Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
There was no Black Sea 'Storm' in Ankara yesterday !!
ANKARAGUCU 1 Trabzonspor 0
Trabzon was sent packing back to the Black Sea with a whimper and were it not for some woeful finishing from Ankaragucu, especially in the first half, were lucky not to have been on the end of an Anatolian Storm !
It might be assumed in some quarters that Trabzon had one eye on Wednesday's Turkish Cup Final, but I'd like to think that it was a culmination of the new style of Ankaragucu's footie and the nullifying of Trabzon's midfield which was responsible for a well deserved Ankaragucu victoreeeee.
I'm not saying that Trabzon came to 'make up the numbers'. They were their usual fast flowing selves and always dangerous on the break. However, as I said last week, without Umut Bulut up front they were always struggling to conjure up an equaliser.
The day started sedately with Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I meeting in the Beer Bus and enjoying the repartee and then it was off to the Stadium. It was just the two of us, but there were lots of familiar faces around us.
No surprises in the Ankaragucu line-up......
Geremi, Koray, Muhammed and Broggi
Hurriyet, Rajnoch, Rothen and Sapara
Vittek and Mehmet
Substitutes - Kagan, Adem and Ilhan
Ankaragucu went straight into the attack in a similar mode to that used against Eskisehir two weeks ago, and it was that man again who did the damage.
After 5 minutes play, a great move down the right wing involving Geremi and Mehmet, the ball swung over into the goalmouth and Vittek was first to it to slide it home for a great opening goal.
I have to confess that I thought Trabzon would crumble and they almost did but for some poor finishing and good goalkeeping from Onur. Ankaragucu dominated the first half and again showed the value of good coaching with lots of possession footie and making Trabzon chase the ball.
Things slowed down a bit when Vittek was surprisingly withdrawn with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. He didn't appear to be injured and the general concensus of opinion was that he was being rested for the big match against Fener next week !!
Ilhan replaced him, but with all due respect to Ilhan, notwithstanding all his running and effort, he didn't cause too much danger to the Trabzon rearguard !
Into the 2nd half then and Trabzon stepped up a gear to put the Ankaragucu defence under pressure. Serkan made a few brilliant saves and the back four held firm.
It appeared that Ankaragucu was 'running out of steam', or were they just pacing themselves ? Whatever. The fact remains that Serkan saved the blushes !
However, Ankaragucu seemed to catch their 'second wind' in the last ten minutes of the match and might have made it two with a little luck.
Man of the Match was a difficult one with Serkan, the midfield and Geremi all contenders, but I nominate Rothen for his 100% effort even when he was obviously knackered in the last 10 minutes.
A wee bit of comedy to report ! Near the end, Rothen was calling to the bench to be substituted, but the bench was signalling that all 3 subs had been used. A shrug of the shoulders from Rothen and he got stuck in again ! Great stuff.
Another positive report then and let it continue next weekend when hopefully we can give Nadeem a victory and at the same time help Bursa to realise a dream end to their season.
The date and KO time hasn't been announced yet, but I'll add it in the comments section when it is announced.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim