Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ankaragucu vs Besiktas match preview!

It’s back to Domestic football after a successful International week for the Turkish National team who sit top of their group after a win over Albania and excellent draw at France. The less we talk about the Scotland national team the better.

Onto Saturdays home match with Besiktas and the game is already close to a sell out as Ankaragucu fans have been busy over the last couple of days buying their tickets for another huge match for the club against Besiktas.

On paper Ankaragucu shouldn’t have much of a chance against the Istanbul giants, but Besiktas haven’t got off to the best of starts this season while Ankaragucu have proved difficult to beat despite so much problems surrounding the club both financially and on the playing front where the team are struggling to put a team on the pitch due to the transfer ban and injuries.

Bad news for Ankaragucu is no return of key player Tito Canteros, the Argentinian has missed the last 2 games due to injury but has been back in training this week but still isn’t ready to return. Canteros is in the top 7 midfielders in the Super Lig in terms of key passes and will be a big miss.

As we have mentioned so often this season, the back 4 for Ankaragucu and Korcan have been vital in the 8 points they have collected so far. Kitsiou and Pinto are both big players in attack and defence, while the two centre half’s Pazdan and Kulusic have been solid for most of the games.

Korcan Celikay is the highest rated Goalkeeper in the Turkish Super Lig this season in terms of Saves made per match and will have another busy day ahead of him against his former club.

Besiktas have the same amount of points as Ankaragucu so far which is unacceptable for a team that has the players they have in their team. Although they don’t have the quality as past Besiktas teams have due to the financial situation in Turkey, they still have good players in Lajic. Burak Yilmaz. Hutchinson, Vida and former Ankaragucu winger Tyler Boyd and a host of other players who would walk into the Ankaragucu side.

Both Oguzhan Ozyakup and Dogurkan Tokoz are injured for Besiktas and will miss out. Tyler Boyd hasn’t had the best of starts to his Besiktas career and has come in for a bit of criticism as he hasn’t reached the levels of performance he produced last season. Ankaragucu fans however will know the quality he possesses and Pinto will have to be at his best.

Although Abdullah Avci hasn’t got off to the best of starts with Besiktas, they had a good win last time out against Alanyaspor with Abdoulay Diaby impressing and they will be hoping to continue where they left off going into the weekends math with Ankaragucu.

Besiktas won both games 4-1 last season, although the game in Istanbul was a bit flattering for Besiktas as Ankaragucu played well in that match but luck went against them on the day. There is no doubting Ankaragucu are going to need all the luck they can get on Saturday and will be hoping Denver Orgill can come up with something special up front and the 20,000 home fans can spur the team on. You have to go back to 2011 for the last time Ankaragucu best Besiktas.

Let’s hope we can take something from the game on Saturday and give the fans something to cheer about.

Monday, October 07, 2019


Greetings Kankas and Kankies

Yes, a disappointing result, but Ankaragucu was still in the match and searching for the equaliser at 2-1 down, and fully deserving of a point.   However, football can be cruel sometimes and one lapse of concentration near the end was enough for Sivas to take all 3 points.

Sivasspor         3           ANKARAGUCU       1

Team – Korcan, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic, Pinto, Sedat, Faty, Moke, Hasan, Ilhan and Orgill

Substitutes – Aydin, Mehmet and Sadaev

Only Eski Kanka was in The Alerta Bar along with guest kankas Haluk, Yildirim and Emre.

The match was only one minute old when Orgill was put through after a mistake by a defender, but as he was pondering whether to go alone it or pass to the free colleague on the right, he was dispossessed and the chance was lost.

Sivas soon put Ankaragucu under pressure and it took a good save from Korcan to save a goal bound header, and then Ilhan made a saving tackle in the box to divert the ball away from the danger area, and at this stage 15 minutes in, Sivas was looking threatening.

Then, against the run of play, Ankaragucu snatched a goal when a Sivas defender and the goalkeeper got in a tangle from the defender’s slack back pass.   Orgill was hovering and pounced on the mistake to take the loose ball and walk it in.

4 minutes later and it was Pinto to the rescue when Sivas made a fast break, but with the Ankaragucu defence back-pedalling, Pinto made a saving clearance to stop a certain goal.

However, that equalising goal came 5 minutes later but it could have been prevented if Moke had been more alert.   A cross came in from the right which was headed down in the box and the loose ball was collected by Mert who fired in a shot from the left to the right.    As I said, Moke had the chance to prevent the shot if he had shown more anticipation of the danger.

2 minutes later, Sivas scored again, but it was rightly chalked off for offside without reference to the VAR.

5 minutes to go before the half time whistle and Hasan was in a promising position inside the box but before he could shoot he was harshly penalised for a foul on a defender.

Still time before the whistle for Ankaragucu to score when they were awarded a free kick just outside the box, but as happened last week, Ilhan sent his effort into the wall and it was cleared.    He almost made amends in time added on when his goal bound shot was well saved

The 2nd half was only 2 minutes old when Sivas took the lead for the first time and again it was Mert who did the damage.   He received a pass on the left just outside the box and sent a screamer to the right which hit the inside of the post and in, deceiving Korcan in the process.

I think Metin Bey will work on free kicks this week at the Training Area.   We have seen Ilhan hit his into the wall last week and this week.   In the 63rd minute it was the turn of Aydin to do the same.   Aaaaaargh, wasted opportunities going begging and unforgivable to waste such scoring attempts.

To be fair to Ankaragucu, they kept pressing forward and Ilhan was unlucky to see his snap-shot saved.   Also, Aydin sent in an inviting cross from the right which was attacked and headed clear by a Sivas defender with Ankaragucu attackers out of position to capitalise.

Approaching the final whistle and Faty almost conjured up the equaliser with a fierce goal bound shot, but the Sivas goalkeeper made a great save to deny him.

At the other end, Pazdan was his usual commanding self when he cut-out a pass destined for an attacker in a goal scoring position.

Mehmet joined the ‘missed free kick club’ when he sent his free kick over the bar for 3 Rugby points  !!

On the 90th minute mark and Mehmet gifted the ball to Sivas when he missed the ball and the Sivas attacker was quick to latch onto the ball and it took a great save from Korcan to tip the ball over the bar.

Into time-added-on and the sickening blow was struck to put the match beyond Ankaragucu.   A cross from the right to the unmarked Moustapha on the left who had drifted clear of the Ankaragucu defence and he had the simplest of tap-ins.

There was still time for Sadaev to sneak a consolation goal, but his header was sent just past the post.

A cruel ending to the match for Ankaragucu, who to their credit, never let their heads go down.

So, 7 matches into the season and Ankaragucu has dropped back into the relegation area and find themselves only one point above the 3rd bottom position.   Sivas, on the other hand, leap up to 2nd top and the situation in the league is finely balanced with a host of clubs fighting it out in mid-table, and Ankaragucu has only 7 points less than leaders Alanya !

It is unnecessary to hit the panic button at this stage, but with the next fixture at home to Beshiktrash in 2 weeks time, the squeaky-bum time may not be too far off for Ankaragucu !

Next weekend there is an international break which gives Metin Bey an opportunity to prepare for the visit of Beshiktrash and hopefully Canderos will have recovered from his injury and be in the position to take the free kicks from the 3 duffers !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, October 06, 2019


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Despite being down to 10 men for the last 5 plus minutes of the match last night, Gencler held on to win a point against current League Champions Galatasaray.

GENCLERBIRLIGI       0                Galatasaray     0

Team – Ertac, Ahmet (RED), Flavio, Toure, Polomat, Baiano, Rahmetullah, Candeias, Sessegnon, Ayite and Sio

Substitutes – Berat, Stancu and Sefa

Galatasaray had 70% possession of the match, but as we all know, the lion’s share of possession doesn’t always win matches !

So, Gencler is still rooted to the bottom of the league along with Kayseri, with Beshiktrash just 2 points above them before the Beshiktrash match tonight against top of the league Alanya.

It doesn’t get any easier in this league with Gencler away to in form Antalya next Saturday.

As always, watch this space next Sunday for the report.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Sivasspor vs Ankaragucu match preview!

A couple of bits of news before we look ahead to Sundays match at Sivasspor. According to reports Ankaragucu players still havent been paid their salaries despite Mehmet Yiginer promising they would be paid after the derby victory over Genclerbirligi last weekend. No surprises there! The team have also been drawn away to Kirklarelispor in the Turkish Cup on 29th October.

The victory over Genclerbirligi last weekend will have given the Ankaragucu players some confidence going into the Sivasspor match as they look to cause another upset. Despite loosing key player Tito Canteros, the team showed that fighting spirit, and had a bit of luck on their side which saw them run out 2-1 winners.

With Canteros out, it gave 23 year old academy product Hasan Kaya his first start for the club in 4 years. Having spent the last couple of seasons out on loan at lower league clubs including a successful spell at Ankara Demirspor, Hasan was eager to impress for the club he supported as a boy. And what a game it was for the German born Turk with 2 key assists in the goals and an all round tireless performance.

The impressive part of Hasans performance, wasnt just his work rate which you come to expect from youngsters who grew up supporting the club. It was his quality on the ball. He put a number of great crosses into the box including his corner for the 1st goal, and then there was the stunning reverse pass for Kitsiou in the build up to the 2nd goal. Hopefully Canteros is back in the team on Sunday but it must not be at the expense of Hasan.

Dever Orgill will again play a big part in Ankaragucu taking anything from Sundays match. He has one of the toughest jobs in the Super Lig with the amount of work he has to put in chasing back helping his team mates, while trying to put the ball in the back of the net at the other end. He might not score as many goals as last season due to the lack of service, but his efforts certainly arent under valued.

Riza Calimbay and his team will be confident going into this match but respectful of Ankaragucu at the same time. Sivas currently sit 5th in the Super Lig and have had a good start to the season. With the club reportedly being one of the few Turkish teams who are debt free, things are looking pretty optimistic if you are a Sivasspor fan. Just over 10,000 tickets have been sold for the match with the number expected to rise over the coming days.

Key players for Sivasspor are the brilliant Emre Kilinc who ive been a big fan of for a number of years. The good news for Ankaragucu is that he will miss the match due to injury. Mustapha Yatabare is a handful up front and both Pazdan and Kulusic will have a tough battle ahead with the big targetman.

Ankaragucu won 3-1 in Ankara the last time the 2 sides met at the end of last season. While Sivasspor won 4-0 the last time the two sides met in Sivas.

Both Korcan Celikay and Aydin Karabulut had spells with Sivasspor and will be hoping to put one over their former employers.

Jim and some of the other Kankas who arent travelling to Sivas will likely be watching the game in the Alerta bar, if you fancy joining them please get in touch.

Monday, September 30, 2019


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The Ankara Derby was a long time returning after relegations to the Championship and 2nd League for Ankaragucu and Championship League for Genclerbirligi.   Let’s hope both teams can improve on their poor start to this season and retain this important fixture for next season.

ANKARAGUCU       2              GENCLERBIRLIGI         1

Ankaragucu Team – Korcan, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic, Pinto, Sedat, Faty, Moke, Hasan, Ilhan and Orgill

Ankaragucu Substitutes – Mehmet, Yalcin and Aydin

Genclerbirligi Team – Ertac, Ahmet Ramos, Toure, Polomot, Candeas, Berat, Fabricio Sessegnon, Ayite and Sio

Genclerbirligi Substitutes – Rahmetullah, Nadir and Stancu

The kankas watched the match in The Alerta Bar – Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo, with guest kankas, Haluk and Atagun.

Gencler dominated the opening exchanges and were a constant threat and quicker on the ball with Ankaragucu looking a bit sluggish.

The match was only 5 minutes old when Gencler was almost gifted a goal from an uncharacteristic and misdirected backpass by Pazdan which took Korcan by surprise, but he was quick to react and divert the ball away with his foot.

However, Gencler should have scored 2 minutes later when there was panic in the Ankaragucu defence but the Gencler striker with the goal at his mercy somehow contrived to hook the ball over the bar.

From that near miss, Ankaragucu broke away on the right and with Orgill bearing in on goal, he blasted the ball just over in what would have been a classic goal.

Gencler was still looking the likelier team but Korcan denied them on 15 minutes with a great save.

Ankaragucu did have a chance on the 24th minute when they had a free kick just outside the box, but in the absence of Canderos through injury, Ilhan took it and sent it into ‘the wall’.

Gencler continued to threaten and Korcan pulled off another great save on the half hour mark when he tipped a goal bound shot over the bar.   2 minutes later it was Pazdan to the rescue when he headed clear off the goal-line with Korcan beaten.

Almost half time and Gencler spurned another chance when their striker was put through in the box, but he took his eye off the ball momentarily and Korcan saved the day again.

There was just time before the whistle for Gencler to miss the chance of the half when they carved open the Ankaragucu defence with a sweeping move on the left, but the striker’s shot was weak as he dragged the ball and Korcan was quick to gather it.

So, the half time whistle came as a relief and Ankaragucu could consider themselves fortunate to go in all square !

Ankaragucu resumed with more purpose in the 2nd half after an obvious scathing mouthful from Coach, Metin Diyadin, who incidentally was shown a Red Card near the end of the 1st half for presumably saying something ‘naughty’ to the 4th official !

5 minutes in and Ilhan had a good opportunity when he received an excellent pass in a good position in the box, but he scuffed his shot wide.  At this point there was lots of mutterings of discontent with Ilhan’s performance, but that was to change later !!!

5 minutes later came one of the most comical goals I’ve ever seen.   It was Gencler’s turn to have a ‘panic moment’ in the box with Ankaragucu having TWO attempts to score from close range but one saved by a defender and the other by Ertac.   The ball broke to Candeas standing on the line and his attempted clearance was hit high into the top of the net and in.   Smiles and laughter all round, and of course, the customary high 5s.   A goal is a goal, and Ankaragucu was buzzing.

3 minutes later it was almost 2 when Orgill was put through on the right, but with a defender in attendance he was unable to compose himself and his snap-shot was saved.

9 minutes later came the goal of the match but not without initial controversy.  Ankaragucu attacked down the right and Hasan made a superb reverse pass to a colleague who crossed the ball into the danger area where Ilhan was lurking.   Ertac parried the initial shot and Ilhan pounced on the rebound to score.   However, the linesman’s flag was up for offside after the ball was crossed from the right and the goal was disallowed.     BUT, before play resumed the referee received information in his earphone and he indicated a consultation with the VAR.    The goal was rightly awarded, as we could clearly see from the replay, and Ilhan continued with his goal celebration !!!

A game of two halves ?!   Lady Luck decided to smile on Ankaragucu at last !

15 minutes to go and still time for another comical goal, but Korcan wasn’t smiling.    A Gencler shot from just outside the box was covered by Korcan, but the ball took a wicked deflection off an Ankaragucu defender to wrong foot Korcan.   The ball was on its way in, but it hit Korcan’s diving body and onto the post and squeezed in with Korcan helpless on the ground against the post.

The goal was a game changer and Gencler pressed forward for the equaliser with Ankaragucu holding on and relying on breakaways to relieve the pressure.

Orgill and Mehmet had chances to make the game safe but missed good opportunities.

The Ankaragucu defence was resolute and held firm for the 5 minutes of time added on to record their 2nd win of the season.

Consequently, Ankaragucu moved out of the relegation zone and up to 11th position, but still remain only 3 points ahead of Beshiktrash who replaced them in the bottom 3.   Gencler remain rooted to the bottom and are still looking for their first win of the season.

My Man of the Match goes to Korcan, especially for his heroics in the 1st half.   Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo disagreed and gave the vote to ................. Eeeeeeeelhaaaaaannn, but don’t worry, it was said ‘tongue in cheek’ !!!

So to next week, and Ankaragucu travel to Sivas (riding high in 5th place) on Sunday KO 2pm.   I’ll be watching it in The Alerta Bar.

Gencler has another mountain to climb at home to Galata....spit.....saray on Saturday which is never an easy one for any team.   Can they surprise us all and find that 1st win of the season ?

As always, watch this space for the reports of both matches.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Ankaragucu vs Genclerbirligi - Ankara Derby!

Its 6 years since the last competitive match took place between Ankaragucu and city neighbors Genclerbirligi. It was back in 2012 when Genclerbirligi won 1-0 thanks to a Hursit Meric goal in the season where Ankaragucu were relegated to Lig 1 and played with the youth team.

There are so many similarities between that Ankaragucu team and this seasons team. Both had a transfer ban in place, a couple of experienced players and the rest of the squad filled with youth players. The current Ankaragucu team do have more quality but face a similar impossible task of staying in the Super Lig.

The Ankara derby isnt like other derbies in Turkey or across world football where there is an intense rivalry, hatred for each others team and clashes between both sets of fans. Instead, there is a mutual respect between both sets of fans who share the same location for their training facilities separated by a large fence and its common for players and managers to have played with both sides.

Mustafa Kaplan who is current manager of Genclerbirligi is very well respected by the Ankaragucu support and helped keep them in the Super Lig last season before making the move to their neighbors in the summer.

Aydin Karabulut and Ante Kulusic who both play for Ankaragucu have also spent periods in their career with Genclerbirlig. Kulusic in particular was a fans favorite at the club and will be looking to put one over his former team.

That said, despite the Ankara derby not being the most intense derby, there will still be a great atmosphere at the game as Ankaragucu fans are unique in that they create an atmosphere in every game unlike a lot of clubs who only turn up for the bigger games.

After a spirited performance last weekend at Fenerbahce where Ankaragucu were disappointed to have come away with nothing in a 2-1 defeat, the performance would have given them confidence going into the game against Genclerbirligi.

Unfortunately for Ankaragucu, they have been dealt more bad news this week with Cebrail Karayel ruled out with a broken foot, Tito Canteros out for 2 weeks with an injury in training and Moke also out after picking up an injury in training. Kitsiou will come back into the team for Cebrail but both Canteros and Moke are big blows for the team who now only have 38 year old Sedat and Ricardo Faty as recognised midfielders.

The game would have been difficult enough for Ankaragucu had everyone being fit, but losing key players like Canteros and Moke will make it huge task for the club against Gencler who are rooted to the bottom of the table.

Although Gencler are bottom of the Super Lig, they still have enough quality in their team to put a run together and came away with a good 1-1 draw against Top of the table Alanyaspor last weekend. Experienced midfielders Stephane Sessagnon and Daniel Candeias will be key to a positive outcome for Gencler on Sunday. Candeias is a wide player who works tirelessly for the team and has the quality to deliver for the likes of Sio, Ayite and Seuntjens in attack. Sessagnon despite being 35 years old is still an excellent player and the Ankaragucu defence will need to be at their best to contain him.

Ankaragucu are the home side on Sunday so will be hoping for a good turn out from the fans. The problem at the moment is a lot of fans are boycotting until Yiginer resigns but hopefully they can put their differences aside for the weekend and help cheer the team on to a positive outcome.

Monday, September 23, 2019


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Gencler hosted league leaders Alanya yesterday and were able to stay undefeated for the 2nd week in a row.    However, with Kayseri and Kasimpasa picking up points, Gencler move to the bottom of the league and one point behind Kayseri.

GENCLERBIRLIGI       1            Alanyaspor        1

Team – Ertac, Ahmet, Flavio, Toure, Polomat, Baiano, Dialo, Candeias, Sessegnon, Stancu and Sio

Substitutes – Seuntjens, Berat and Ayite

Gencler opened the scoring with a Stancu penalty just before half time and Alanya equalised half way through the 2nd half with a goal by Ceyhun.

So, a creditable draw by Gencler considering that those 2 points were the first points dropped by Alanya this season.

Now all eyes are focused on next Sunday’s Ankara Derby with both teams anxious for a win for various reasons.  

Gencler is still without a win this season and will be looking to rectify that against an unsettled Ankaragucu team still struggling to cope with the transfer ban still in place.

Ankaragucu has lost their last two matches, however, they showed great fighting spirit last Saturday in Kadikoy and only lost by the odd goal due to two basic mistakes.   If they play like that on Sunday then Gencler will have a problem on their hands.

It promises to be a close encounter as derbies usually are, and the report will be up here on Monday.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim