Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Well, perhaps that’s an exaggeration after living dangerously in the 2nd half in last night’s match. However, the fact remains that Ankaragucu is top of the league ..........well, at least until tomorrow when Umraniye travel to Altinordu in what is 2nd v 13th.
ANKARAGUCU 2 Manisaspor 1
Team – Akin, Erdem, Yusef, Sinan, Pinto, Zahid, Abdullah, Ishak, Murat, Eren and Ariyibi
Substitutes – Erdi, Cifci, Owusu, Ali Kaan and Geraldo
Ankaragucu was fortunate not to go behind in the 7th minute when Sinan was too casual on the ball near the halfway line and was easily dispossessed. The fast break was on for Manisa, but after an excellent pass into the box, the forward’s shot went just past the left post.
Fast forward to the 20th minute and that was the extent of the action and I admit to almost dozing-off with what was becoming a boring match. Therefore, I called a toilet break for myself to prevent my nodding off !!!
That was obviously the signal and wake-up call for Ankaragucu to liven proceedings up when the match exploded into life 8 minutes later, and what a goal it was too. In Ankaragucu’s first serious attack of the match, Ariyibi won the ball on the left after a loose Manisa defensive clearance, and shot into the right corner from outside the box for a fantastic goal.
Manisa was not for folding and continued to press forward in search of the equaliser, and it almost arrived 10 minutes before the half time whistle. A goal bound shot from outside the box was well saved by Akin.
Then, 5 minutes later came the goal of the match, which might well be a contender for goal of the season. Murat picked the ball up just inside his own half and scampered down the left avoiding one tackle. He then cut inside and into the box avoiding two more tackles and sent a shot into the top right for a truly memorable goal.
Into the 2nd half and Manisa came out in full-on attacking mode. It only took 10 minutes for Sinan to see Red and and commit a needless foul on a Manisa attacker just outside the penalty box in the centre. The referee had no hesitation in producing the Red Card and I doubt that Sinan will be missed in the next few weeks after a poor performance last night.
Mustafa Bey sent Erdi on to shore up the defence as Manisa sensed blood and continued to attack with Ankaragucu now reeling.
The inevitable goal came in the 65th minute and in all honesty it was no more than Manisa deserved. A bullet of a shot from Tormin from outside the box was sent in to the top left. Akin got his fingertips to the ball but was unable to prevent the ball finding the back of the net.
It was all Manisa at this stage as they searched in vain for the equaliser.
Manisa had 4 goal bound shots saved by Akin from then until the final whistle on 90 plus 8. I have to confess to pulling my hair out in frustration at Ankaragucu’s attempts to bring the ball out of their own half and catch Manisa on the break. However, the defence held firm and it was much relief all round when the final whistle was blown !!
Ankaragucu only had 2 shots on target to Manisa’s 6, and Ankaragucu have Man of the Match, Akin, to thank for winning all 3 points.
Ankaragucu will need to be more inventive and assertive next Saturday in another difficult match away to 3rd place Eyupspor, and as I have said at the beginning of the season, it’s going to be a hard slog till the end of the season ................ and there will be no ‘easy’ matches in this league !!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim