Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
The 2007/2008 season kicked off for ANKARAGUCU at the Yenikent ASAS Stadium on the outskirts of Ankara (about 50 Kms) against Ankaraspor.
Ankaraspor 1 ANKARAGUCU 2
Only 4 stalwarts turned-up prior to our expedition into the unknown (only Oz Kanka had braved the journey last season), and as you may recall, his comments were not exactly complimentary !
Maniac Kanka Harun, Battle Hardened Kanka Damon and I met in The Cappadokia Bar and were then met by our exclusive driver for the evening, Yankee Kanka. His limousine was kitted-out with a private bar and we enjoyed cool EFES all the way to the Stadium. Battle Hardened Kanka, not being used to this type of luxury, managed to spill some EFES on his shirt going over the bumps in I. Melih Gokcek’s `new` road surfaces !!
Oz Kanka has described this `new` Stadium in a previous post, so I won’t elaborate, except to say that this `new` Stadium does not have a covering roof (hello... I.M. Gokcek, we do have severe winters in Ankara !!!), does not have a food or drink outlet and had only ONE entrance for the thousands of ANKARAGUCU punters who turned-up. Sad isn’t it ? But, after all, it was I. M. Gokcek’s brain child !!!
We met Salt Lake Kanka Safak (he is living in Holland at the moment) in the queue for the match and he hopes to join us next weekend for our first home match.
During the players pre-match warm-up, two Ankaraspor players approached the ANKARAGUCU Gecikondu end where we had all been `herded` into and threw 2 bouquets of flowers into the crowd. Needless to say, they were thrown back onto the pitch followed by some choice words for I. M. Gokcek !!!
I should also mention that I counted approximately 400 Gendarma (soldiers) inside the Stadium and God knows how many outside. A case of OTT (over the top) me thinks ?! Also, they far outnumbered the Ankaraspor punters !!
With the ANKARAGUCU supporters in full voice, it was into the match and ANKARAGUCU came out of their starting blocks like thoroughbreds and took the match to Ankaraspor.
Serkan, in the ANKARAGUCU goal, was rarely troubled and it was mainly one way traffic towards Ramazan who looked none too happy with his defenders.
The first goal arrived after 5 minutes. Yasin received a pass outside the penalty area and he hit a swerving half volley which had Ramazan clawing air. Fantastic goal and we were right behind the goal to fully appreciate it.
Bebbe, Krita and Ahmet Dursun were causing all sorts of problems for Ankaraspor with their one touch football, and Bebbe in particular, seemed to be everywhere. Definitely my man of the match !
The second goal came just before half-time and it was another contender for goal of the season. A quick break out of defence by the ANKARAGUCU midfield and the ball was slotted through the left channel to Bebbe who beat two defenders before cutting the ball back for the incoming Dursun. The slightest of an angled touch from Dursun wrong footed Ramazan and the inrushing defenders and the ball rolled in for Number Two.
Eruption of song and dance at the Gecikondu end and ANKARAGUCU went in at half-time with the fans in buoyant mood and more anti-I. M. Gokcek songs as the Protkol Section disappeared to enjoy I.M. Gokcek’s secret stash of water !!!
Have to mention an incident just before half-time when the Gendarma Commander made a tactical error of judgement. He decided to move some ANKARAGUCU fans who had entered the `neutral section` of the Stadium and this enraged the fans in the Gecikondu end who started to break the `new` I.M. Gokcek seats and throw them onto the pitch. (Maniac Kanka was NOT involved in this !!!). The Gendarma Commander wisely countermanded his order and peace was restored. He should have done his homework on the ANKARAGUCU Gecikondu Boys !!!
No water for the punters at half-time but it did not deter us from singing and shouting !
Into the second half and Ankaraspor were coming more into the match now, but Serkan and his defenders were dealing with everything that came at them, ably marshalled by Captain Emre. Then, half way through the 2nd half the referee, Cuneyt Cakir, who up until that moment had been having a good match, awarded a `soft` penalty to Ankaraspor. Ding ding ding……… alarm bells !!
However, Serkan was up for it, and judged the kick perfectly, diving to his left and punching the ball to Emre who cleared the danger.
With 10 minutes of the match left, Tayfun scored Ankaraspor’s consolation goal in a fast move which left Serkan and his defenders rooted to the spot. Good goal, and to be fair, on the balance of play, well deserved.
At this point, Bebbe left to a standing ovation and Augustine replaced him to a rousing welcome.
A few near misses by ANKARAGUCU in the final minutes with Krita going close with some long range efforts.
So, a satisfactory result and a good team performance from ANKARAGUCU which augers well for the season ahead.
Back to Ankara at about midnight in Yankee Kanka’s limo with more cool EFES from his in-car bar. Mmmmmmmmm Deeeeeeeelishus !!
Next up is ANKARAGUCU v Denizli next Sunday 19th August KO 9pm. Meeting at The Chopin Bar at about 6pm. Look forward to a big turn-out.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim