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