Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Ankaragucu lost their way in the 2nd half last night, and not for the first time this season, conceded the winning goal just before the end of the match. Having looked as though they would share the spoils, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
This defeat moves Ankaragucu back into the relegation zone which means that, with 2 matches remaining, their Super League status is not totally in their own hands.
They sit in 4th bottom position on 38 points, 2 points behind Kayseri and 5 points behind Kasimpasa and Antalya. So, that means that Ankaragucu is now looking at Kayseri to drop points, and at the same time, win their remaining 2 matches against Kasimpasa and Alanya.
A tall order perhaps, but all is not lost ...........yet !!
ANKARAGUCU 1 Fenerbahce 2
Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Sarlija, Atilla, Ibrahim, Endri, Alper, Paintsil, Saba and Badji
Substitutes – Atakan, Pinto, Geraldo, Lukasik and Erdi
It was a promising start by Ankaragucu as they rushed into the lead in the 2nd minute of the match when Alper punished a slack back-pass and steered his shot inside the right post.
Ankaragucu continued to attack and Alper had 3 more chances to increase the lead, but two shots and a header were all off target.
As half time approached we could have been forgiven for thinking that 3 points was a possibility, but all it took was a simple mistake to allow Fener to go in at half time with a spring in their step.
Surely it’s not too difficult to understand that if there isn’t a colleague free at a throw-in then the sensible thing to do is to send it back to a defender or the goalkeeper to keep possession and build another attack in a different direction ??!! The whole idea of having a throw-in is to keep possession !!!
Ankaragucu had a throw-in near the half way line and Kitsiou elected to propel the ball along the line in the hope of finding an Ankaragucu head. However, with everyone covered by Fener players, the ball went to one of them and was quickly played across the field to Valencia who outpaced the Ankaragucu defence as they tried to scuttle back. He then made a cut-back from the right to the unmarked Ozan on the left who had the simplest of task of firing in the equaliser.
Shortly after the resumption Alper had another chance to put Ankaragucu ahead again, but as he bore in on goal on the right he elected to shoot but it was well saved by Harun. If he had looked up before shooting, he would have seen 2 unmarked Ankaragucu colleagues on the left waving their hands frantically for the cross !!
It was mostly all one way traffic towards Ricardo in the 2nd half as Ankaragucu fought a rearguard action to at least win one point. Ricardo was in excellent form as he saved time and time again, especially in the 64th minute when he saved a point-blank header in the 6 yard box.
The last 10 minutes of the match was nail-biting stuff with the Ankaragucu defence under constant pressure. Passes were going astray and they were conceding free kicks on a regular basis as they tired in the closing minutes.
Ricardo and the defence were destined to become heroes as the match went into time added on, but football can be cruel sometimes. It was 90 plus 5 on the clock when a Fener cross came in from the right. Erdi looked to have it covered, but he missed the headed clearance and Valencia just behind him didn’t. He said ........... thank you very much .............. as he headed in for the winner !!
Although Fener had 70% possession which was mainly from their 2nd half performance, Ankaragucu will look back on this match with regret that they didn’t put the sword in during the 1st half when they had so many chances. However, there will be no time for dwelling on the ‘if only’ and ‘maybe’ matches with 2 crucial matches coming up this week.
First up is the away match against Kasimpasa on Tuesday and finally a home match next Saturday against Alanya.
The only tactics which Hikmet Bey can employ now is quite simple, ie, .............. attack, attack and attack !!!
Let’s keep the faith !!!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim