Sunday, March 07, 2021

Fatih Karagumruk 0-1 Ankaragücü match report!


Six points from tough games against Galatasaray and Fatih Karagumruk have given Ankaragücü a lifeline in the fight against relegation. Another excellent performance under the guidance of Hikmet Karaman who is proving what a great coach he is.

Team - Freidrich, Kitsiou, Sarlija, Kulusic, Atilla, Ibrahim, Alper, Endri, Saba, Geraldo, Borven

Subs - Furkan, Pazdan, Erdi, Pinto, Orkan, Assane, Ali Kaan, Badji, Voca, Emre

Ankaragücü started the match well and looked the more lively in the first ten minutes. Fatih Karagumruk are a good side though and it was Castro who had the first chance of the game but his weak effort was easily saved by Freidrich.

Three minutes later and excellent play from Alassane Ndao down the right found Castro free in the box but he blasted high and wide when he should have done better. A few minutes later Karagumruk had a goal rightly ruled out for offside.

The first chance for Ankaragücü didn’t come until the 43rd minute when Endri saw his 30 yard free kick tipped over by Viviano. One minute later Bertolucci had a chance at the other end after nice play from Castro but he sliced his shot high and wide.

Half Time 0-0

Karagumruk started the second half well and nice play from Borini down the left who crossed for Castro at the back post, but again he somehow headed over. Another let off for Ankaragücü.

Then the opening goal came on the 54th minute. Nice link up play from Geraldo then Saba who squared the ball for Alper Potuk who placed his shot past Viviano in the Karagumruk goal to make it 0-1. A great goal and now it was time for Ankaragücü to defend for the next 35 minutes!

Karagumruk did have a penalty claim which looked like it was going to be given after Borven pulled back Ndao in the box. But thankfully VAR said no due to Ndao being offside.

Karagumruk piled on the pressure in injury time with Salibur firing over from 25 yards and Ricardo made an outstanding save from Melvut from point blank range. Melvut had another chance at the end but he headed over.

Saba could have finished the game off for Ankaragücü but he shot straight at Viviano. Ankaragücü held on for the 3 points and their is now a buzz around the club. Hikmet Karaman has galvanised the squad and everyone is fighting for each other.

Sarlija and Ibrahim both impressed today as did Kulusic, Geraldo and Alper. But special mention to Borven who played in almost every position on the park and worked so hard for the team. It’s this kind of work rate and togetherness that keeps teams up!

Next up is Goztepe next Sunday!

Friday, March 05, 2021

Fatih Karagumruk vs Ankaragucu match preview!


Ankaragucu done the unthinkable midweek as they won 2-1 at home against leaders Galatasaray to give the club and fans hope that they can still stay in the Turkish Super Lig this season. The team are now 3 points from safety and also have a game in hand. 

That said, we have seen this story so often, where Ankaragucu raise everyone's hopes and then follow it up with another horror show the week after. Hopefully that will not the the case this Sunday afternoon as they take on Fatih Karagumruk in Istanbul. 

Karagumruk like Hatayspor have been a breath of fresh air in the Turkish Super Lig this season and have shown that newly promoted clubs can have a successful season if they get their recruitment right. They currently sit 8th in the league but Ankaragucu might be meeting them at the right time having won only 1 of their last 4 matches including a loss against Kasimpasa and draw last week at Erzurumspor.

From the small neighborhood of Istanbul, Karagumruk have punched above their weight and made some big signings for a club of their stature. Emilio Viviano, Lucas Biglia, Andrea Bertolacci, Lucas Castro, Fabio Borini, Jimmy Durmaz, Jermaine Lens, and Melvut Erdinc are all experienced summer signings who have played their part in the clubs excellent season. Alassane Ndao is another who has caught the eye after signing last season. He is one of the leaders in the Super Lig with assists but also along with Saba has a high turnover rate. 

Hikmet Karaman again showed his value as Manager during the week with making more tactical decisions including moving Endri into a more central role, while starting Alper Potuk and Geraldo. The changes paid off as all 3 impressed and made a big difference to the midfield having attacking options and players who can keep the ball. He also kept faith in Saba who repaid his boss with an outstanding goal and Alper added an assist. 

The one area of the team i still see a weakness is the left back position. Atilla for me just isnt good enough and Pinto has too many injury problems. Sarlija and Kulusic will likely retain their place at the back alongside Kitsiou. Sarlija still has that tendency to dive and play act, if he cuts that out of his game he can be a very good player for Ankaragucu. 

Borven is starting to thrive with his run of games, and although he didnt score midweek, he worked hard and did his best to link up play. Geraldo was excellent in his first full game, he can play with his back to goal and also has an excellent cross, and played his part in the first goal. 

Sundays match will be another tough encounter. Last time both sides met it was a 2-2 draw in Ankara. A similar outcome wouldnt be the worst of results this time but Ankaragucu will fancy the 3 points. 

In order to take any positive outcome from the match, the team will need to be solid at the back. A strong defence and keeping 10 men on the pitch will be key. 

Lets hope its another 3 points and the great escape is on!

Wednesday, March 03, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Some people (not us kankas   !!!) were saying that Ankaragucu had thrown the towel in and were doomed to relegation this season.     Ho ho ho   !!!     Think again non-believers   !!     Ankaragucu showed tremendous resilience and skill tonight to topple the table toppers and deservedly took all 3 points   !!


ANKARAGUCU         2                  Galatasaray           1


Team – Korcan, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Sarlija, Attila, Endri, Ibrahim, Geraldo, Alper, Saba and Borven


Substitutes – Voca, Emre, Ricardo, Lukasik and Orkan


It was mostly all Galatasaray pressure in the 1st half, but Ankaragucu was not sitting back and allowing it.    They were fighting for every ball and making every effort to attack.     However, the first serious chance of the match fell to Galatasaray after 20 minutes when a cross came in from the left and a goal bound header was well saved by Korcan for a corner.


10 minutes later a careless back-pass by Ibrahim to Korcan was short and was latched onto by an attacker.   From a tight angle his shot went past the post with Korcan covering the shot.


5 minutes before the break and Korcan injured himself when reaching for a cross/shot and he hit the post and went down.    It looked like he injured his leg when he fell.    He couldn’t continue and Ricardo came on.


2 minutes to go and Ankaragucu eventually put a shot on target when Geraldo had a shot from just outside the box in the centre saved at the left post.


1 minutes before the half time whistle and some great work by Geraldo on the right when he crossed into the box.    Endri was shaping to take it on the volley but was brought down and the referee pointed immediately to the spot.    Up stepped Ibrahim to send his shot inside the left post with the goalkeeper diving to the right.


An excellent 1st half with all the Ankaragucu players going flat-out and full marks to the defence for staying solid.


The 2nd half was only 9 minutes old when Saba received a great pass on the left.    Off he went, cut into the box, avoided a challenge and lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper into the top right for a fantastic goal.


2 nil up and Galatasaray was looking down, but not out.     Then the drama 2 minutes later .....


 Mohammed put his elbow into Ibrahim’s face in a challenge right in front of the referee.    Straight RED card and off he went  !!!


Galatasaray rallied and continued to attack, but the Ankaragucu defence played out of the skins tonight and dealt with everything that came their way ........... well until near the end !!!


Saba almost scored a 2nd goal just before the 90th minute when his shot whizzed narrowly past the post.


Then the consolation goal for Galata.....spit......saray when Lukasik was dispossessed easily and the break was on.    The ball was played out on the left to Akturkoglu who curved the ball around Ricardo and in.


The final whistle was a relief and celebrations all round to hail Ankaragucu’s first win since the 21st of January.     Ankaragucu therefore move off the bottom position in the league and are now only 3 points behind the safety zone.      A great confidence boost for the team ahead of Sunday’s match against Fatih Karagumruk in what will be another must win match to put pressure on the bottom teams in the league.


I heard the post-match interview with Saba and Kitsiou (in English) and they were both smiling like Cheshire Cats and saying that the whole team believe they can avoid the drop.    That’s fighting talk and great to hear them saying it on live TV.    


I’m sure Oracle Kanka Johnny S will be full of optimism for Sunday   ??!!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, March 02, 2021




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

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Hatayspor 4-1 Ankaragücü


I’m still too angry to talk about this match after another embarrassing defeat this time 4-1 at Hatayspor. It all started soo well when Borven gave Ankaragücü the lead after nice build up play from Endri and Saba. But a moment of absolute madness and selfishness from Joseph Paintsil saw Ankaragücü again have to play a large part of the match with 10 men.

Hatayspor were too good for Ankaragücü especially with 10 men and Babajide Akintola got a standing ovation for his performance scoring 2 goals along with Mame Biram Diouf to give Hatayspor all 3 points.

The contrast between these two clubs are quite significant. One has managed to build one of the most entertaining teams in Turkey with excellent scouting and picking up bargains. The other (Ankaragücü) have now signed nearly 40 players in the Fatih Mert era and not one of them has performed at an acceptable level.

On Wednesday we move onto Galatasaray who are the form team in the league and another uphill task for Ankaragücü.

Friday, February 26, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler won’t have a better chance of halting their winless sequence of matches than they had today at the Eryaman Stadium when they played against 10 man Malatya for 50 minutes.


It is now 9 consecutive matches played without winning and Gencler must now seriously consider playing next season in The Championship if the elusive win doesn’t come soon.


With 69% possession today they only managed 3 shots on target, and with all due respect to Malatya, they probably won’t have a better chance than they had today against a very average Malatya team.


GENCLERBIRLIGI           1                 Yeni Malatyaspor              1


Team – Nordfeldt, Johanssen, Arda, Mustafa, Pehlivan, Candeias, Piris, Soner, Lucas Mugni, Ayite and Sandro Lima


Substitutes – Polomat, Yilmaz, Yildirim and Sertn


Both teams were set-up for attack, but it was Malatya who looked more likely to open the scoring in the first 20 minutes until a vital decision swung the match the other way.    


In Gencler’s first serious attack, Ayite broke free, but as he was about to enter the box and shoot, he was brought down by Semih and went sprawling into the box.     The referee immediately produced the yellow card, but before the free kick could be taken he received a message in his earpiece.      He then consulted VAR and returned to the field to produce a RED card and off Semih went.


Gencler took control of the match at this point and almost opened the scoring 8 minutes later when Soner had a great chance.    A cross came in from the right and Soner shot inside the 6 yard box only to see his shot well saved for a corner.


5 minutes later following yet another Gencler corner, there was a quick clearance and the quick break was on.   Kaya and Tetteh raced away together with the Gencler defence caught out and Kaya made an inch perfect pass to Tetteh who shrugged off a defender’s challenge and shot inside the right post.


Gencler continued to attack the 10 men and Johanssen was unlucky to see his shot from just outside the box hit the bar.     Then, just before the half time whistle Soner had his free kick from just outside the box well saved for a corner.


Hibs loanee, Stevie Mallan, had a fairly quiet 1st half and was replaced by Ankaragucu ‘olde boy’, Umut Bulut.


Into the 2nd half and 10 man Malatya was weathering the Gencler attacks and it seemed to me at this stage of the match that they would hold out for all 3 points.    However, Gencler received a helping hand from Lady Luck in the 60th minute.     Ayite sent a screamer of a shot from just outside the box which hit the post, bounced off, hit the grounded goalkeeper, and ricocheted off him and in.


10 minutes later it was Gencler’s turn to see RED when Ayite brought down Tetteh from behind when he was in full flow and heading for the penalty box.   


5 minutes later and Malatya missed a golden opportunity to win the match when Mustafa was put through one-on-one with Nordfeldt, but his shot went just past the post.


Gencler move off the bottom spot of the league at least until tomorrow.     If Ankaragucu can take at least one point off Hatay then Gencler will once again prop the league up.


Two upcoming crucial matches for Gencler to haul themselves out of trouble.    However, unless they can find inspiration in the final 3rd to score goals, it will be a big ask.    They travel to Gaziantep on Tuesday and are back at home next Sunday against Basaksehir.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Hatayspor vs Ankaragucu match preview!


The last few games we have been must win games for Ankaragucu against fellow relegation candidates Erzurumspor, Kayserispor and Rizespor. Unfortunately Ankaragucu took only 2 points from those games and leave themselves a mountain to climb with the run of fixtures coming up. 

First up is a tough away match against high flying Hatayspor who have been a breath of fresh air since their promotion to the Super Lig. The good news for Ankaragucu is Star player Aaron Boupendza is suspended for Hatay after picking up a yellow card in their last match. Boupendza has been arguably the best player in the Super Lig this season since his remarkable 100k move to the club in the summer. 

Boupendza is just one example of the excellent scouting work that has went on at Hatay with the likes of Adama Traore, Rayanne Abaid, David Akinola, Mame Biram Diouf and Moahmmed Kamara all impressing. 

Mohammed Kamara was picked up on a free transfer from Menemen in the Turkish 2nd tier while Boupendza a 100k signing from the 2nd tier in Portugal. While Ankaragucu continue to sign failure after failure and build a team with loan signings, Hatay have got it right and Boupendza is in talks this week over an 8 Million Euros move to Krasnodar in Russia. 

Hikmet Karaman took control of his 2nd Ankaragucu match last weekend and will be disappointed they never took all 3 points against a poor Rizespor side. Team selection with Atilla and Saba both starting was a big mistake and those two should not find themselves in the starting line up this week if Ankaragucu have any hope of taking anything from the game. 

A change of formation may be the right move for Karaman with 4-4-1-1 an option. Endri can come into that left midfield position and Saba can take his place on the bench. Sarlija will return from suspension while Badji is also available for selection after he picked up a knock.

The last time the two sides met Ankaragucu won 2-0 at home and will be hoping or a similar performance this time round. They are 5 points from safety and its looking more unlikely as the weeks go by that the team can get out of this relegation fight. 

The key factor for Ankaragucu in this match will be keeping it tight at the back and taking any chances that come their way. Hatay are a very good attacking side and its important Ankaragucu keep their shape and dont give away any silly chances. 

My Team

Korcan -GK- Has cemented his place as Number 1 under Hikmet Karaman and will need to be at his best as he will likely be busy this weekend.

Kitsiou - RB - Hopefully with the last 2 full games under his belt he is getting back to full fitness whcih will come at a crucial time for the club.

Sarlija - CB - Will return to the starting line up after suspension and a welcome addition.

Kulusic - CB - Played in the last 2 games and will likely get the nod ahead of Erdi.

Pinto - LB -Need him to be fit, a key player when he is in the team but too often injured this season.

Lukaskik - CM - Again one of the first names on the timesheet and his experience will be vital tomorrow. 

Voca - CM - Slowly getting better with the run of games in the team. His passing forward can be vital for the attacking players when playing on the counter attack.

Endri - LM - Should come back into the team ahead of Saba. Important if he is given the opportunity that he keeps the ball and creates for the attacking players. Also vital at set pieces. 

Geraldo - RM - Has shown in his short spells when coming on that he is good with the ball and can also put a good cross into the box for the likes of Borven and Badji.

Paintsil - FW - Paintsil works had and i would like to see him in a more central position just off the main striker who he can support, but also fall back into midfield when we are defending. 

Borven - Striker - Played the last two games and scored an important goal at the weekend. Best finisher in the team and should keep his place in the team.