Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Ankaragucu spurned the opportunity to move safely into mid-table yesterday when they could only draw. However, having said that, the point was more than some teams in the relegation zone could muster. For example, Fener.....spit.....bahce, Goztepe and Akhisar all lost.
ANKARAGUCU 0 Konyaspor 0
Team – Altay, Kulusic, Pazdan, Kitsiou, Djedje, Pinto, Canteros, Sedat, Boyd, Sacko and Orgill
Substitutes – Moke, Moulin and Ilhan
As Nadeem said in a comment yesterday, the Kanka Group is falling apart with only Eski Kanka watching the match in The Anasson. However, all credit to Ahmet and Miguel who were probably in the Stadium along with the other 10,000.
We all love to criticise and bad-mouth Ilhan from time-to-time, but I have to praise him ......for a change ! Prior to the kick-off yesterday and while awaiting the players to emerge from the tunnel, Ilhan took all the substitutes across to Gecikondu to applaud them. A nice gesture Ilhan !
The first chance of the match fell to Orgill with the match only 7 minutes old when he received a pass on the left and bore in on goal only to hit his shot past the far post.
2 minutes later and a frantic block by THREE Ankaragucu defenders prevented a shot on goal well inside the box.
The ex-Ankaragucu goalkeeper, Serkan, made a brilliant save from Djedje’s goalbound screamer on the 15 minute mark, and it wasn’t the last time he would deny Ankaragucu.
On the half hour mark and Konya almost scored from a corner, and shortly after Altay saved from a well worked free kick which obviously came from the training ground.
Approaching half time and one player who would NOT be receiving the Man of the Match accolade was Canderos. I lost count of the times he gave the ball away cheaply which gave Konya the opportunity to counter attack. I had to scratch my head to find the Man of the Match and I decided to give it to Pinto for his tireless work in defence and his willingness to break forward and assist the front line. He oozes class !
Then almost on the half time whistle there was a let-off for Ankaragucu. A fast Konya breakaway from an Ankaragucu corner left Djedje chasing an attacker bearing down on goal, but he stumbled, allowing the attacker to cross only for the other Konya attacker to sky his shot over the bar.
Going in at half time all square was about right I suppose even though Ankaragucu had 62 per cent possession, but not much of that was in the final third !!
Ankaragucu started the 2nd half like an express train and after 15 minutes ran out of steam and ideas. Firstly, Orgill had a great chance when put through on the right, but his shot was in a difficult angle and it went to the wrong side of the post. Then Sacko received a pass well inside the box to the centre and he shot weakly at Serkan.
Konya had a good chance half way through the 2nd half when Altay made an uncharacteristic mistake by mis-kicking a clearance straight to a Konya player. He was probably so surprised that he didn’t react quick enough allowing Altay to recover and make a save from his snatched second effort.
Pazdan was caught dithering on the ball which gave the chance of a quick break on the right, but thankfully Kulusic was quick to spot the danger and was also quick enough to make a sliding tackle to put the ball into touch.
Ankaragucu woke-up at last in the final 10 minutes to try and steal all 3 points. First, Ilhan tried an audacious overhead kick inside the box but it wasn’t powerful enough and was easily saved by Serkan.
Moments later Ilhan again tried his luck when put through on the left but he shot weakly past the right post.
Into time-added-on and some great footwork by Pinto on the left to beat two defenders and his cut-back went straight to Kulusic, but his powerful strike went just past the post.
There was time for one last chance, but Orgill’s header from a cross from the left was saved by Serkan.
I think Konya will have been the happier of the two teams after some wayward finishing from the Ankaragucu attacks and some excellent saves by Serkan.
So, with only 5 matches left, it is still undecided which teams will be relegated. Ankaragucu have managed to pull themselves up to 11th on equal points with Kayseri, but are only 8 points above 3rd bottom Erzurum.
Next Sunday will be a searching test of Ankaragucu’s resolve when they are away at Beshiktrash KO 7pm. Beshiktrash will not be feeling generous even though they are comfortably in the Europa Cup positions, because they are still within striking distance of the top 2 teams and a place in the Champions League.
Altay and the Ankaragucu defence will no doubt be tested to their limit, but they have the ability to deal with the pressure and hopefully surprise us by returning from Istan.....spit....bul with at least one point.
Bring it on !
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim