Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
After the abomination in Bursa 2 weeks ago, this was the Ankaragucu that we love. They were like terriers from the first whistle till the last. This is what we want and this was delivered last night. They have put down a marker and this type of performance must be maintained every week !
ANKARAGUCU 1 Malatya 0
Team – Korcan, Erdem, Yalcin, Alihan, Pinto, Faty, Djedje, Kenan, Ilhan, Cerci and Kubilay.
Substitutes used – Sedat, Kehinde and Mehmet
Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I met-up at The Anasonn Bar and settled-down to watch what I thought would be a bridge too far for an Ankaragucu team missing 4 key players (Hopf, El Kabir, Mokhtar and Boufouma) but we were pleasantly surprised that Ankaragucu was in all out attacking mode from start to finish.
Ankaragucu almost went ahead in the 5th minute but an excellent double save from Farnolle thwarted what we thought was a certain goal.
However, we only had to wait one more minute for the goal to arrive. Ilhan was put through with a great pass, but the two defenders shadowing him forced him to near the right touchline where he turned and crossed. The ball was directed away from the intended target by a defender’s arm ! Loud protests followed by the Ankaragucu players when the referee waved play on, but play was stopped when the referee had a message in his earphone. A video replay was requested and he then correctly awarded a penalty.
Cerci stepped-up and swept the ball in to the centre of the goal with Farnolle diving to his right.
A great start by Ankaragucu, but Malatya was not for folding ! As the match progressed, they settled and the match became an end-to-end affair, but Korcan was only called into serious action once in the first half when he made a great save from a free kick.
At the other end, Kubilay had a chance when he collected a Cerci cross, but he was dispossessed before he could shoot.
Into the 2nd half and Ankaragucu started like they did at the beginning of the match and were really getting stuck-in. Ilhan and company were chasing everything that came their way, but Ilhan received a yellow card for being ‘over enthusiastic’ in a challenge !
Kubilay had another chance but his shot on goal was blocked when 3 defenders surrounded him !
Kenan and Cerci had shots on goal but one was just past the post, another too high and one saved.
Near the end of the match and Cerci and Kubilay were substituted by Sedat and Kehinde.
10 minutes to go and Malatya almost found the equaliser when a great shot hit the bar and went out with Korcan beaten.
2 minutes to go and Malatya was looking desperate and they almost scored from a corner but Korcan came to the rescue again.
In the 4th minute of time added-on Pinto broke up a dangerous attack when he brought down a player from behind. He then received a yellow for his efforts ! (Sometimes at this stage in a match these measures are necessary !!!).
So, a hard fought but deserved win for Ankaragucu with all the players giving their all. I’m tempted to single out Djedje (who worked his socks off in the ‘engine room’) and Cerci for a special mention, but as I said, the whole team deserve praise for their endeavours.
Damon made these comments at the end of the match ...........
Quote – An impressive performance in the first half, but we needed to put the sword in and kill the game off. We came far too close to gifting Malatya 2 points in the 2nd half. But, alls well that ends well. Expecting to see more of Cerci. Unquote.
The win sees Ankaragucu move into 9th position in the league, but only 3 points below the Europa Cup position ! I know we all decided that this was a season of consolidation, but we can dream a little ............. can’t we ??!!
Looking to next weekend’s match on Sunday KO 8.30pm, and Ankaragucu travel to play a team which is 4th bottom of the league and perhaps that ‘other team’ will be 3rd bottom when we have finished with them !!!
Let’s have a big performance Ankaragucu and make Ankara ‘smiles better’ !!!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim