bursa will join them.   If Ankaragucu can beat Goztepe and Bursa can beat Malatya then Goztepe will go down, but if not, then it may be curtains for our brother team Bursa.

I guess lots of the Bursa Teksas Group will travel to Izmir to support Ankaragucu !!!

Well done Ankaragucu and let’s hope that the Management Team solve the present financial problems before the resumption of League action next season !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 19, 2019

GENCLERBIRLIGI FALL AT THE LAST HURDLE !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It has been a two horse race for most of the season in the Spor Toto Championship League between Gencler and Denizli, and unfortunately Gencler fell at the last obstacle to hand the Championship Winners Medals to Denizli.   However, as I said last week, both teams secured promotion back into the Super League, and congratulations to both teams.

Saturday -   Genclerbirligi       1          Adana Demirspor      2

                    Istanbulspor       2             Denizlispor            5

In mitigation of Gencler’s defeat, and as I said last week, Adana Demirspor was still in the hunt for a play-off place and came to Ankara to attack and win the match.   However, they needed Altinordu to lose, which they did against Giresun, and so secured 6th place and the last play-off slot.

The other 3 teams in the play-off mix will be Hatay, Osman.....spit....li and Gazisehir.

So, we still don’t know if there will be an Ankara Derby next season, but that may be known tomorrow night (Monday) when Ankaragucu will be at home to Sivas.   Hopefully Ankaragucu can take all 3 points without having to travel to Goztepe for the last match the following weekend needing any points.

It will surely be a tense match tomorrow and I’ll have that report up here on Tuesday.

Well done Gencler for a quick return to the Super League.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Ankaragücü vs Sivasspor match preview!



Ankaragücü have prepared for this weeks vital match with Sivasspor with a week of chaos and again its due to the clubs financial situation. Key duo Brice Dja Djedje and Thiago Pinto have both terminated their contracts with the club due to unpaid wages, and former player Michael Klukowski has reported the club to FIFA due to unpaid wages from 2011.

If the club don’t pay Klukowski his 160K Euros plus 500K compensation then they will face a 6 point deduction next season. Mehmet Yiginer has stated that the club will pay the money immediately. Djedje and Pinto who are two of the clubs biggest assets are now free to sign with other clubs and both have reportedly held talks with Besiktas.

It’s a huge blow for the club losing two players of their quality, but also means they won’t receive any income from player sales with both valued at 3 million Euros by the club.

Ankaragücü are also putting themselves in a dangerous situation of making it difficult to sign new players with the reputation of failing to pay players their wages. Top scorer Dever Orgill has also reported the club to FIFA as he is also waiting on his wages to be paid. 

The club only need 1 point from their last two games, but with all the turnmoil going on, you wouldn’t put any money on them achieving it. It now means Mehmet Sak will come in at Left back, while Sedat, Moke, Moulin and Canteros will take up the midfield positions.

Sivasspor themselves are on a run of poor form with only 1 win in their last 11 games. Since Robinho moved to Basaksehir in January they have found it difficult but still have players such as Diabate and Emre Kilinc who are capable of hurting you if you aren’t on your game. 

Ankaragücü will be looking for a bit of revenge from the last time the two sides met when a Robinho inspired Sivas won 4-0 comfortably at home. Only 1 point separates the two sides when they meet in Ankara on Monday night. A defeat for Ankaragücü would be unthinkable, let’s hope they don’t let us down and a packed home crown can spur them onto victory!

Monday, May 13, 2019

GENCLERBIRLIGI SECURE PROMOTION !!!




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With only one more match to play, Gencler and Denizli confirmed their promotions to the Super League on Saturday.     Congratulations to both teams.

Gazisehir      0         GENCLERBIRLIGI      2

Denizlispor      6          Karabuk       0

However, who will be crowned champions has still to be decided.    Gencler is one point ahead of Denizli, but have an inferior goal difference of 9, so next weekend’s matches will be crucial for both as they fight for these bragging rights.

Gencler will be at home against Adana Demirspor who are still in the hunt for a play-off place, so it will not be an easy match for Gencler.

Denizli is away to Istanbul who are in mid-table and nothing to play for, except their pride.

The date and KO time has still to be announced, but I will put them in the comments section of this report when it is known.

As always, watch this space for the outcome of this intriguing climax to the season.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Başakşehir 2-1 Ankaragücü match report!



Ankaragücü dropped further into the danger zone this weekend after a disappointing 2-1 defeat at joint top Başakşehir. The team were dealt a blow earlier in the day when Altay was ruled out due to a shoulder injury and would be replaced with Korcan.

Team - Korcan, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic, Pinto, Sedat, Moulin, Canteros, Sakho, Boyd, Orgill

Subs - Altay, Furkan, Mehmet, Alihan, Ilhan, Oscar, Ender, Aydin, Zaur, Kaan

Başakşehir started the game strongly and almost took the lead after 6 minutes but for a brilliant save from Korcan. 

It was all Başakşehir, but Ankaragücü took the lead against the run of play with a fantastic counter attack. Sakho broke free down the left hand side, before playing the ball infield for Orgill, the Jamaican picked out Boyd in the box who cut inside before firing past Mert to make it 1-0 Ankaragücü much to the delight of the travelling fans.

Most of the game was being played in the middle of the pitch without either side creating anything of note. Napoleoni went closest for the home side as he cut infield before firing over the bar. Ankaragücü were defending very well and breaking up all the Başakşehir attacks.

Into the second half and a disastrous start for Ankaragücü as Bajic made it 1-1. It did look offside but the referee checked with VAR and awarded the goal.

Fifteen minutes later Başakşehir went in front after Korcan could only spill Visca’s shot but Robinho was on hand to make it 2-1 for the home side.

There were a couple of half chances for both sides before the full time whistle but in the end Başakşehir held on for the 3 points and it now leaves Ankaragücü 4 points ahead of the relegation zone with 2 games remaining.

Up next is a home match with Sivasspor next Monday night in what will the biggest game of the season for the club. A win or possibly a draw can secure the teams place in the Super Lig next season.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Basaksehir vs Ankaragücü match preview!



Two teams out of form at different ends of the table meet tomorrow in Istanbul as Ankaragücü travel to Basaksehir. The hosts who are 3 points behind leaders Galatasaray haven’t won in their last 4 games, while Ankaragücü who are fighting relegation have only won 1 of their last 7.

Başakşehir were so far ahead of the rest of the pack last month, that it looked like it was going to be 3rd time lucky as they bid to win their first ever Super Lig title. Like the last two seasons they have completely capitulated and are in danger of missing out for a third successive season.

At the other end of the table, Bursaspor, Erzerumspor and Goztepe have all started winning games and Ankaragücü are now only 4 points clear of the relegation zone with 3 games running. A win tomorrow would almost certainly secure the clubs place in the Super Lig next season.

Some good news for Mustafa Kaplan ahead of tomorrow’s match as both Thiago Pinto and Stelios Kitsiou are fit and will replace Mehmet Sak and Cebrail Karayel. Djedje is still out with injury and is set to miss out.

Ankaragücü were unlucky last week not to take all 3 points against Rizespor after a disgraceful refereeing decision late on wrongly gifted them a penalty which saw them share the points. If the team are to take anything from the match they will need a repeat of the second half performance which saw a higher intensity and better use of the ball in the final 3rd of the field.

Tyler Boyd and Dever Orgill will again be key for Ankaragücü with both having a quiet couple of games as teams have started paying more attention to the duo.

Basaksehir have a host of talent in their side with the likes of Edin Visca, Robinho, Elia, Adebayor, Emre, Arda Turan all experienced quality players. However it looks like either age is starting to take its toal, or they are lacking the mentality to get the team over the finishing line. With an ageing squad, this could be the last ever chance of winning the Super Lig for many of the squad.

The Istanbul side have always been solid at the back, and have had a lot of success in attack at periods of this season. But only 2 goals in their last 4 games gives Abdullah Avci some concern for the final 3rd of the pitch.

With a crowd of less than 4,000 expected it could give Ankaragücü a much needed boost as the travelling support have sold out their allocation again which takes away the usual home advantage in Turkish football.

Good luck to Ankaragücü and our brothers from Scotland Rangers in the derby tomorrow. A win for both teams will be a great Sunday.

Monday, May 06, 2019

GENCLERBIRLIGI – IS IT TIME TO HIT THE PANIC BUTTON ???




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Last week it was Denizlispor feeling the pressure, now it is Gencler feeling it as they totally lost the plot yesterday and spurned the opportunity of clinching promotion to the Super League.

GENCLERBIRLIGI     0         Denizlispor       3

With only 2 matches left, Gencler have put themselves under needless pressure by requiring ONE more point to be sure of promotion.

Gencler is still top of the league on 67 points, Denizli right on their tail now on 66, but it is ‘dark horses’ Hatay who Gencler need to be wary of.   They have been steadily closing the gap over the past few weeks and won 4-1 in Bolu on Friday night which puts them on 61 points.   They also have a superior goal difference to Gencler !!

Next weekend Gencler face a difficult away match against 4th placed Gazisehir who have consolidated their position in the play-off positions.  

Denizli, on the other hand, have an easy home match against bottom club Karabuk who are already relegated.

The good news for Gencler is that Hatay also have a difficult match away to Osman.....spit...li who are in the play-off positions, but will still need further points to be sure of making it.

What will Gencler do next weekend ?    Attack and go for it, or play for one point ??!!

Watch this space for the answer.

Haydi Gencler !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 05, 2019

ANKARAGUCU – ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE !





Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu almost won all three points, but a controversial decision by the referee in time added on in the 2nd half put paid to that.    So, despite a convincing 2nd half display by Ankaragucu they had to share the points with draw specialists Rize.

ANKARAGUCU     2           Rize       2

Team – Altay, Pazdan, Karayel, Kulusic, Mehmet Sak, Sedat, Moke, Canderos, Sacko, Boyd and Orgill

Substitues – Moulin, Ilhan and Sadaev

Maniac Kanka Harun, Hazal and I met-up at his shop, TShirmatik, and we then watched the match in The Anasson Bar where we were joined by Battle Damaged Kanka Damon.   We did attempt to obtain tickets for this match but unfortunately were unable to do so for reasons which I won’t bore you with.   However, we will definitely have tickets for our last home match of the season in 2 weeks time against Sivas.



Ankaragucu had little to offer in the 1st half as Rize gradually took control of the match and impressed with their speed and flowing attacks.    Ankaragucu’s only goal attempt was in the 4th minute but the shot was blocked by the Rize defence.   Shortly after that, Moke limped off injured and was replaced by Moulin.

Rize almost opened the scoring in the 8th minute when a cross from the left was met with a fiece shot which eluded Altay and was on its way to the back of the net until Pazdan managed to retrieve the situation by clearing off the line.

Not for the first time we saw Canderos dithering on the ball and being dispossessed which I imagine was frustrating for the Ankaragucu attackers.    With Rize in control of the match what was needed was cool heads.

15 minutes in and another Rize attack when a cross came in from the right but the goalbound header was saved by Altay.

It only took another 10 minutes for Rize to score the opening goal and it was probably a goal constructed on the training ground.    The move was started in the Rize half and was a free flowing move between 4 or 5 players with Ankaragucu players chasing shadows.    The ball finally ended up on the left and Meinjak fired it across Altay’s outstretched arm and into the net via the right post.

On the half hour mark and Altay had to look smart to smother the ball with a Rize attacker lurking.

5 minutes later and Rize increased their lead when they had a quick throw-in on the right and another flowing move when the ball was cut-back and crossed to the left.    Another cross into the centre and a bullet of a header with the Ankaragucu defence all at sea.      However, a let-off for Ankaragucu when the referee was advised to look at the VAR from an assistant through his earphone.     He then decided that a Rize player was offside before the goal was scored.    Phew .......... relief all round !

Approaching half time and a rare attack from Ankaragucu but, not for the first time, the final pass went astray in the final 3rd.

Into time added on and Rize almost scored again when a cross came in from the left, but the header went just past the post.

So, there was no argument from us concerning the scoreline with Ankaragucu lucky to go in only one goal down.    I was thinking, using the olde cliché, ........... I hope it’s a game of two halves !!!!       And so it transpired !!!

The 2nd half was only 3 minutes old when Boyd was brought down in the box and we were all up on our feet shouting .......... penalty !      Sacko made a run down the right, cut the ball back for Boyd and as he was about to shoot he was brought down.     The referee didn’t point to the spot immediately and ended up going to the VAR again.    He returned and took play back into the Ankaragucu half for a foul by Mehmet prior to Sacko’s run down the right.    Mehmet received a yellow and ............. no penalty ............ aaaargh !!!

Ankaragucu was in full attack mode now and 10 minutes later Orgill was brought down on the right near the corner flag.   The ball was flighted over but the header was over the bar.

However, we only had to wait another 5 minutes for the equaliser.    Ilhan had only been on for 2 minutes as a replacement for Mehmet when he received a pin point pass from Sacko on the right and stroked the ball in with the defender in attendance unable to clear.

Ankaragucu continued to attack, but so also did Rize, and with 20 minutes to go Rize almost regained the lead when a shot from outside the box hit the post with Altay beaten.    The rebound was won by Rize and another shot from outside the box went just over the bar.

10 minutes to go and Sadaev had a great chance to score after a sweeping move down the left but under no pressure he skied his shot over the bar.

5 minutes later and the goal of the match.    A corner on the right was sent over and the unmarked Pazdan arrived through a ruck of players to head powerfully in at the near post.

Yessssssssssss that’s it we all thought ............. 3 valuable points won after a great 2nd half fight back.     Wrong !!!!

Almost on the final whistle and a Rize attack down the middle.   The ball was sent into the box to a Rize attacker who was being shadowed by Sedat.   Both players went for the ball which was too high for either to reach and Sedat lost his balance, fell back and his arm made contact with the Rize player as they both fell.    No way was that intentional by Sedat as he made a genuine effort to reach the ball and with the Rize player behind him there was no way of knowing exactly where he was.
   
The referee consulted his VAR yet again and returned to point to the spot.     Suat Bey, you will never receive your FIFA badge with performances like this !!!!!

Up stepped Muriqi and coolly despatched the penalty to take the smiles off our faces ............. aaaaaargh !!       A cruel ending for Ankaragucu !

Ankaragucu has still not escaped from the relegation fight, although they are 7 points clear of 3rd bottom Goztepe with 3 matches left to play.      Antalya can do us a favour by beating them today and I’ll put that result up in the comments section tonight.

Next Sunday Ankaragucu face the difficult task of beating top of the league Basaksehir in Istanbul, but with Basak going off the boil in recent weeks it is not inconceivable that Ankaragucu could nick a point at least.

As always, watch this space !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

GENCLERBIRLIGI – PRESSURE EASING !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Genclerbirligi can sleep easy, at least until next Sunday after the pressure finally told on Denizlispor !

Denizli slipped-up at home last Sunday against mid-table Balikesir and could only manage a 0-0 draw.

Gencler, on the other hand, took full advantage last night and, as expected, beat bottom club Karabuk 4-0.

So, again Gencler has daylight at the top and move 4 points ahead of Denizli with a one goal superior goal difference.

However, its not done and dusted yet with ‘the big one’ coming up next Sunday night when the top 2 meet head-to-head in Ankara.   All the pressure is on Denizli who must come and attack looking to take all 3 points, which may give Gencler the chance to exploit spaces in the Denizli defence.

Only 3 matches left, so this is a golden opportunity for Gencler to return to the Super League as Championship Champions.

As always, watch this space next week for the outcome.

Haydi Gencler !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, April 29, 2019

ANKARAGUCU, AND WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

This is a photo of the kankas celebrating Ankaragucu’s return to the Super League at The Alerta Bar last year around this time after spending ‘a few years’ in the Championship and 2nd Division (the reasons for that are well documented in this Blog !!).



Ankaragucu’s plan therefore was to ensure that this season was one of consolidation, and apart from a few blips earlier this season, it seems that it is still possible, despite a heavy defeat in Istanbul last night.

It was a cruel score line which doesn’t accurately reflect the match.   The Besiktas goalkeeper, Karius, was in superb form and saved Besiktas blushes on numerous occasions, especially in the 1st half.   Also, the referee awarded Besiktas a dubious penalty at a crucial stage of the match leaving Ankaragucu with a mountain to climb.

I’m not saying that Besiktas was lucky to win the match because they took their chances well, and they are sure to give Galata.....spit....saray a difficult match next weekend as they seek Champions League qualification.

Besiktas        4              ANKARAGUCU       1

Team – Altay, Kulusic, Kitsiou, Pinto, Pazdan, Moke, Sacko, Sedat, Canteros, Boyd and Orgill

Substitutes – Moulin, Alihan and Ilhan

The kankas, Posh Kanka Ahmet, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I met-up at last year’s venue, The Alerta Bar, where we had the screen to ourselves more-or-less.

There was a poignant one minute silence prior to the kick off when everyone was protesting against Child Molestation in Turkey.   This arose out of a recent incident when a 5 year old girl was raped in Istanbul by an immigrant from Pakistan.   Sad days indeed when this occurs, and not only in Turkey !

So to the footie and Ankaragucu made a confident start when Orgill tested Karius only 5 minutes in, but he saved well.

3 minutes later and an opportunist goal from Burak when he collected a pass on the left, and with the Ankaragucu defence back-pedalling, he only had Kitsiou to beat which he did easily.   He then fired in a thunderous shot to the near post which Altay had no chance of saving.

Ankaragucu heads didn’t go down.   On the contrary, they were playing some excellent footie and stroking the ball around and making Besiktas work for the ball, but falling short in the final 3rd.

15 minutes in and Sacko had a shot on goal which took an unlucky deflection for a corner.

Half an hour in and what was probably the save of the match.   A corner was sent in by Canteros and met perfectly by Pazdan whose header was destined for the top corner.   However, somehow Karius flew to the left and tipped the ball over for a corner.   An amazing piece of goalkeeping.

3 minutes later and he produced a similar acrobatic save to prevent Sedat’s goalbound shot going in to the same top corner.     A further 3 minutes and Canteros had a chance to score but he shot tamely at Karius.

So, it was disappointing to go in at half time 0-1 down but great goalkeeping and Ankaragucu’s old problem of giving the ball away too easy in the final 3rd was their downfall.   We were still optimistic at this point though !

Into the 2nd half and it was Besiktas who started the more purposeful and Altay was called into action after 5 minutes to save from a fast Besiktas breakaway.

3 minutes laster and some sloppy play from Canteros when he was dispossessed easily in midfield which allowed a dangerous attack, but Altay saved bravely, but could only parry the ball due to the power of the shot, and it fell conveniently for Vida who tapped into the unprotected goal.   A cruel blow for Altay.

7 minutes later and Besiktas received another lucky break when the referee awarded a dubious penalty when he decided that an attacker was pushed in the box.   We had the luxury of a replay and I’m surprised that he didn’t go to the VAR because it looked very much like he fell before the tackle came in.   Anyway, up stepped Burak who dispatched the perfect shot into the left corner which evaded Altay’s outstretched arm.

Still Ankaragucu’s heads didn’t go down and they came forward again looking for a foothold into the match and it almost came in the 70th minute from a Canteros free kick which was met perfectly by Alihan who sent a bullet of a header goalbound, but again Karius pulled off a remarkable save to exasperate us all !

However, the elusive goal came 4 minutes later when the referee awarded a penalty against a Besiktas defender for elbowing the ball away from Pazdan

Boyd took responsibility and sent a weak shot to Karius who parried the ball and the follow-up was past the post and out.   This time the referee did respond to complaints and consulted his VAR which showed clearly that some Besiktas players had encroached into the area prior to the ball being struck.

Another penalty was his decision and this time Sacko took responsibility sending Karius the wrong way.

If we were looking for an all-out assault on the Besiktas goal we were disappointed four minutes later when Besiktas ‘put the match to bed’.   A fast passing move on the left between 3 players allowed Ljajic to send in a screamer which Altay was helpless to do anything about.

5 minutes to go and Ankaragucu still attempted to attack and snatch another consolation goal, but their final attempt hit the post and was cleared.
As I said at the beginning, it was cruel to have to much of the ball and to find a goalkeeper at the top of this game, but as always, the bottom line is ........... putting the round thing between the sticks is what counts and Besiktas took their chances in that department !

So, with 4 matches left, Ankaragucu is only 6 points ahead of 3rd bottom Bursa and therefore can’t afford to relax their endeavours in the run-in.

Ankaragucu will be at home next Saturday KO 4pm against 7th placed Rize and they can expect another tough test against a stingy and stubborn Rize side who have fought out 12 draws this season.

It will certainly be a ferocious scrap in the run-in with no team certain for relegation at this stage.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, April 26, 2019

Besiktas vs Ankaragücü match preview!



Ankaragücü travel to Istanbul this weekend as they take on an in form Besiktas who were handed another boost tonight as Goztepe won 2-0 at leaders Basaksehir who are doing their best to throw the league title away. The result also puts some more pressure on Ankaragücü to take something from the game as Goztepe have pulled off a big upset and have given themselves a fighting chance.

Besiktas are undefeated in 14 games since the return of the January break and go go within 3 points of Basaksehir with a win on Sunday. An incredible turn around for the Istanbul side who looked out of the title race back in December. Since Senol Gunes announced that he will be leaving at the end of the season to take over the National team, Besiktas have been the form team in the Super Lig.

Having watched a lot of Turkish football this season, Besiktas and Trabzonspor are the two most exciting teams to watch in terms of attacking football. They have so many talented technical players such as Lajic, Quaresma, Kagawa and Ozyakup who can create chances for Burak Yilmaz who has been a fantastic signing for them scoring 9 goals in 11 games.

The last time the two sides met Besiktas thumped Ankaragücü 4-1 in Kayseri where the game was moved due to the pitch at Yenikent. Sunday’s game will be even tougher and Mustafa Kaplan will need to change his game plan if he wants to take any points back to the Capital.

Mustafa Kaplan has been pretty consistent with his team line ups with the 4-3-3 formation since January and its worked with the team losing only 1 game in their last 9. Kaplan likes the team to play football and build from the back, but Sunday’s game he will need to look at a more conservative approach. Bringing Moulin or Moke in for Sacko might be a better option having an extra man in midfield as Besiktas will look to get men forward and exploit any gaps across the pitch.

Tyler Boyd has been excellent for Ankaragücü since signing in January but was kept quiet by a solid Konyaspor side last week as was Orgill. Both of them will be key to Ankaragücü taking anything from the game and will need to be clinical with any chances that come their way.

A lot has been said about the attacking play of Ankaragücü in particular Orgill and Boyd, but the back 5 of Altay, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic and Pinto have formed a brilliant partnership and have been the unsung hero’s. It’s easy to see why Kulusic was so highly regarded at Genclerbirligi as he is the ultimate pro and a fantastic defender. Pazdan has come over to Turkey from Poland and has settled in quickly and Ankaragücü will be hoping to sign him permanently in the Summer.

Besiktas on their day are the best side in the Super Lig going forward, but they have only kept 3 clean sheets since January and they were against struggling sides Goztepe, Bursa and Akhisar. If Ankaragücü can keep it tight at the back and nick a goal you never know, but it will be a huge ask and I would settle for a point before the game has started.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

GENCLERBIRLIGI DIGGING DEEP !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Genclerbirligi kept the show on the road last Saturday with a 1-0 win at home against a difficult opponent - Istanbulspor.

Selcuk Sahin scored the vital goal half way through the 2nd half to keep Gencler 2 points clear at the top of the Spor Toto Championship League.

As expected, 2nd top Denizilspor is not giving up the chase and they won 3-0 away in Giresun.

Recent challenger Hatay dropped points when they could only manage a 1-1 draw away to Altay, and so drop 7 points behind Denizli.

So, with 4 matches left it looks like a two way fight between Gencler and Denizli to become League Champions.   However, the important fact is that Gencler look destined for a quick return to the Super League.

Next Monday (29 April) Gencler visit bottom club Karabuk who are already relegated and this should be a high scoring match to boost Gencler’s goal difference which is 3 less than Denizli at the moment.

Denizli host mid-table Balikesir on Sunday and should win that one.

Haydi Gencler !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, April 22, 2019

ANKARAGUCU STALEMATE




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu spurned the opportunity to move safely into mid-table yesterday when they could only draw.   However, having said that, the point was more than some teams in the relegation zone could muster.   For example, Fener.....spit.....bahce, Goztepe and Akhisar all lost.

ANKARAGUCU     0             Konyaspor       0
   
Team – Altay, Kulusic, Pazdan, Kitsiou, Djedje, Pinto, Canteros, Sedat, Boyd, Sacko and Orgill

Substitutes – Moke, Moulin and Ilhan

As Nadeem said in a comment yesterday, the Kanka Group is falling apart with only Eski Kanka watching the match in The Anasson.   However, all credit to Ahmet and Miguel who were probably in the Stadium along with the other 10,000.

We all love to criticise and bad-mouth Ilhan from time-to-time, but I have to praise him ......for a change !     Prior to the kick-off yesterday and while awaiting the players to emerge from the tunnel, Ilhan took all the substitutes across to Gecikondu to applaud them.    A nice gesture Ilhan !

The first chance of the match fell to Orgill with the match only 7 minutes old when he received a pass on the left and bore in on goal only to hit his shot past the far post.

2 minutes later and a frantic block by THREE Ankaragucu defenders prevented a shot on goal well inside the box.

The ex-Ankaragucu goalkeeper, Serkan, made a brilliant save from Djedje’s goalbound screamer on the 15 minute mark, and it wasn’t the last time he would deny Ankaragucu.

On the half hour mark and Konya almost scored from a corner, and shortly after Altay saved from a well worked free kick which obviously came from the training ground.

Approaching half time and one player who would NOT be receiving the Man of the Match accolade was Canderos.   I lost count of the times he gave the ball away cheaply which gave Konya the opportunity to counter attack.   I had to scratch my head to find the Man of the Match and I decided to give it to Pinto for his tireless work in defence and his willingness to break forward and assist the front line.   He oozes class !

Then almost on the half time whistle there was a let-off for Ankaragucu.   A fast Konya breakaway from an Ankaragucu corner left Djedje chasing an attacker bearing down on goal, but he stumbled, allowing the attacker to cross only for the other Konya attacker to sky his shot over the bar.

Going in at half time all square was about right I suppose even though Ankaragucu had 62 per cent possession, but not much of that was in the final third !!

Ankaragucu started the 2nd half like an express train and after 15 minutes ran out of steam and ideas.   Firstly, Orgill had a great chance when put through on the right, but his shot was in a difficult angle and it went to the wrong side of the post.   Then Sacko received a pass well inside the box to the centre and he shot weakly at Serkan.

Konya had a good chance half way through the 2nd half when Altay made an uncharacteristic mistake by mis-kicking a clearance straight to a Konya player.   He was probably so surprised that he didn’t react quick enough allowing Altay to recover and make a save from his snatched second effort.

Pazdan was caught dithering on the ball which gave the chance of a quick break on the right, but thankfully Kulusic was quick to spot the danger and was also quick enough to make a sliding tackle to put the ball into touch.

Ankaragucu woke-up at last in the final 10 minutes to try and steal all 3 points.   First, Ilhan tried an audacious overhead kick inside the box but it wasn’t powerful enough and was easily saved by Serkan.

Moments later Ilhan again tried his luck when put through on the left but he shot weakly past the right post.

Into time-added-on and some great footwork by Pinto on the left to beat two defenders and his cut-back went straight to Kulusic, but his powerful strike went just past the post.

There was time for one last chance, but Orgill’s header from a cross from the left was saved by Serkan.

I think Konya will have been the happier of the two teams after some wayward finishing from the Ankaragucu attacks and some excellent saves by Serkan.

So, with only 5 matches left, it is still undecided which teams will be relegated.   Ankaragucu have managed to pull themselves up to 11th on equal points with Kayseri, but are only 8 points above 3rd bottom Erzurum.

Next Sunday will be a searching test of Ankaragucu’s resolve when they are away at Beshiktrash KO 7pm.   Beshiktrash will not be feeling generous even though they are comfortably in the Europa Cup positions, because they are still within striking distance of the top 2 teams and a place in the Champions League.

Altay and the Ankaragucu defence will no doubt be tested to their limit, but they have the ability to deal with the pressure and hopefully surprise us by returning from Istan.....spit....bul with at least one point.

Bring it on !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, April 15, 2019

GENCLERBIRLIGI IS NOT FOR FOLDING !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The pressure is beginning to bite now, but Gencler and Denizli are not for folding .......yet !

Gencler pulled 2 points ahead of Denizli after Denizli could only draw this weekend, but Gencler kept their foot on the throttle with a penalty converted by Nadir in the 82nd minute.

Saturday – Gencler    1         Balikesir     0
                   Denizli   0       Bolu     0

The chasing pack are also feeling the pressure, with Osman.....spit.....li in particular, losing 1-0 in Istanbul.                  

Fast improving Hatay stay in 3rd place but are only 5 points behind Denizli.

Next weekend’s fixtures are ..........

Saturday 20 April -    Gencler  v  Istanbul
                                    Giresun  v  Denizli

Who is going to crack first ?    With only 5 matches left it is shaping-up to be a tense finish to decide who will be Champions of the Spor Toto Championship League.    With Gencler back in pole position it is now in their own hands !

Haydi Gencler !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim