Sunday, December 11, 2005

Week 16: It could have been more

The Indian summer we've been having in Ankara finally came to an end this week which could have accounted for the fact that only Viking Kanka Jens and myself were brave enough to get down to today's Genclerbirligi – Diyarbakirspor match.

Only time for a quick couple of beers and a kebab at Chopin with Viking Kanka's lovely wife and daughter before we shoved them into a taxi and we went off to the celebration of the round ball at 19 Mayis.

As I said, the weather wasn't that great, cold and grey, but Viking Kanka said these were the sort of conditions he liked to play under back in the days many many years ago when he was a defender for the Nordic Raiders (or whatever their name was). Unfortunately we weren't playing, merely watching, and let me tell you it was cold even though I had umpteen layers of clothing.

Finally onto the match...

All seemed to be fairly even for the first 20 minutes or so, with Genclerbirligi perhaps playing slightly better, until the referee decided to pocket some decent lira on offer from Diyarbakir.

First up we had a goal disallowed thanks to an offside decision. Can't really say if this was the wrong or right decision but it at least got the crowd and the players in the mood.

Next, I'm afraid I can't say exactly who was involved, the report from the Anatolia news agency doesn't even mention the incident, but one of our players was bearing down on goal and was fouled from the side, our man managed to chest the ball on though and just as someone or other was about to shoot for goal the referee blew his bloody whistle. No prizes for guessing that the ball was in the back of the net before any of our players or fans even knew that a foul had been called.

The resulting free kick from just outside the box was somehow cleared but we still managed to get the corner. Frustration and righteous indignation rising, Mehmet Cakir sent the ball in and Mr. Fish, or should that be Mr. Grape Seller, Tuna Uzumcu, headed the ball down beautifully and into the net.

1-0 and it was time for the procession to begin.

Two minutes later Isaac Promise accidently won a ball off the keeper and with the ball at his feet tapped it in. 2-0

Then came the goal of the match as Ugur Boral took the ball in his own half and, having managed to almost lose it it the process, shot from outside the box to completely confound the Diyarbakir keeper.

3-0 at half time and Viking Kanka and myself started arguing about just how many chances Diyarbakir had on goal. We guessed at none.

The second half and the ref had obviously realised he had better do something to earn the bribes so he gave a penalty which wouldn't have been given in a non-touch game of grandmothers. And so it was that Diyarbakir had their first shot on goal. Unfortunately for them, Omer managed to get down low to his left and the score remained 3-0.

Not long later came Gencler's fourth goal, again courtesy of Ugur Boral, and again this was another piece of individual brilliance that started with him getting the ball in his own half. This came when we were down to 10 men after one of our blokes had to go off to hospital. Nothing serious I hope.

The match sort of fizzled out after that. The light was getting bad and Viking Kanka suggested that the referee should call the whole thing off. It was at this stage that I realised that either Viking Kanka should stick to his football anecdotes or that he is a very brave man indeed. I'm not sure there could be a better way of provoking a riot than calling off a game with the home side 4-0 up.

All up an excellent result. As I said last week, if we can keep up this sort of form we can definately get into the UEFA Cup.

Considering that I've given him a lot of stick recently I should point out that Isaac Promise did score a goal, although it was an easy one, and the crowd gave him a good send off when he was replaced. Viking Kanka and I politely clapped at this point. He didn't have a bad game, but he certainly didn't have a good one. He was again given 3 out of 3 by Anatolia for his performance today and I'm really starting to wonder why it is that the only criticism of the man I have heard is from those who are on Eski Kanka Jim's illustrious e-mail list.

In other results:
I'm afraid Ankaragucu could only manage a 1-1 draw away to Gaziantep on Saturday.

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