Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sun, sea, beer and football

"Oh I do like to be besides the seaside,
Oh I like to be beside the sea.
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside,
To see a Genclerbirligi victoreee."

It was about time I got myself to a Genclerbirligi away match (playing away to Ankaragucu and Ankaraspor don't really count) and so with the TFF setting up our last match of season in Antalya it wasn't too difficult to convince Mrs. Oz Kanka to join me down by the Mediterranean.

Unfortunately Antalya decided not to have any section for Genclerbirligi supporters and at first I thought I'd have to watch the game with "the enemy" all around. In the end though I managed to get into the Protokol section thanks to the second in charge at Genclerbirligi Oftas getting me a ticket. Thanks Suphi.

The stadium was full. 13,000 Antalya fans singing away while I was the only non-employed by the club Genclerbirligi fan.

Antalyaspor 1 - 3 Genclerbirligi

The atmosphere was great. Antalya needed a win to stay in the top flight and the way they were playing, or perhaps that should be, the way we were playing looked very likely to achieve it.

Gencler were playing like they had their minds already on their summer holidays while the Antalya players were playing for their careers.

The first half ended nil-nil but Antalyaspor should have been about 3-0 up. They had so many shots, some very easy chances as well and it was only thanks to the heroics of Jesus in goal that stopped them.

The crowd was getting restless and it was on the 53rd minute that things started to turn nasty. Isaac Promise sent in a cross which an Antalyaspor player tried to send behind for a corner. Instead he managed to find the net. 0-1.

Time for all out attack from Antalya who were missing sitters left, right and centre. At this stage they seemed to have completely lost any composure and were playing purely with fear inside them.

This of course gave Gencler huge gaps and great counter-attacking opportunities. It was in this situation that Sandro exploited to score. 0-2.

As the teams lined up for the restart the Antalya fans had decided they had had enough. Flares and smoke bombs were lit and chairs were smashed up. All of which were thrown onto the pitch. The calls for the management to resign went up and their was real anger out their on the terraces. At this point the Antalya governor who was a few seats in front of me decided to leave and I thought it might get very ugly indeed. Luckily it didn't.

The referee held play up for a few minutes to get the field cleared of foreign objects and it was back on.

Same as before, Antalya would go full on attack, we would counter attack. This was exciting, if not especially brilliant football as we got a shot on goal every minute or so.

It wasn't over though and Antalya managed to get one back. 1-2.

Edge of the seat stuff. Antalya needed two goals in about 15 minutes of play when Draman Haminu capped off what was a great day for him with a wonderful shot from outside the box. 1-3.

Just a few minutes left and the Antalyaspor supporters knew they were going down. The anger was clear. Even some of the Protokol fans were shouting at the chairman of their club. I felt sorry for them, and for me as next year I won't have the opportunity to mix sun, sea, beer and football.


  1. The Football Factory will be cursing their luck that they weren't in Antalya for this one, which would have given them another excuse to thrust the sword into Turkish footie !!

    Agree that it is sad to see such a popular club like Antalya going down.

    However, on the upside, at least Bursa didn't go down. So, perhaps we can plan a visit to see ANKARAGUCU play in Bursa next season ?? More on this later when we see next season's fixture list.

  2. good job, roving reporter. and good pix.

  3. Thanks Stephen. It was nice to actually be able to take a camera into the stadium. In Ankara the cops usually try and take the batteries out so I don't bother trying anymore.