Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
It was quite clear when the team was announced yesterday that the new Ankaragucu Coach, Tolunay Kaftas, was opting for a defensive line-up with very few attacking options available to support Ali, The Lone Ranger, and so it proved with Ankaragucu managing only two shots on target in the match.
The main talking point of the match was that Ankaragucu shot themselves in the foot by scorning the opportunity of at least taking a point back to Ankara when they failed to convert a penalty in the 2nd half.
Apart from that, they had Gokhan to thank for keeping the score line respectable !!
Istanbul Basaksehir 1 ANKARAGUCU 0
Team – Gokhan, Kitsiou, Radakovic, Atakan, Mujakic, Hasan Ali, Taylan, Diack, Pedrinho, Emre and Ali Sowe
Substitutes – Zahid, Matej Hano, Andrej Dokanovic, Beridze and Oko
The first real action of the match came in the 22nd minute when Gokhan made a spectacular save from a goal bound shot heading inside the right post.
The warning went unheeded when Basak opened the scoring 15 minutes later. A long ball was sent from just inside their own half on the right to Gurler who had peeled away from the Ankaragucu defenders on the left, and with them in his wake, he headed the ball over Gokhan to score a well constructed goal.
Emre had a chance to equalise near the half time whistle when he drove into the box on the right and shot narrowly past the left post.
The only good news at this point was that Zahid replaced the ineffective Pedrinho for the start of the 2nd half !!
5 minutes in and Gokhan saved another stinging shot which was goal bound.
5 minutes later and Ankaragucu was handed a lifeline when Zahid was brought down in the box when he had received a pass and looked like he was about to shoot. Ali stepped up and sent his effort to the right which hit the post and rebounded into play only for the 2nd effort to be skied well over ! I recommend that Zahid be entrusted with penalty kicks in the future !!!
10 minutes later and yet another great save by Gokhan from a goal bound shot heading inside the left post.
5 minutes later and Ankaragucu had another chance to equalise when a cross came in from the left and hit the post. The rebound was headed against the post by Ali and the 2nd rebound was sent past the post and out after Ali looked to be off balance. It was just not Ali’s day !!
10 minutes to go and a scare was avoided of a possible handball in the Ankaragucu box. However, VAR was not consulted, the referee obviously deemed it was ball to arm and not arm to ball. A sensible decision at last from a referee and his interpretation of the handball rule !!!
8 minutes into time added on and Gokhan saved a certain goal on a 1 on 1 situation, the last action of the match.
The possible crisis is looming, but the panic button has yet to be pushed !! Miracles do happen sometimes and relegation is not a done deal yet. Having said that, the next league match on Saturday 8 April against fellow strugglers Istanbulspor will be the acid test !
Prior to that, on Tuesday 4 April Ankaragucu will face another stiff test in the Quarter Final of The Turkish Cup against Trabzonspor, but to be honest, all the focus will now be on winning league points with the Cup match a mere distraction.
As always, watch this space for the outcome.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim