Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Elazigspor
The wonderful autumn weather continues in Ankara and so it wasn't that huge a surprise to see a good turnout for Sunday afternoon's match.
It was so nice that Little Oz Kanka and myself decided to walk down to Kizilay. Didn't get far before a bloke pulled up and asked if we wanted a lift.
"I saw you wearing the Gencler colours and thought I'd offer you a lift," said our new friend Besim. Turned out that he works at Sir Eski Kanka's school and has a sideline in reporting on Ankara matches for Fanatik newspaper.
Wow. Gotta love a city where a journo will randomly pick up strangers just because they are wearing a home team strip!
The Beer Bus was nice and busy with Spine there as usual and our growing group of Erasmus students, Paddy, Dan, Savas and Waldo, also showing up.
|Little Oz, Oz and Dan|
Stadium and the queues were fairly long. Bumped into Nicolai bringing his two little ones along for their first Gencler match. Ertank and Ceren used the fact that we were near the head of the queue to say hello and therefore save 10 minutes. Another relative newbie, Mike, and his son Tanner, were also found inside the stadium at half-time. Young Charlie was there as always along with his dad Thijs. Family fun all round really.
Onto the football...
We started offensively but not much was really happening. Lekic managed to get a shot or two away but Zec seemed pretty lonely. Hursut was well off on the day. This is a player who can dazzle and star but on Sunday he seemed to be out of position most of the time, way too far behind, and his individual play just wasn't sparking at all. It was all very frustrating as we were clearly the better team but Elazig were fighting hard.
|Spine at the back with Nicola and sons|
The breakthrough came though as we had expected with Aykut heading in from a Hursut corner. It was a textbook goal and I thought it might lead to us putting quite a few past the team that was sitting at the bottom of the table.
Instead Elazig came back straight away with a header which Ramazan had no chance of saving. Oh dear, oh dear. Still, lots of time left. Half-time 1-1 and I doubt too many Gencler fans were feeling that scared.
Should have been though as Ramazan managed to get himself sent off in the 51st coming out and fouling a player on the attack. It was a silly thing to do but then again he wasn't the last man in defence. In the ensuing handbags, two Elazig players got yellow cards.
|Tanner having a good time.|
In the end though it was no great surprise when Elazig scored the winner with about five minutes to go.