Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
1-0 up at half time with Antep looking like losers and then ......... the transformation !
10 minutes into the 2nd half and Antep was down to 10 men and suddenly they were a different team. Amazing turnaround !
Gencler is now staring relegation in the face after 10 matches without a win !
Gaziantep 2 GENCLERBIRLIGI 1
Team – Nordfeldt, Johanssen, Piris, Arda, Omurcan, Yildirim, Furman, Yilmaz, Soner, Candeias and Sandro Lima
Substitutes – Diego, Altiparmak and Ilker
It was pretty much an end to end match, until the 18th minute when Gencler scored the opening goal. There was a fast break down the right with the Antep defence caught out. The ball was crossed into Lima in the centre and his shot was parried by the goalkeeper and Lima was on hand to score the rebound. The linesman’s flag went up for offside from the original pass on the right. However, before play could resume, the referee received a message in his earpiece and the offside was cancelled and the goal given. Having seen the replay of the VAR, it was an extremely tight decision with only centimetres in it !!
Gencler continued to look the likelier team and 5 minutes later could have increased their lead when there was another fast break on the right by Lima who crossed for Furman to shoot just past the right post.
2 minutes later and Yilmaz had a chance to score, but his goal bound shot was saved and cleared.
Antep reminded me of ‘the Ankaragucu Way’, ie, passing across the field in midfield and passing direct to Gencler players. Even with 68% possession in the 1st half they never seriously troubled Nordfeldt.
The ‘game changer’ came in the 57th minute when the VAR camera caught an off-the-ball incident when Mirallas kicked a Gencler player from behind and the referee received a message in his earpiece. He checked the VAR himself and returned to the field to produce a RED card for Mirallas.
Normally when this happens, the team would retreat into defence until they had time to adjust. However, it seemed to fire-up Antep and 2 minutes later they were level.
It was a terrible mistake by the normally reliable Arda when he sent a weak back-pass to Nordfeldt which was immediately latched onto by Ozer who had the easiest of tasks of picking his spot and leaving Nordfeldt helpless.
It was all 10 man Antep now as they searched for the winner and Gencler had Nordfeldt to thank on several occasions with timely saves from the Antep forwards.
The winning goal came as no surprise and a goal worthy of winning any match. A quick Antep break down the left and a pin-point cross into the box from the goal-line for Jefferson to power in a bullet of a header with Nordfeldt having no chance.
A truly memorable come-back from Antep and Gencler must now be wondering where their next point is coming from !!
Next up is a home match against Basaksehir on Sunday. Last year’s champions are also struggling and are dangerously close to the relegation zone, so it will be another tense affair with both teams desperate for points.
As always, watch this space for the outcome.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim