Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
This is a photo of the kankas celebrating Ankaragucu’s return to the Super League at The Alerta Bar last year around this time after spending ‘a few years’ in the Championship and 2nd Division (the reasons for that are well documented in this Blog !!).
Ankaragucu’s plan therefore was to ensure that this season was one of consolidation, and apart from a few blips earlier this season, it seems that it is still possible, despite a heavy defeat in Istanbul last night.
It was a cruel score line which doesn’t accurately reflect the match. The Besiktas goalkeeper, Karius, was in superb form and saved Besiktas blushes on numerous occasions, especially in the 1st half. Also, the referee awarded Besiktas a dubious penalty at a crucial stage of the match leaving Ankaragucu with a mountain to climb.
I’m not saying that Besiktas was lucky to win the match because they took their chances well, and they are sure to give Galata.....spit....saray a difficult match next weekend as they seek Champions League qualification.
Besiktas 4 ANKARAGUCU 1
Team – Altay, Kulusic, Kitsiou, Pinto, Pazdan, Moke, Sacko, Sedat, Canteros, Boyd and Orgill
Substitutes – Moulin, Alihan and Ilhan
The kankas, Posh Kanka Ahmet, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I met-up at last year’s venue, The Alerta Bar, where we had the screen to ourselves more-or-less.
There was a poignant one minute silence prior to the kick off when everyone was protesting against Child Molestation in Turkey. This arose out of a recent incident when a 5 year old girl was raped in Istanbul by an immigrant from Pakistan. Sad days indeed when this occurs, and not only in Turkey !
So to the footie and Ankaragucu made a confident start when Orgill tested Karius only 5 minutes in, but he saved well.
3 minutes later and an opportunist goal from Burak when he collected a pass on the left, and with the Ankaragucu defence back-pedalling, he only had Kitsiou to beat which he did easily. He then fired in a thunderous shot to the near post which Altay had no chance of saving.
Ankaragucu heads didn’t go down. On the contrary, they were playing some excellent footie and stroking the ball around and making Besiktas work for the ball, but falling short in the final 3rd.
15 minutes in and Sacko had a shot on goal which took an unlucky deflection for a corner.
Half an hour in and what was probably the save of the match. A corner was sent in by Canteros and met perfectly by Pazdan whose header was destined for the top corner. However, somehow Karius flew to the left and tipped the ball over for a corner. An amazing piece of goalkeeping.
3 minutes later and he produced a similar acrobatic save to prevent Sedat’s goalbound shot going in to the same top corner. A further 3 minutes and Canteros had a chance to score but he shot tamely at Karius.
So, it was disappointing to go in at half time 0-1 down but great goalkeeping and Ankaragucu’s old problem of giving the ball away too easy in the final 3rd was their downfall. We were still optimistic at this point though !
Into the 2nd half and it was Besiktas who started the more purposeful and Altay was called into action after 5 minutes to save from a fast Besiktas breakaway.
3 minutes laster and some sloppy play from Canteros when he was dispossessed easily in midfield which allowed a dangerous attack, but Altay saved bravely, but could only parry the ball due to the power of the shot, and it fell conveniently for Vida who tapped into the unprotected goal. A cruel blow for Altay.
7 minutes later and Besiktas received another lucky break when the referee awarded a dubious penalty when he decided that an attacker was pushed in the box. We had the luxury of a replay and I’m surprised that he didn’t go to the VAR because it looked very much like he fell before the tackle came in. Anyway, up stepped Burak who dispatched the perfect shot into the left corner which evaded Altay’s outstretched arm.
Still Ankaragucu’s heads didn’t go down and they came forward again looking for a foothold into the match and it almost came in the 70th minute from a Canteros free kick which was met perfectly by Alihan who sent a bullet of a header goalbound, but again Karius pulled off a remarkable save to exasperate us all !
However, the elusive goal came 4 minutes later when the referee awarded a penalty against a Besiktas defender for elbowing the ball away from Pazdan
Boyd took responsibility and sent a weak shot to Karius who parried the ball and the follow-up was past the post and out. This time the referee did respond to complaints and consulted his VAR which showed clearly that some Besiktas players had encroached into the area prior to the ball being struck.
Another penalty was his decision and this time Sacko took responsibility sending Karius the wrong way.
If we were looking for an all-out assault on the Besiktas goal we were disappointed four minutes later when Besiktas ‘put the match to bed’. A fast passing move on the left between 3 players allowed Ljajic to send in a screamer which Altay was helpless to do anything about.
5 minutes to go and Ankaragucu still attempted to attack and snatch another consolation goal, but their final attempt hit the post and was cleared.
As I said at the beginning, it was cruel to have to much of the ball and to find a goalkeeper at the top of this game, but as always, the bottom line is ........... putting the round thing between the sticks is what counts and Besiktas took their chances in that department !
So, with 4 matches left, Ankaragucu is only 6 points ahead of 3rd bottom Bursa and therefore can’t afford to relax their endeavours in the run-in.
Ankaragucu will be at home next Saturday KO 4pm against 7th placed Rize and they can expect another tough test against a stingy and stubborn Rize side who have fought out 12 draws this season.
It will certainly be a ferocious scrap in the run-in with no team certain for relegation at this stage.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim