Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
It was a beautiful Spring Day on Sunday when the kankas met-up in Kizilay. Maniac Kanka Harun and Gokhan Kanka had visited the new Eryaman Stadium previously, but for Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I it was our first visit.
The Metro journey took about 50 minutes to arrive at the aptly named station – Ankaragucu 1910 – which is adjacent to the Stadium. My first impression of the exterior of the Stadium was that it looked impressive,and inside was equally impressive holding a compact 20,000 with good vision all round. However, our opinion soon changed at the end of the match when we attempted to exit the Stadium, but more of that later.
So to the match .............
ANKARAGUCU 1 Fenerbahce 1
Team – Altay, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Pazdan, Pinto, Djedje, Sedat, Sacko, Canteros, Boyd and Orgill
Substitutes – Moke, Ilhan and Sadaev
Fener didn’t seem overawed at the full stadium with only a small pocket of Fener fans in the corner next to us in the North Section. They came to attack and could consider themselves unlucky to go in 1-0 down at half time.
The match was only 5 minutes old when the Fener No5 commited a horrendous foul by scything down an Ankaragucu player just outside the box which earned him a yellow card. The resulting free kick was sent straight to a Fener defender !
5 minutes later and it was Man of the Match, Altay, to the rescue to save a goalbound shot with the Ankaragucu defence pulled out of position.
2 minutes later and a rare Ankaragucu attack, but the cross into the box was straight to a Fener defender again !
15 minutes gone and Fener won a free kick just outside the box in the centre. The free kick was expertly taken to the top right corner and was a goal all the way until Altay miraculously saved for a corner.
Ankaragucu was trying to mount attacks but the Fener defence was solid, blocking and clearing anything which came their way.
On the half hour mark and Fener almost scored from a fast break down the right, but the shot went whizzing past the left post.
3 minutes to half time and our worried looking faces changed after the only genuine goal attempt by Ankaragucu. A high ball was sent out of defence towards Orgill and Boyd. It was Boyd who was first to it and he showed great composure to collect the ball on the left and bring it forward before releasing a shot to the near post which Harun probably anticipated going to the far post.
So, Ankaragucu could consider themselves fortunate going in at half time 1-0 up when they had Altay to thank for dealing with everything that came his way.
Orgill, Boyd and others were continually being outmuscled by the 3 ‘giants’ in the Fener back three. Numbers 5, 15 and 37 have the physique of rugby players and were winning all the 50/50 balls.
Fener started the 2nd half as they did in the 1st half with attack after attack raining in on the Ankaragucu goal.
The match had barely resumed when Ankaragucu gifted the ball to Fener on the right. The cross came in and should have been cleared by Kitsiou, but he missed his header and the Fener No8 had a clear shot on goal, but shot over when it was easier to score.
15 minutes in and from a corner on the left the Fener No5 rose unchallenged to send his angled header just past the post. 3 minutes later and Altay saved from a dangerous shot by the Fener No9, and one minute later he saved again at the near post from a shot on the right.
One minute later and the pressure finally paid-off when Fener found a way past Altay. It was similar to Boyd’s opener when Hasan Ali collected the ball on the left and shot to the far post, but no blame attached to Altay who was helpless to stop it going in.
Ankaragucu was being restricted to breakaways and from a free kick outside the box on the right, the effort was just past the post on the left.
However, there was no let-up from Fener as they continued to bombard the Ankaragucu goal. The defence was working overtime, with Pinto and Pazdan in particular clearing goalbound efforts on countless occasions as Ankaragucu tried to run the clock down and snatch a winner on the break.
Then, with only 5 minutes to go, the whole complexion of the match changed dramatically because of one incident which resulted in 2 red cards and crowd trouble.
There was an Ankaragucu player attacking on the right and an intended pass from him hit Topal in the face and he went down seemingly in pain. The ball was picked up by Canderos, who despite shouts from the Fener defenders to kick the ball into touch, carried on and shot just over the bar. He was then surrounded by Fener players and was pushed/struck by Ekici. Canderos naturally retaliated and at that point all hell broke loose with officials, substitutes and players trying to restore order.
The referee then decided to look at the replay on video and returned to issue red cards to Canderos and Ekici. This incited the throwing of missiles (bottles of water and coins) between the Fener contingent and some of the fans in our section next door to that section. All this ‘action’ took about 5 minutes !
As Nadeem informed me today, Topal has been reported as apologising for making a meal of the ball to face incident and admitted he did it to waste time.
I was critical of Canderos for his lack of sportsmanship and it seems that, in hindsight, Topal should have been the main contender for my criticism, however, all credit to him for admitting his guilt.
So, what had been a friendly match between players and both sets of fans ended on a sour note with anger and bad mouthing on both sides. It would therefore be a surprise if Ankaragucu doesn’t receive another ‘Stadium Ban’ !!
Time to head back to the Metro Station which from the end of the match to reaching the Station took about 45 minutes !!
It was unbelievable that this new Stadium had only ONE exit open for all the fans of the 3 tribunes, ie, ours behind one goal, Gecikondu behind the other and the whole length of Maraton.
It was chaos, and with women and children also involved in the struggle to exit it was also dangerous. I shudder to think what might happen in the future if there is an emergency situation and this is not rectified soon !
So, I think that, on reflection, this match was a point won by Ankaragucu and all credit to the team for their never-say-die efforts, with a particular pat on the back to our great goalkeeper Altay for keeping us in the match throughout.
Ankaragucu is still too close to the relegation zone for comfort and is only 5 points above 3rd bottom club Goztepe. Fener have the same points as Ankaragucu, but next Sunday entertain 2nd top Galata.....spit....saray in a crucial match for both of them.
Ankaragucu travel to Kayseri next Sunday for the early KO of 1.30pm. I’ll be watching it in The Anasson.
To bring back all 3 points from Kayseri would go a long way to dispel our end of season nerves !!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim