Saturday, November 25, 2017

Giresunspor 0-1 Ankaragucu match report!

Ankaragucu return to the capital with all 3 points after a fantastic 1-0 win at Giresunspor despite having to make 4 changes to the team. Erdem Ozgenc, Alihan Kubalas, Ilhan Parlak were all out due to injury and suspension, while Korcan still isn’t fit enough to start.

Team - Altay, Yusuf, Lukasz, Gencer, Mehmet, Arif, Sedat, Putsila, Ferhat, Kenan, Umut

Subs - Korcan, Enes, Cheikhou, Kehinde, Mahmut, Aydeniz, Doka, Abdulkadir

There was a first League start for Lukasz Szukala who is on loan from Osmanlispor and the big Pole didn’t put a foot wrong alongside Gencer at the heart of the Ankaragucu defence. İsmail Kartal decided to go with Ferhat Kiraz out on the left wing in place of the injured Kehinde with Mehmet Sak coming back in at left back.

It took only 30 seconds for Ankaragucu to nearly take the lead, a long ball found its way to Umut who set up Kenan whose shot from 25 yards went inches wide of the post.

Umut Nayir has the only other real chance for Ankaragucu in the first half after a great cross into the box, but the big striker headed wide.

Giresunspor had the better of the first half but couldn’t get any real shots on goal, and when they managed to create anything young Altay Bayindir made a couple of comfortable saves. Dimitriadis had the best chance for Giresunspor but his shot from the edge of the box went inches over.

Into the second half and midway through Ankaragucu brought on Kehinde for Umut and the big Nigerian made an instant impact. Firstly he knocked down a long ball for Kenan who was through on goal but his shot was well saved by the keeper.

With just under 10 minutes remaining Ankaragucu broke the deadlock. A corner into the box was nodded home by Kehinde who pulled his baby’s dummy out from his sock putting it in his mouth and celebrated with the fans who were absolutely delighted.

Ankaragucu would hang on to their 1-0 lead and secured the 3 points which takes them 2 points clear at the top with Umraniyespor playing tomorrow. A brilliant win for Ankaragucu and again credit must go to the full team but again Sedat Acgay and Arif Morkaya were the unsung hero’s covering every blade of grass.

Next Saturday see the top two face each other at the 19 Mayis Stadium in Ankara, as Ankaragucu host Umraniyespor. Promises to be another cracker.

The march towards relegation continues

Sir Eski: "There are more stewards than Osmanli fans"

Osmanlispor 2 - 0 Genclerbirligi

Spine, Sir Eski and myself made it down to the Red Lion to watch another woeful display from Gencler. I'm not even going to bother with an analysis of the match except to say that it was only fitting that one of the players we sold off at the beginning of the season, Serdar Guler, looked like he could have defeated us all on his own. He scored both goals.

All up around 12 Osmanli fans showed up. I ended up winning a beer off a bloke at the bar who insisted that there must have been a match ban on spectators.

Nope... the real reason is now that Melih Gokcek has resigned as mayor of Ankara there is no one to offer free chicken kebabs and 50 tl to municipal workers to show up.

And so the matched kicked off with zero atmosphere... except...

After Mesut Bakkal was sacked/resigned last week the club mysteriously signed Umit Ozat, the very same coach who we got rid of just a couple of months ago for having been a complete failure. After being sacked Ozat posted a picture on social media of him shaking friends with his "old friend" Sedat Peker, a convicted organised crime boss with some fairly extreme right-wing views, i.e. exactly the kind of person Genclerbirligi fans do not like very much.

So, the 50 or so Gencler fans who went off to the Osmanli stadium in the middle of nowhere on a cold Friday night ended up tying their banners upside down in protest. Within seconds of kick off they where shouting for Ozat to resign.

In a press conference afterwards Umit Ozat said it was wrong for the fans to swear at him and to be calling for his resignation just 5 minutes after taking over at the club. We had the sound off at the Red Lion so I can't confirm if the fans were swearing but there is certainly no doubt they were calling on him to resign. Ozat then bizarrely said that those at the match calling for the management to resign included Ankaragucu fans wearing Gencler shirts.

Ankaragucu on Saturday put out a statement condemning what they described as Ozat's "ugly behaivour" and then went on to give Ozat some information concerning the relationship between the two clubs ie... that they are actually friends.

The fact the Ozat had complained about fans swearing at him made news that came out on Saturday even funnier.

Klasspor reported that long-time fan, former junior player and current member of Genclerbirligi, Mehmet Soylu, had made an official complaint and a judicial investigation has been launched into Ozat swearing at him on social media a couple of months ago.

"You bastard. You come to the training facilities and you write here like a useless, stupid person," Ozat told Soylu via Instagram. (By the way, the "useless, stupid person" bit of the quote may not be exact... the Turkish word was sunepe... quite difficult to get the meaning across in a simple translation) 

It was just general sort of swearing but as we know words like "bastard" are a lot more forceful in Turkish than in English. Ozat has been asked to "help police in their investigations"* and has since deleted his Instagram account where the conversation took place.

What next for Genclerbirligi? Who knows. One thing that is certain is the club's management will be hoping that the new stadium to replace the 19 Mayis gets underway as scheduled during the winter break. That way Genclerbirligi will be forced to play the second half of the stadium a million miles away. With no fans at matches the calls for "Yonetim Istifa" will be silenced... at least in the stands.
* perhaps not the exact Turkish judicial procedure.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ankaragucu vs Giresunspor match preview!

It’s 2nd vs 3rd on Saturday afternoon as Ankaragucu travel to Giresunspor looking to make it 8 matches unbeaten after another win at the weekend against Denizlispor. Although the Ankaragucu management, players and fans will be delighted with the 2-1 win, the team will need to up their performance against a very good Giresunspor side.

The hosts drew 3-3 at Altinordu last weekend and have only lost 1 game all season. They have some good players in Boubacar Dialiba and Mehmet Akyuz who will be the dangermen, although they have quality in all areas of the pitch. Giresun showed real character coming back from 2-0 down against Altinordu to share the points and will have a good crowd behind them at the weekend. Ankaragucu sold out their allocation for the match and will also have the support behind them.

Last weekends 2-1 win over Denizlispor was as Jim said in the report a game of 2 halfs. Denizli had the edge in the first half, while Ankaragucu dominated in the second. One of the areas in the team that is a real concern is the left back position. Mehmet Sak has proved his value and quality going forward, while Ferhat Kiraz is capable going forward too. Both players struggle defensively though and Giresun will look to take advantage with quality wide players such as Sinan and Dialiba.

Ankaragucu have shown their quality in attack in the last 7 games with Umut Nayir being the focal point in attack. He leads the team in scoring with 6 goals, but it’s also his link up play and teamwork that are instrumental in the teams title bid. Ilhan Parlak came off last week with and injury and could miss out, with either Doka or Kehinde set to fill in. Kehinde looked lively again and is a real handful for defenders and deserves a place in the starting line up. Kenan Özer continues to impress and will also start the game.

The match will kick off at 15:30 Turkish time and will be shown live on BeIN Sports. The Kanka Group will again be watching the match somewhere in Ankara and Jim will post details of where and when to meet. Let’s hope for another 3 points for Ankaragucu and Umraniyespor to drop points which would see Ankaragucu move top!

Monday, November 20, 2017

It can't get worse can it? Oh...

Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Kayserispor

Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Kayserispor

It wasn't the best day to go to the football. Wet and cold and grey. That wouldn't have stopped me in the past though and so it shows just how depressed some of us Gencler fans are at the moment that I didn't even bother heading down to the stadium which must be the first time I've missed a home league match without a decent excuse for quite a few seasons.

I listened to part of it on the radio, in between the pazar shopping, and from what I could tell we started off okay but Kayserispor were playing the long game.

With their first shot of the match they went ahead in the 28th and then we came back a few minutes later.

I missed their second goal but it can probably be summed up in the following tweet from one of the Alkaralar supporters.

And that was that.

Little surprise that it was announced a few hours later that Gencler coach Mesut Bakkal had resigned.

Last place in the league. What a mess.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

This is a first !     No, not the first time I’ve seen Ankaragucu beat Denizli, but the first time I’ve been at the stadium gate when the National Anthem was playing !

I left my school at 5pm, boarded the train at 5.15 and made it to the Stadium 30 Kms away in time for the KO thanks to the efficiency of the Ankara Metro system.

There I met up with all the kankas – Maniac Kanka Harun, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Posh Kanka Ahmet, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Horseman Kanka Osman and Nurer Kanka.   Gecikondu and Kapali were full and Maraton almost full and the atmosphere was fantastic (as usual).    There were about 100 Horos in the away end, but we didn’t hear a sound from them apart from the opening goal !

Dare I use the olde cliché ........... ‘a game of two halves’ ?   Yes, I must, because it was !

It was mostly all Denizli in the first half with the Ankaragucu defence and midfield given the run-around.   However, Denizli’s firepower and Korcan restricted them to only one goal.   Ultimately, it was a happy ending with Ankaragucu showing more determination and skill in the 2nd half to send us all home ‘happy bunnies’.

ANKARAGUCU    2          Denizlispor     1

From the opening minutes of the match it was plain for all to see that Denizli were not here to defend.   They were spreading the ball around and giving Ankaragucu few chances to exert pressure on the solid Denizli defence.

It was little surprise therefore when Denizli made the breakthrough on the 25 minutes mark with a textbook goal.   From a throw-in on the left, the Denizli winger left everyone in his wake and crossed an inch perfect ball to the far post where it was met with an equally perfect header across Korcan and in at the near post.

Things were looking ominous at this stage and Ankaragucu had to withstand intense Denizli pressure, but thankfully the defence held firm as the half time whistle beckoned.

However, Ankaragucu’s only two serious efforts on goal in the first half then gave us hope.   Firstly, Pursila headed just past the post from an excellent cross from Kenan.

Then in time added on, Ankaragucu won a corner on the right.   Erdem swung it in and there was Alihan perfectly positioned to power in a superb header for the equaliser.

Phew !    What a let-off and happy faces all round with expectation still high.   The other downside of the first half was Ilhan limping off injured after 15 minutes to be replaced by Doka.   Let’s hope it’s not a serious injury.

Ankaragucu came out for the 2nd half with all cylinders firing and laid siege to the Denizli goal.   This was more like the Ankaragucu we have been accustomed to of late, and it was no surprise when the winner arrived in the 72nd minute.   A corner on the right was met by Umut who’s glancing angled header deceived the goalkeeper and we were all dancing and singing again in anticipation of 3 points.

Kehinde replaced Arif on 67 minutes and he almost scored a 3rd when he went on a mazy run, but as he was about to shoot it looked like he was brought down by the goalkeeper, but the referee had other ideas and gave him a yellow card for diving !   I think the referee got that one wrong, but fortunately it didn’t affect the final score !

Into extra time and the 3rd goal almost arrived again.   A neat head flick by Kehinde into Kenan’s path, but his final shot was weak and saved.

Sighs of relief all round at the final whistle as the players did their customary misket dance and then a lap of honour.   A misket performance by the kankas also drew applause from Sag Kapali supporters !

It was back to The Bira Park to celebrate and discuss next Saturday’s vital match away to 2nd top of the league, Giresun.   

Today, top of the league Umraniye are away at Erzurum and the final score is 0-0    Another confidence boost for Ankaragucu as if one was needed !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ankaragucu vs Denizlispor match preview!

Ankaragucu return to league action on Friday night after the International break as they host Denizlispor at the 19 Mayis Stadium in Ankara. The team will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to 7 games and keep up the pressure on Umraniyespor and Giresunspor.

Off the field President Erdogan spoke of his hopes to see Ankaragucu in the Super Lig and how important the club are to Turkish football. Melih Gokcek has also been replaced as mayor of Ankara with Dr Tuna who is the brother of Ankaragucu board member Tuna Yilmaz. Hopefully he can help influence the cities new mayor to show more support for the club than his predecessor.

Ankaragucu will go into the match without Mehmet Sak who is suspended which should mean a return to the starting line up for Ferhat Kiraz. Korcan Celikay will likely start in goal as he has regained training after a niggling injury. Tonia Tisdell returned to training this week and was joined by Mbamba Kibong. Both players will be back in contention for a place in the squad in January.

İsmail Kartal seems to have found his starting 11 which he has kept faith with and the results have reflected than on the pitch. The key to a winning team is consistency and this is something the team have worked on and İsmail Kartal is rightly starting to receive the praise and plaudits he deserves.

The last match against Eskisehirspor is the first and only time in the 8 years that I have supported Ankaragucu where I can remember a match that we came away with a convincing win despite the opposition having double the amount of chances and more possession. Again that shows the character in the team, that they can grind out wins even when not performing at their best.

Denizlispor sit just one place outside the relegation zone but have saw and improvement in their performances over the last month. Wins over Adana Demirspor and Altinordu have given them hope that they can stay up this season, relegation to Lig 2 would be catastrophic for the cash strapped club. The Denizli fans have boycotted their games this season which is disappointing as they have a fairly loyal fan base in general. Ziya Alkurt and Andre Moritz will be key if Denizli are to take anything from the game on Friday night and will be the players the Ankaragucu team need to stop.

Their should be a fairly decent Ankaragucu crowd their to cheer the team on, the club have sold over 14,000 Passolig cards and with it being a Friday night there should be a crowd of in the region of 10,000 at the game. Anyone wanting to join the Kankas going to the match please get in touch with Jim for full details.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Eskisehirspor 1-3 Ankaragucu match report!

How many times can you say Ankaragucu rode their luck and came away with 3 points? Not very many would be the answer from most Ankaragucu fans who have had to endure more lows than highs over the last 6 years. Fortunately luck was on our side today with a hard fought 3-1 victory at rivals Eskisehirspor as the team now makes it 6 games without defeat.

Team - Korcan, Erdem, Gencer, Alihan, Mehmet, Sedat, Arif, Putsila, Kenan, Ilhan, Umut

Subs - Altay, Yusuf, Lukasz, Cheikhou, Kehinde, Abdulkadir, Mahmut, Enes

Just as the game started, the Eskisehirspor fans changed in protest against the ban on Ankaragucu fans saying it’s their right to travel to the game. Even though there is no love lost between the two clubs, their is still a mutual respect.

There was a great atmosphere at the Yeni Eskisehir stadium as the home fans cheered their team on and it seemed to have a positive effect on the players as Eskisehirspor dominated the early stages of the match.

Only two minutes in and Erkan Zengin saw his headed effort brilliantly saved from Korcan from close range. A minute later and Korcan dropped the ball in the box, the ball found its way to Hasan Acar who fired well over.

The Ankaragucu defence were all over the place and on the 11th minute Eskisehirspor should have taken the lead. The ball found its way to the unmarked Ofoedu but Korcan made a great save to keep the score at 0-0. Erkan Zengin was causing the Ankaragucu defence problems and he cut inside Erdem but saw his shot go wide.

It took until the 17th minute for Ankaragucu to create their first chance of the game. A good ball into the box for Ilhan but the forwards header was well saved from Kayacan. Five minutes later Anton Putsila shot from distance but was easily saved.

Two minutes before half time Erkan had a chance at the back post but his volley was deflected behind for a corner.

Just as it looked like Ankaragucu were heading into half time lucky to be on level terms, Putsila put Kenan through on goal with a brilliant pass and the little winger kept his calm before slotting the ball into the back of the net. 1-0 Ankaragucu.

Half Time

Altay Bayindir came on at half time for Korcan who was struggling the full game with a leg injury. It was Eskisehirspor who came out looking for the equaliser as Hurriyet saw his shot deflected just over by his own player on the 50th minute.

Three minutes later and Ofoedu missed the chance of the game, he was left at the back post with the simple task of putting the ball into the net but couldn’t even hit the target with only the keeper to beat.

Erdem Ozgenc beat two players before firing straight at the keeper when he should have squared the ball to his teammates in the box. A couple of minutes later and a mistake from Mehmet Sak gifted the ball to Ofoedu who saw his shot well saved from Altay.

A minute later and brilliant play from Kenan who crossed the ball for Umut who misshit his shot but Ilhan was on hand to put the ball into the back of the net. 2-0. Eskisehirspor at this stage must have wondered how they found themselves 2 goals down.

Eskişehirspor continued to push forward and Bruno Mezenga almost got lucky as Altay scrambled his headed effort away.

Altay Bayindir has a big future ahead of him and he showed why with an excellent save from a thunderous Hasan Ayaroglu effort from 25 yards. At the other end Kenan put Umut through on goal but Kayacan made a good save to keep Eskisehirspor in the game.

With time also set up Hasan Acar pulled a goal back for Eskisehirspor in injury time. It gave the subdued home support a bit of a lift, but minutes later Arif broke free down the right hand side and squared for Umut Nayir who put the ball into the back of the net with a brilliant finish. 3-1 Ankaragucu.

An excellent win for Ankaragucu with Anton Putsila and Kenan instrumental while Alihan put in another commanding performance at the back. Mehmet Sak will need to improve his defensive side of the game and their is still room for improvement for Ankaragucu. That said 3rd in the league and only 3 points behind leaders Umraniyespor is a fantastic achievement so far from the team.

Eskisehirspor need to pick themselves up and take the positives from the game. They are better than what they are showing but forwards Bruno Mezenga and Ofoedu need to finish their chances and they need to be better at the back.

Next up is a home tie next Friday night with Denizlispor, we will have the preview here on the blog midweek.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Genclerbirligi get smashed in Istanbul

A person from the Alkaralar group suggests that during the winter transfer window we should get in some players who we can build upon for next season in the Lost Mail Lig. I sympathise but I think we should at least try to avoid relegation. Looking at the odds though... our friend may well be right.

Galatasaray 5 - 1 Genclerbirligi

It was a bustling Red Lion Club on Friday night of which about three of us were there for the footy. Why should I tell you that? Basically I missed quite a lot. By the time I'd managed to get myself out of one conversation we were already one down.

We had a few goes and could have scored a couple early on... but who am I kidding. Galatasaray ran rampant. Hopf had a very poor game and our defence looked very shoddy.

A late consolation goal for Scekic was nice but besides that...

Things are looking bleak.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Ankaragucu vs Eskisehirspor match preview!

Ankaragucu face rivals Eskisehirspor for the for the first time in 5 years with both sides striving to get back to where they belong in the Super Lig. Eskisehirspor ran out 5-2 winners that day at the 19 Mayis Stadium but both sides fortunes have changed since then with Ankaragucu on the ascendancy while Eskisehir are struggling financially and fighting against the unthinkable relegation to Lig 2.

Yet again, the TFF have banned Ankaragucu fans from travelling to the match which has raised complaints from both sets of supporters this week. No away fans have been allowed to travel to this match for the last 8 years after 2 Ankaragucu fans were stabbed in Eskisehir. The TFF have taken steps to avoid any violence between the two sets of fans, however the Eskisehirspor tribune leader this week spoke out against the ban and used the Istanbul clubs as an example of many clashes between both sets but no permanent ban has been placed on them.

Ankaragucu go into the match on a 5 match unbeaten run sitting in 3rd place only 3 points behind the leaders Umraniyespor. A 1-0 win over Istanbulspor last weekend will have pleased Ismail Kartal especially keeping a clean sheet and having created many chances.

Eskisehirspor are only 3 points outside the relegation zone, however they have only lost 1 of their last 5 matches and will have 25,000 passionate fans behind them at the Eskisehir Stadium. While both sets of fans may not like each other, their is a mutual respect in that both sets of fans are passionate, loyal and will make a fantastic atmosphere making it the game of the week in the Turkish Lig 1.

Ismail Kartal will likely go with the same starting line up again, with Lanre Kehinde set to take a place on the bench again with Ilhan Parlak getting the nod up top with Umut Nayir. A settled starting line up is key to any team challenging for a championship and the team is starting to come together and the fitness levels are also much better than they were a few weeks ago. Much credit has to go to the manager Ismail Kartal for Ankaragucu look a very solid and organised outfit, and if they can just sort out some of the issues in defence then they have every chance of winning 2 championships on the bounce.

Although Eskisehirspor linger towards the bottom of the table, they are a much more talented team than what they are showing. They have a few key players who the Ankaragucu team must pay attention to closely otherwise they will be punished. Former Ankaragucu player Hasan Ayaroglu has impressed this season after an excellent campaign on loan at Kastamonuspor last season. Erkan Zengin although 32 now is still one of the best players in the division, while Hasan Acar is a talented 22 year old midfielder who continues to catch the eye. Bruno Mezenga on his day is capable of the brilliant, but also misses to many chances and the reason why he finds himself playing in Lig 1.

The game kicks off at 14:30 Turkish Time on Sunday afternoon and will again be shown live on Bein Sports Max HD. For information on how to watch the match with the Kanka Group please contact Jim and he will let you know where they are watching the game.