Saturday, September 27, 2008

A diaphanous curtain of rain

The unseasonal weather continues and it was rainy and cold as I trooped into the Chopin. I wasn't expecting many kankas what with today being the first day of the nine day "holiday" and so I was certainly surprised to see Battle Damaged Kanka Damon nursing an extra large beer.

A chat about philosophy and the intellectual underpinnings of vegetarianism, along with a bit of footy talk and it was off to the stadium.

Just about to enter the gates and I realised I had left my season tickets at home, all eight of them. Curses as we headed off for the ticket booth and, as luck would have it the first person I saw was Anil from the Alkaralar group. He happened to have one spare season ticket. Ten metres later we bumped into Fatih from Alkaralar and he also had a spare ticket. Sorted.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Ankaraspor

Nice cosy seats and the match kicked off. Playing under what looked like to us a diaphanous curtain of rain Gencler started off well. Ankaraspor were stacking the back and so we didn't have many chances but had we been a bit more purposeful up front we could have been ahead. Ankaraspor had a few nice moves on the counter attack and a couple of good shots as well but I thought we played the better football. Battle Damaged Kanka reckoned it was about even.

Second half and it was more of the same. Burhan and Mustafa Pektemek were playing well and our midfield were stringing good passes together. Battle Damaged said we looked a lot better than Ankaragucu have lately (admittedly that isn't saying much) but still we may be good at getting the ball to the box but the execution was lacking... yet again.

Then disaster struck in the 77th when Ankaraspor managed to get a ball across our goalkeeper and someone tapped it in. Appeals went up for offside, a foul and whatnot but the goal stood.

Just a few minutes later Mustafa Pektemek was clearly fouled in the box and we received a penalty. Kahe clearly wanted to lose the memory of his first miss in the penalty shootout in the cup final in May and stood up to take it. And in. 1-1.

The rest of the match was all Gencler trying to get the winner but again, the final touch was just not there.

Match over. 1-1.

Some questions must be asked of our coach Mesut Bakkal. We only used one substitute and it was pretty clear that we needed a fresh pair of legs, or more, towards the end. By the way, neither of the Aussie two played tonight. Disappointing for me and also for Battle Damaged as he wanted to see the Italian-Aussie James Troisi come on.

Just one other aside, it was raining all match and the artificial pitch still looked good. The ball was a bit slower at times when it was really bucketing down but all up I'm liking this new pitch better and better each week.


  1. Well done Battle Damaged.

    A true Ankara footie fanatik !

  2. Anonymous12:22 pm

    Battle Damaged Kanka said. . .

    Well, I figured it was about time I went to a GB match. After all, Carlos and the Austrian clan have been to our matches on numerous occasions. Not the most exciting of matches, but it was definitely worth the trip out there in the rain because in the end I believe I have learned several important facts of life from having watched this match.

    One, if you are a Gencler fan, the cops let you get away with behavior that they would never, ever tolerate from a Gucu fan. They even let you go in with long, pointy umbrellas (such as the one I was carrying) and tons of loose change. And I know it was not because I was wearing a tie (it was the only red thing I could find in my wardrobe), as I saw a couple of other fans carrying long, pointy umbrellas around inside the stadium as well. Can't say I blame the cops. Can you imagine what the groups might have done at last week's Gucu match if they had been armed with "lances" and loose change?

    The second important fact I learned is that while I believe Gucu, perhaps, has more raw talent on the pitch, perhaps (although, Burhan and Nas were both very impressive, esp. Burhan), we don't seem to build up attacks in a systematic way in response to the strengths and weaknesses of the teams we play. Last night Gencler was failing to follow through well at the final moment, but at least you could see them playing clever football. And when they failed it was usually a matter of execution and not aimless, blind, flailing attempts. Why are we Ankara Gucu not playing more strategically?

    And finally, the GB fan base is composed, percentage wise at least, of a lot more of the fairer sex. Last night I repeatedly heard a very attractive young lady seated behind Chris and myself screaming out encouragement to individual players "Hadi, yavrum!" (literal translation "Come on, my young animal"). I can honestly say that I have never in 3 years of Gucu matches heard anything even remotely similar. Maybe if young, male Gucu fans stop trying to use the stadium as a place to show how macho they are, they will stop frightening off the girls. I say we should all do our part to keep the environment beautiful.

    Hadi, Ankara Gucu, less mindless violence from the fans in and around the stadium , and less mindless football (to judge from last week's match) from the team on the pitch.

  3. An excellent report from Battle Damaged.

    Not content with winning the award of Best Dressed Kanka 2007-2008, it seems as if he is going for the award of Best Reporter 2008-2009 !!

    On the subject of the fairer sex, I have to say that we have a good number of `turban` girls attending Ankaragucu matches.

    Well, as you know, they are much better behaved than the rowdy girls attending Gencler matches !!

  4. Anonymous1:51 pm

    as with the previous match i arrived very late at the stadium. just before the ko. so i thought it can be a good omen if i stay by myself and GB will win (as they did against eskisehirspor). only this time it didn't work.
    here is a photo of the diaphanous curtain of rain.
    the pitch - was ok under rain but ... i don't like it too much... i miss a little bit of mud and fight