Greeting Kankas and Kankies.
Ankaragucu avoided a ‘banana skin’ exit from the Turkish Cup yesterday as happened in the past , e.g., ............. who can forget the exit at the hands of Badrumspor a few years ago, and dare I mention Fener.....spit.....bahce’s elimination by Pendikspor before that ??!!
It took a defensive blunder and a penalty to ensure Ankaragucu go into the draw for the 4th Round after a boring lack lustre performance against a team from the 3rd Division of the Turkish League. Despite having the lion’s share of play, Ankaragucu made heavy weather of their attempt to grind out a win and move into the next round.
Giving most of the ‘1st Team’ a rest almost back-fired on Ankaragucu and I had a feeling that yesterday’s team under-estimated Soma and assumed that the match was a done-deal before the kick off. However, I don’t include Owusu in my criticism who seemed to be the only player giving 100%.
ANKARAGUCU 2 Somaspor 0
Team – Bahadir, Cem, Alperen, Erdi, Yasin, Ali Kaan, Sahverdi, Aatif, Geraldo, Owusu and Ciftci
Substitutes – Hasan, Muhammed, Ulas, Imdat and Emre
The first real action arrived in the 12th minute and it produced a goal out of nothing. With a Soma defender and Owusu chasing the ball towards the Soma penalty box, the defender played a back pass to his goalkeeper while under pressure from Owusu. However, the pass was angled away from the goalkeeper which left the goalkeeper scrambling back to scoop the ball off the goal line to parry it clear. Owusu being alert to the situation followed up and picked up the loose ball to blast it into the empty net for an opportunist strike.
Will the floodgates open I was thinking ? Errrrrrrm............ no !!
5 minutes later and Ankaragucu missed an opportunity to put the Soma defence under pressure when Geraldo was sent clear on the right. With ample time to cross the ball into the danger area, he allowed himself to be dispossessed and the chance was missed. Just one of the many mistakes made by Geraldo whose days at Ankaragucu must be numbered !!!
5 minutes later and Owusu made space for himself on the left to angle a shot to the right post but his excellent effort went just past the post.
Approaching the half time whistle and the last chance fell to Ciftci who was well positioned in the centre on the 18 yard line and under no pressure, but his shot was well over the bar.
It seemed to me that Ankaragucu was enjoying a ‘stroll in the park’ in the 1st half and I was hoping the half time Team Talk by Mustafa Bey would centre around upping the pace of the match !!!
The 2nd half was only 7 minutes old when Ankaragucu received another ‘present’ from Soma. There was one/two inter-passing between Owusu and Ali Kaan as they entered the Soma penalty box when one of the defender’s stupidly and blatantly handled the return pass to Owusu. The referee pointed immediately to the spot, Ciftci stepped up and despatched the ball inside the right post with the goalkeeper diving the wrong way.
The pace of the match didn’t alter until near the end, but before that. Ankaragucu almost added a 3rd after good work by Owusu set up a great chance for Emre, but his shot was just past the left post.
A late flurry of attacking action by both teams in the last 10 minutes came to nothing and Ankaragucu can be thankful that Soma didn’t have any ‘bullets to fire’ in the final 3rd to give Bahadir any problems.
It’s back to league business on Saturday and a tricky visit to Eyupspor sitting 4 points behind Ankaragucu in 3rd place. Mustafa Bey will obviously be calling for more urgency and accuracy from the players in the final 3rd !!!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim