Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Results from last night -
Ankaraspor 4 Eskisehirspor 4 (Ankaraspor won 5-4 on penalties)
Ankaragucu 0 Genclerbirligi 1
This will be one of the shortest reports (in terms of football) that I have ever made because quite honestly the football served up was ......... garbage !
Marash Kanka Hakan and I were the only 2 kankas to turn-up for this 'famous' competition and it is quite clear to me that all the other kankas are not as stupid as us !!
We arrived at the Stadium from Hell just before KO and I couldn't see the white ticket box anywhere. So, I asked the Steward on the gate for directions and he replied .... gec ! Which means .... come in ! It was FREE !!! We have been there before and paid our 50 kurus, but surely this must be a first in Kanka history ?!
The Ankaragucu Kale end was full as usual with Gecikondu and Anti-X boys but a pitiful turnout by Gencler supporters away at the other end. I won't embarrass the Gencler kankas by saying exactly how many were there !!
Don't ask me to name the players because Gencler didn't have names on their tops and Ankaragucu's were so small and impossible to read. In fact, I only recognised a few of the Ankaragucu players, ie, Ceyhun, Santos, El-Yasa, Semavi, and Iglesias. So many new faces ! I'll give the line-ups in an edit tomorrow when I get it from Hurriyet.
It started like a training ground match with lots of cross field passing and probing from midfield and in all honesty there was only one real chance in the 1st half when Ceyhun prised open the Gencler defence to send in an inch perfect cross for Iglesias to head in for the opening goal. Unfortunately, the Gencler goalie had other ideas and pulled off a great save to deny what would have been a goal to reflect the possession of the first half.
In the 2nd half, Gencler came more into the game and it was honours even until about half way through the half when both teams made numerous (too many to remember)substitutions. More new faces !
Then shortly after, the match exploded. In an off the ball incident, Santos aimed a right hook on the chin of one of the Gencler players and all hell broke loose. Obviously, I don't know what made him do this which is completely out of character for this player. Perhaps something was said ?!
Anyway, after all the players had been calmed down and officials cleared off the field, the referee quite rightly showed Santos a red card. The match became uglier now with lots of niggling tackles and bad temper all round.
The Ankaragucu supporters in Kale held the match up for a few minutes with a barrage of water bottles aimed at the Gencler player trying to take a corner. Fortunately, none of them connected with him or the linesman !
Another disturbing aspect of the match was when Serkan came on for the 2nd half to replace the 1st half goalkeeper and received lots of whistles and jears. As I mentioned before in a post, he wants away and is earmarked for Ankaraspor in the January transfer window.
Ankaragucu supporters do not forgive easily and they expect loyalty from their players, so every time Serkan touched the ball in the 2nd half he was jeered. Very disconcerting for him and the players ! Hikmet Bey has a problem now, ie, he can't play him in home matches if this behaviour continues.
So, we were contemplating a penalty shoot-out when the clock was on 90 minutes and then in a great move by Gencler they got round the defence and the ball was cut back for the inrushing Gencler player to score with Serkan unguarded and helpless.
A cruel ending to the match for Ankaragucu who had played well for the last 20 minutes with 10 men and didn't resort to putting up the shutters.
However, all credit to Gencler for doing the biz and scoring the vital goal. After all, their record at penalty shoot-outs is not world famous !!!
So, the final will be held at The 19 Mayis Stadium tonight KO 8pm. For those of you who can't attend, you might be interested to know that the match will be shown live on TRT1.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim
PS .... Forgot to mention that Vassel came on for the last 10 minutes and showed some nice touches. He was also moving around like a whippet and he certainly impressed the hell out of me with his movement on and off the ball. As Hikmet Karaman said in an interview last week in Hurriyet ..... one man doesn't make a team and he is hopeful of putting some other players around him who are also 'top drawer'. Nice to end on an optimistic note eh ??!!