Viking Kanka has finally been to a match in which Genclerbirligi have played with some style (well a bit). For a team that is in the running for a UEFA Cup place Viking Kanka has amazingly managed to watch heaps of Gencler games and never seen them play well. Until today!
Yes my good Kankas, Genclerbiligi ran out 3-1 winners today at home to Gaziantepspor.
For those of you new to the world of Turkish football (I mean you Wayne Rooney as you search the web for something to put into your books) Gaziantepspor have normally been a team that has fought with Gencler for the scraps just below the top Istanbul teams
This year however they have been crap and after today's loss are still in danger of being relegated.
But enough of the opposition, on with our own story of the day, and a glorious day it was.
While winter is pretty much over, it is still pretty chilly in Ankara and so I put on the thickest socks I own, pulled the longjohns out of the cupboard, wrapped myself in the Genclerbirligi scarf and made sure I had my gloves and hat. Admittedly, I did look pretty silly strolling down to Viking Kanka Jens place but hey, people think I look silly most of the time.
Viking Kanka Jens is of course from Nordic climes and 15 degrees (c) is almost swimming weather. Silly bugger almost froze to death at the stadium. I meanwhile was nice and warm.
But first it was off to the Chopin bar for the traditional discussion of pretty much anything but football and then off to the stadium.
The weather certainly didn't dampen Genclerbirligi's spirits. For the first time in quite a while we came out attacking. The passes in the middle were not just fast but they were connecting and shots on goal were forthcoming.
The first few minutes though were a bit of a bore but then Gencler turned it on. When I say turn it on, I mean they gave us some opportunities to rise to our feet.
The first goal was marvellous, 18 minutes in Isaac Promise went into the box with the ball, and as usual managed to pick out the goalkeeper, but as luck would have it the ball fell to the feet of Ugur Boral who absolutely smashed it into the top post and in it went. 1-0 Gencler.
We then had a variety of shots on goal, balls off posts (Viking Kanka, you are right, in the incident we were talking about the ball did indeed come off the post) and all sorts of other mayhem until the man this blog has yet to come to a favourable opinion, yes you guessed it Isaac Promise, buggered up what surely was a simple chance.
It was the 40th minute and Promise was put through with what seemed like a miss kick from the previous goalscorer Boral. Promise played it forward, he was on his own, all the time in the world (and Promise actually took all that time available in order to set up his shot) and ........ straight to the diving keeper.
Moans all round. How many chances does this boy need.
The answer to that is "just one more".
In the 44th minute Mehmet Nas sent a long pass to Promise who again showed his speed and ball control to take it again to a one-on-one situation with the Gaziantep goalkeeper. This time however, the ball beat the man. Cue rejoicing (as Istanbul Kanka Steve says). Promise at this stage ran to the corner post to celebrate. Quite why he chose a corner where there were no fans at all I'm not sure, but I bet it has something to do with the pure relief at having scored.
Half time and 2-0 up. I went off to inspect the plumbing facilities and while I was there some fellow in a silly hat asked Viking Kanka if he was Gencler defender Risp's brother. Apparently there was much much laughing and joking at this point.
On with the game, Genclerbirligi were obviously told by coach Mesut Bakkal to defend like Italians and defend the lead. Unfortunately we don't have any Italian players and the result was Gaziantep were allowed back in.
On the 63rd minute this strategy failed completely when Gaziantepspor scored. 2-1.
In general dismay at the turn of the events we ignored the game for a bit and started talking to a couple of students from METU University, one of whom spoke impeccable English (much better than Eski Kanka Jim anyway). Our new found friend then asked Viking Kanka if he was Risp's father and then proceeded to tell Viking Kanka that he was way too old to have a six year-old daughter. I have to admit that Viking Kanka took this all very well.
Back to the match and Genclerbirligi decided that attack is the best form of defence and finally we saw some real action. Once again, we had shots going just over, balls bouncing off the post and fun all round.
At about the 65th minute a Nigerian by the name of Abwo (I have no idea what his first name is, or possibly that is his first name) came on for his first appearance for Gencler and while he buggered up a few passes there were flashes of brilliance, including one pass that almost resulted in a goal. I reckon this Nigerian kid, he looks as if he would qualify for the Under 15s World Cup, is someone to watch out for in the future. He isn't big, but he is prepared to try his flare. I'm definately looking forward to seeing him in the future.
At this stage the shots were flying and Gaziantepspor were lucky not to be down by five or more. It was then we put the nail in the coffin.
81st minute: Corner from Eren, Mahmut Cakir controls it, takes a bit of time and the blasts it into the net. 3-1
Ahhh, days like these it truely is fun to be a Genclerbirligi supporter. Although I did find it weird that we, the home side, were playing in white and Gaziantep were playing in our colours of red and black. It certainly made the Gencler fans chants of "siyah, kirmizi" seem rather odd.
In other news, I'm afraid I have to report that Ankaragucu lost away to Rizespor to the tune of one goal to nil. With Ankaragucu down near that zone "which dares not speak its name" I'm sure Eski Kanka Jim will at least be pleased that Gaziantepspor lost today.
By the way, the cops gave neither Viking Kanka or myself any grief today. Have the authorities taken note of the complaints listed here last week? It seems so.
Edit: Sunday night. Kayseri and Besiktas both won on Sunday and so Gencler were kept back. At the same time, however, Galatasaray drew with Trabzon. The upshot of this all. Gencler go to fifth, one behind Besiktas and still five behind Kayserispor (who are in third). Trabzon have now fallen behind Genclerbirligi.
At the other end of the table. Ankaragucu are in 11th place, five points above Diyarbakirspor who would be going down if the league ended today. But as Eski Kanka Jim notes in the comments below, Ankaragucu are in for a few torrid weeks.