Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Apologies to all the English Language experts out there for my headline, but it just about sums up Ankaragucu’s efforts in that department this season.
24 matches played and 22 goals scored is pathetic in any league’s language. Only bottom team Hacettepe and 8th placed Kayseri have scored less.
ANKARAGUCU 0 Sivasspor 2
We met as usual in The Chopin Bar on a cold Ankara ‘Spring’ day with intermittent snow flurries – Winter is loathe to depart from here !
Rebecca from Minnesota, who is studying in Ankara, turned up with her friend Claire from Boston for their first match in Ankara. They were followed by Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Connect Kanka Steve, Phillie Kanka Jamie, Joanna and Erin.
Lots of optimistic pre-match comments, especially on the subject of the recent poor form of League Leaders Sivas and how we could take advantage of it. We were still optimistic when we saw the Ankaragucu team line-up with De Negris and Jaba up front with Semavi and Murat in an attacking midfield role.
Yankee Kanka joined us in the Stadium, but still no Maniac Kanka !!
Lots of positives to take from the first half from Ankaragucu. Full on attack and they really put Sivas on the back foot. However, it was the old old story with some nice passing in midfield, switching the ball from right to left and vice versa, but usually petering out near the penalty area.
There were lots of ooooos and ahhhhhhs when Jaba went close a couple of times, but the goal just wouldn’t come.
When you are sitting in the relegation area it could well be that it is a psychological problem. Winning breeds confidence and losing works the opposite way !!
Sivas woke up in the second half, but Ankaragucu was still going forward and trying to play football. De Negris wasn’t getting much change out of the Sivas back 3, ‘old boy’ Sedat, Bilica and Murat. Jaba and Murat were hugging the wings but were making little headway as the second half unfolded.
Then, half way through the 2nd half we were all on our feet when a great move out of midfield had Sivas scuttling back. A cut-back from Semavi into the path of Murat and a rasping shot goal-bound with Petkovic rooted to the spot and ……… Goal !!! Well, it should have been but for the post getting in the way !!
A goal at that stage may well have altered the shape of the match, but as usually happens, it proved to be a wake-up call for Sivas.
Shortly after, from a Sivas corner there was a melee in the Ankaragucu penalty box with the Ankaragucu players screaming for an infringement. Yildiz said….. ‘thank you very much’ and tapped the ball in. The referee, Cuneyt Cakir, was surrounded, but having awarded the goal, was not about the change his mind. I have to admit that I was distracted at the time, and so couldn’t spot the alleged infringement. Anyway, the bottom line is that the referee awarded a goal and so end of story !
Still, Ankaragucu refused to give up and were trying to find the equaliser. However, Sivas had their tails up now and were looking stronger and faster as the game progressed.
Five minutes to go and disaster struck. More like a comedy of errors actually ! Kamanan lofted a hopeful ball to beat Serkan which he parried behind himself. The inrushing El Yasa collided with Serkan and they both bundled the ball into the net. I wanted to laugh, but couldn’t quite bring myself to show any emotion except ….. stunned silence !!
The last few minutes were played out with Gecikondu again turning their backs on the match. On the final whistle, the Ankaragucu players disappeared quickly into the tunnel and the Sivas players did a lap of honour at the request of the Ankaragucu tribunes. ‘Old boys’ Murat Erdogan and Sedat were given a special round of applause.
Back to The Chopin for post match analysis which was not very flattering. However, we were all agreed that Santos was Man of the Match. He seemed to everywhere and perhaps can be an example for some of the others ??!!
So, Ankaragucu now drop back into the 3rd bottom slot after two successive defeats, while others around them are picking up points.
From 2nd bottom Kocaeli, there are 8 clubs with only 8 points separating them. There will be grim days ahead as Ankaragucu fight tooth and nail for every point. It is all about survival now !
Next Saturday Ankaragucu is away in Kayseri. KO 1.30pm. Looking for 3 points if our ‘strikers’ can find the net !!!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim