Wednesday, December 30, 2020




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Out with the old, and in with the new ..........on Friday   !!


I think it goes without saying that we will all be relieved to see the back of 2020 and will be hoping for a happier 2021.


There were lots of downers in 2020, and apart from the Pandemic, the one which we found most difficult to bear was the loss of one of our kankas – Little Oz Kanka Matthew.


Also, Battle Damaged Kanka, Damon, lost his father-in-law with whom he shared a close relationship.


Not having supporters in the Stadium for most of the year was also keenly felt and the kankas have been unable to socialise together since March.


Some of us only managed 2 visits to The Eryaman Stadium early in the year to see Ankaragucu’s win against Fener.....spit.....bahce and the loss to Sivas.


On the upside, at least Ankaragucu was spared relegation when they finished bottom of the league and relegation was suspended for this season because of the Pandemic.


Also, Damon and I managed a visit to Scotland in January/February where we saw The Mighty Hibernian win 1 match and draw 2 others  !!


So to 2021, and to hopefully see the defeat of the Pandemic.   As I write this, we are still in various lockdown situations which will hopefully be eased during 2021.   However, when we will be able to visit the Stadium is still a big question mark  !!


So, to our regular readers, kankas near and far, and your families, I wish you all a Happy New Year 2021 and look forward to the day when we can meet socially and enjoy watching football together again.


In the meantime, we must continue to meet here on this site and on our Whatsapp Group site.


All the very best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, December 29, 2020




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler looked down and out when Kayseri went 2-1 up after the half time resumption.   However, from what I have seen this season, they don’t lack fighting spirit, and even after Sio’s 2 goals were chalked off by VAR they still continued to search for the equaliser.


It must be said that Gencler were assisted by Kayseri’s wayward performance in the 2nd half and Kayseri only have themselves to blame for losing all 3 points.


GENCLERBIRLIGI         3                    Kayserispor         2


Team – Nordfeldt, Omurcan, Toure, Arda, Mustafa, Berat, Piris, Candeias, Yildirim, Ayite and Sio


Substitutes – Yilmaz, Furkan, Huseyin and Ilker


The big surprise pre-match was the new appearance of Turkey’s No1 Referee, Cunayt Cakir, who took to the pitch with a shaved head and beard.   I didn’t recognise him at first  !!


The match started at a snail’s pace, but exploded into life at the 30th minute mark.


A Gencler free kick was cleared to the left and the ball played down the left wing and then inside to Emre who spotted Kanga’s run to his left and played a through ball to his feet.   Kanga took airm and fired in a shot inside the right post.    Game on !


8 minutes later came the equaliser and a similar goal to the opener.   Yildirim made some space for himself on the left and slipped a pass to Candeias inside the box on the left and his shot clipped the inside of the right post on its way in.


Kayseri should have gone ahead just before the half time whistle when Nordfeldt made a point blank reflex save from a shot inside the 6 yard box.   The rebound was destined for a goal, but the ball was cleared off the line by a defender.


Into the 2nd half and Emre almost put Kayseri back in front but his goal bound shot was well saved by Nordfeldt.


10 into the 2nd half and Kayseri were back in front when Arda diverted a cross into his own goal as he was attempting to put the ball out for a corner.


Kayseri thought that they scored again 5 minutes later but Kanga’s ‘goal’ was offside after the referee consulted VAR.


2 minutes later and Sio thought he had equalised when he headed in a cross from the right.   However, the referee again consulted VAR and decided that there was a hand ball in the lead up to the goal.


4 minutes later and again Sio thought he had scored, and again after consulting VAR, the referee decided that there had been an offside in the build up.


With Gencler having most of the ball, it was not a surprise when the equaliser did come, and it was another defensive blunder.    A cross came into the box from the left goal line and a Kayseri defender miscued his clearance and the ball fell kindly for Berat to tap in.


It was heading for a draw, but in the last minute of normal time came another blunder by the Kayseri defence.    A defender lost possession on the left touchline, and when the cross came in, a defender stuck his leg out and the ball went in with the goalkeeper wrong footed.


The win moves Gencler out of the bottom 4, but only 3 points above 4th bottom Ankaragucu.


Next Sunday Gencler travel to mid-table Rize where they will need to demonstrate their fighting spirit again.     Rize are always a difficult nut to crack at home.


Watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, December 28, 2020

Denizlispor 1-2 Ankaragücü match report!


Ankaragücü finished 2020 off in style with an excellent 2-1 win at relegation rivals Denizlispor thanks to goals from Atakan Cankaya and Daniel Lukasik. The team are now outside of the relegation zone for the first time this season.

Team - Freidrich, Kitsiou, Atakan, Sarlija, Pinto, Voca, Lukasik, Paintsil, Saba, Endri, Bolingi

Subs - Korcan, Erdi, Orkan, Assane, Ender, Sahverdi, Cebrail, Berke, Borven, Atilla

Ankaragücü has the first chance of the game when Bolingi knocked the ball on for Endri on the 19th minute but the Albanian fired his shot well over the bar.

Only a minute later though, Ankaragücü did take the lead. Endri took the corner and Atakan headed home at the back post to put Ankaragücü 1-0 up.

Ankaragücü were looking the more dangerous team but Denizli were having more of the possession. Twenty minutes later Saba had a good chance after a mistake at the back but Huseyin made a good save in the Denizli goal.

Just before half time, Ankaragücü doubled their lead after brilliant play down the right hand side from Kitsiou. He beat his man before picking out a lovely ball for Lukasik who calmly slotted the ball home to make it 2-0.

Half Time - 0-2

The Second half was a quiet affair and Ankaragücü looked very comfortable until the last 15 minutes. Voca went close at the back post before being taken off with a knock. When Assane came in to take his place Niyaz pulled a goal back instantly after a good volley from 5 yards.

Denizli piled on the pressure looking for the equaliser and Niyaz went close again with a Volley from the edge of the box. In the final minute Mustafa Yumlu had a great chance at the back Post but miss hit his shot.

Ankaragücü held on for the valuable 3 points much to the delight of everyone associated with the club. One man in particular who deserves all the credit is Mustafa Dalci. Not a single Ankaragücü fan wanted him as manager, but he now has 3 wins and a draw taking Ankaragücü out of the relegation zone and has the team working their socks off for him.

The likes of Sarlija, Atakan, Voca and Saba have all improved under him while Kitsiou is back to his best. Daniel Lukasik is also showing how important he can be when he is fit.

Ankaragücü go into January knowing they have to bring in 3-4 new players while getting rid of some of the failures such as Assane, Boling, And Orkan. News from Ankara last night suggested the club are close to signing Aliou Badji who is a Senegalese striker and would be a great signing for the club. More reports this morning though claim the club are set to receive a transfer ban.

Next up for Ankaragücü is Yeni Malatyaspor this Saturday!

Thursday, December 24, 2020




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Ankaragucu have only themselves to blame and should have put his match to bed in the 1st half when they came out of the traps like a whippet  !!


They spurned so many goal attempts and have only themselves to blame at the end of the match for losing all 3 points.


ANKARAGUCU        0                  Besiktas         1


Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Atakan, Sarliga, Pinto, Voca, Saba, Emre, Lukasik, Endri and Borven


Substitutes – Cetin, Paintsil, Bolingi and Assane


The match was only 5 minutes old when Emre picked up a stray pass and shot from just outside the box, but it was past the right post.


4 minutes later and it was the turn of Saba when one on one with the goalkeeper he went the wrong way and ran the ball out of play   !!


6  minutes later and Emre had another chance when he was put through on goal with a clear chance, but he suddenly pulled-up when he was in full flow.    It looked like he may have pulled a hamstring, and then he was off and replaced by Cetin.


Then with the last action of the 1st half, Kitsiou broke away on his own on the right and shot from a tight angle on the right, but the goalkeeper managed to parry his goal bound shot and it was cleared.    Unfortunately, Kitsiou didn’t return for the 2nd half after sustaining a head injury shortly before the half time whistle.


Besiktas was still looking dangerous but Ankaragucu was to regret all their missed chances, and yet another in the 2nd half when Saba and Lukasic contrived to both miss opportunities from the same attack shortly after the restart.


The sucker punch came in the 60th minute from a Besiktas free kick on the right when defender Vida had all the time in the world to power in a header with the Ankaragucu defence looking at each other and asking .......... where did he come from   ??!!


To their credit, Ankaragucu kept plugging away, but the damage was done, and I for one believed it.     Lukasic almost proved me wrong with 10 minutes remaining, but he shot over when well placed to score.


There are no excuses offered for this defeat which could easily have been a famous victory.    As I have said here many times ........... the round leather thingie must be put between the sticks ........... it is goals that count   !!!


So to the final match before the Winter Break in Denizli next Sunday, in which we must return to Ankara with all 3 points to give us a springboard for the resumption of hostilities and the impetus to climb out of the relegation zone.


I’m fed up saying ............. this is a MUST WIN match, but ............. it really is  !!!


Bring it on and watch this space for the outcome.


In parting, may I, on behalf of the Kanka Group, wish all our readers a Merry Christmas Day tomorrow and a Happy New Year in 2021.    Let’s pray and hope that this effin virus can be defeated so that we can all return to our normal lives again, including attending Eryaman Stadium and supporting ....... Aaaaaankaaaarrrraaagoojooo !!!!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler’s recent run of good form came to an end in Sivas tonight when they succumbed to an impressive Sivas team who play fast and attractive football.


However, having said that, Gencler were unfortunate to go in at half time 1-0 down when they scorned two good chances to go ahead.   


Sivas stepped up a gear in the 2nd half and deservedly took all 3 points.


Sivasspor              3               GENCLERBIRLIGI           1


Team – Nordfeldt, Pehivan, Polomat, Arda, Omurcan, Berat, Yildirim, Stancu, Candeias, Yilmaz and Sio


Substitutes -  Furman, Ayike and Mustafa Seyhan


Sio had the first chance of the match after 15 minutes when Stancu was brought down just outside the box in the centre.    His shot hit the wall and went out for a corner.


Then on the half hour mark Stancu was first to the ball from a left wing free kick, but his headed flick was past the right post.


Sivas was attacking too, but trying to walk the ball in and Gencler was sweeping up.


Into time added on, and I was just about to go and have my first ‘refreshment’ of the evening when there was a great move by Sivas on the right when the ball was played in to the left for Gradel who shot just outside the box and it went in just inside the left post with Nordfeldt unable to reach it.     Great move and great goal.


Into the 2nd half and Sio should have equalised inside the 6 yard box but the goalkeeper made a great instinctive save.    From the clearance, Sivas should have extended their lead, but an excellent saving tackle from Arda prevented a certain goal.


Half way through the 2nd half and there was a great surging run by Erdogan, but his goal bound shot was well saved by Nordfeldt.


It looked all over for Gencler one minute later when from a Sivas corner on the left, Hakan’s back-header deceived Nordfeldt and the game was up for Gencler.


5 minutes to go and Yatabare put the match well and truly beyond Gencler with a classic striker’s goal when he received the ball on the left just inside the box and sent a shot inside the right post.


However, Gencler grabbed a consolation goal in the 91st minute when Arda rose up highest in the penalty box to power in a header from a free kick on the right and inside the left post.


So to Monday, and the ‘6 Pointer’ against fellow strugglers Kayseri in what will be a crucial test of nerves before the winter break.   


As always, watch this space for the outcome   !!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, December 20, 2020




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Today’s match ended all square, but Ankaragucu should have gone in at half time in the lead after all the pressure and chances they had after they had settled into the match.


Also, Ankaragucu’s old failing of misdirected passes reared its ugly head again today to halt the flow of potential attacks.


Ankaragucu entered the field of play in their new all yellow tops with BELKA emblazoned on the front.   I believe that Ankara Baskan, Mansoor Yavas, is responsible for it.    If I’m wrong then please advise me  !!

Genclerbirligi        1                 ANKARAGUCU          1


Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Sarliga, Erdi, Atila, Atakan, Endri, Ender, Pinto, Saba and Emre


Substitutes – Paintsil, Lukasik, Borven, Adzic and Cinar


As you would expect from an Ankara Derby, the match was played at a fast and furious pace with both teams intent on attack.     However, it took until the 20th minute for the first serious attempt on goal when Polomat received a pass on the left just outside the box (he looked offside to me, but not given) and he sent in a goal bound shot which Ricardo pushed over the bar for a great save.


This spurred Ankaragucu into action and some neat football on the left by Ankaragucu when the ball was played into the path of Emre, but his goal bound shot was blocked for a corner.


Then on the half hour mark, another good move by Ankaragucu and the ball was played to Saba on the right just outside the box, but he was caught in two minds dithering and the chance was gone when he was dispossessed.


2 minutes later and Ankaragucu almost opened the scoring when Emre was put through and side footed the  ball to Saba, but his shot hit the post and went out of play.    A late flag indicated, quite rightly, that Emre was offside when he received the pass.


It was all Ankaragucu at this stage and 2 minutes later another great chance went begging when after some good work from Saba, he cut the ball back for Emre in the centre, but his shot was well saved by Nordfeldt and out for a corner.


2 more chances were spurned by Ankaragucu in a crowded penalty box with Gencler defenders hoofing the ball away to safety.    From the 2nd clearance, the breakaway was on and when the shot came in Ricardo made a great save to spare the Ankaragucu blushes.


10 minutes into the 2nd half and Gencler inflicted the sucker punch  !!    From a Gencler attack on the left, Yildirim went past 3 challenges and passed the ball to the centre where Berat was first to the ball to slide it in.


Ankaragucu kept plugging away and Endri had a chance a few minutes later but his shot from the edge of the box on the left was past the left post.


Half way through the 2nd half and some great footwork from Lukasik on the left when he beat two challenges and crossed for Borven in the centre, but his header was well over the bar.


Then in the 73rd minute came the equaliser and what a classic goal it was too.    Great running off the ball by Saba and the through ball from Emre.     Saba controlled the ball and swept in a great shot with Nordfeldt helpless.


Ankaragucu searched for the winner and Saringa almost beat Nordfeldt with a header from a corner on the left.


Some late drama in the 94th minute when Altiparmak tripped Pinto from behind and stuck his boot in Pinto’s ankle.    The referee immediately produced the yellow card, but before play could restart, he was directed to the VAR after a message in his earpiece.    He returned and produced the red card   !!


There was still time for Lukasik to snatch the winner in the 95th minute, but his shot was saved and cleared.


So, Ankaragucu will no doubt regret all their missed chances, especially those in the 1st half.    I mentioned their careless passing, which according to the TFF website had 69% accuracy, but I think that figure is rather generous   !!       Also, they will not be pleased to have had 21 shots at goal with only 1 goal to show for it  !!


As I write this, fellow strugglers at the bottom of the league, Denizli, are leading 1-0 against top of the league Alanya at half time.   I will post the final score in the comments section later.


Next up for Ankaragucu is a home match against Beshiktrash on Thursday KO 7pm.      Before that one, Gencler travel to Sivas same day with a 4pm KO.


Everything to play for against Beshiktrash who sit in 8th position in the league having lost 4 matches so far.


Bring it on, and watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, December 18, 2020

Genclerbirligi vs Ankaragucu - The Ankara Derby!


Its Derby weekend in Ankara as Genclerbirligi host Ankaragucu with both teams desperate for the 3 points as they fight against relegation. The Derby might not be the most ferocious in Turkish Football but its an opportunity for both clubs to show who is the best team in the Turkish Capital and more importantly gives the players confidence and much needed morale when you are in a relegation battle. 

Only 3 points separate the two sides who have both won their last 2 Super Lig games and looking to make it 3 on the bounce. Gencler however were knocked out of the Turkish Cup during the week with a surprising 2-0 home defeat against Tuzlaspor. 

Mustafa Dalci has done the impossible, and won the Ankaragucu support over due to the last victories against Konyaspor and Hatayspor. But it was the manor of those victories that has to be respected. Down 3-2 against Konya, Dalci made late substitutions with both Paintsil and Emre Gural playing their part in turning the match around with Ankaragucu winning 4-3. And then in midweek some of the football the team played at times was very impressive, and again Dalci made changes in the game which were effective, such as bringing Paintsil on who scored again.

Many Ankaragucu fans including myself were surprised that Paintsil never started the match on Tuesday, especially with 9 first team players missing. But Dalci commented in his press conference this week that Paintsil isnt fit enough to start and play 90 minutes yet. Despite coming on as a sub midweek, he was substituted when he scored his goal late on. Paintsil wasn't happy but apologised to Dalci after the match and has been forgiven.

Saba Lobjanidze had another good game midweek and has improved under Dalci who seems to have given the Georgian winger confidence and he is thriving in the team. Both Zvonimir Sarlija and Endri Cekici had their best games for the team midweek while Erdi Dikmen was solid on his return to the team. 

Dalci also made another big decision 2 weeks ago when he dismissed Alper Potuk from the squad and stripped him of the captaincy. Since that decision the team has won 2 games out of 2 and their looks to be a togetherness and team spirit that was missing under Fuat Capa. Of course we cant just blame Fuat for this as winning brings confidence and brings players together. 

Stelios Kitsiou has been back to his best since his return to the team, and i would be really surprised if someone doesn't come in for him in January. He is the best player on the team in terms of his ability, but also his work rate, attitude and leadership skills are invaluable. 

Genclerbirligi are managed by former Ankaragucu manager Mustafa Kaplan, so he knows exactly what is at stake. Gencler surprised everyone a couple of weeks ago with a 2-1 win against Alanyaspor, and then followed that up with a 1-0 win at the weekend against Erzerumspor to take them out of the relegation zone on 11 points. 

Erzerum had plenty of chances in that game but poor finishing let Gencler off the hook. Ankaragucu will create opportunities in the game but will need to take them if they are to take 3 points from the game. 

Gencler still have some quality and experience players in attack such as Bogdan Stancu, Floyd Ayite and Giovanni Sio, as well as the impressive Berat Ozdemir in midfield. It looks like they will be without former Rangers winger Daniel Candeias who is an excellent hard working player and will be a big miss. 

Ankaragucu won their home derby last season 2-1 thanks to an Ilhan Parlak winning goal, while Giovanni Sio scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for Gencler in the return game. It should be another close encounter that could go either way on Sunday afternoon.

Again it will be difficult to pick the team this weekend as we dont know who is fit or who has returned from Covid-19.

GK - Ricardo Freidrich - A good performance midweek against Hatay should see him keep his place in goal. Hopefully this will give Ricardo confidence and we see him deliver more consistent performances.

RB - Stelio Kitsiou - For all the reasons explained above, simply the best player in the team.

CB - Zvonimir Sarlija - His best performance midweek against Hatay, good on the ball and defended well. Important to have some stability at the back and looks like Pazdan will miss out due to injury.

CB - Erdi Dikmen - When he just concentrates on defending he is a very good player. Excellent in the air and he passed the ball well out of defence too.

LB - Thiago Pinto - Similar to Kitsiou, another Key player both in attack and defence. Benefited from Bolingi not being in the team midweek.

CM - Atakan Cankaya - Just needs to be careful he doesnt get too carried away with it being a derby match as you always get 100 percent commitment for Atakan. His passing was much better midweek and needs to build on that part of his game.

CM - Assane Diousse - Missed the last game due to injury but was back in training this week. Has come in for some criticism from some of the Ankaragucu fans. His main issue is fitness and sharpness. You can tell he has the talent and a good range of passing, but runs out of steam too early in the game. Has improved a bit of late and due to shortage of numbers could see him starting on Sunday.

RW - Saba Lobjanidze - Excellent in his last two games and again will be looking to continue his run of form. His decision making has been better of late and he was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet against Hatayspor.

LW - Endri Cekici - Looked much better in a wide position instead of the Number 10 role. Technically a very good player who can score goals from distance and his set pieces are a big advantage to Ankaragucu. 

CAM - Ender Aygoren - One of the Academy products who has impressed when he has played the last couple of games. I would push him further forward as he has the skill and touch to be more effective slightly higher up the pitch. The final position in the team will come down to Assane and Atilla. I don't think Atilla played well enough midweek to earn his place in the team. 

CF - Emre Gural - Looks like Borven will miss out again due to injury and Bolingi is suspended. Paintsil is also said not to be ready to start the game so leaves Emre Gural as the main option. Emre is better just off the striker but he again worked hard during the week, held the ball up well and played his part in the teams victory. 

Good luck Ankaragucu! Lets see the Blue and Yellow of Ankara Celebrate on Sunday!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


What a turn round in the season for Ankaragucu after languishing at the bottom of the league for the most part.   Two well deserved wins this week has seen Ankaragucu move off the bottom of the league to be replaced by Denizlispor.


With only 3 points separating Ankaragucu from their next opponents Gencler, Sunday’s match takes on even greater significance than just a local derby.   This will be a real statement of intent if Ankaragucu can make it 3 in a row, and really put the frighteners up the teams in the bottom half of the league.


So to tonight’s match against the in-form newcomers to the league ...........


ANKARAGUCU           2                    Hatayspor           0


Team – Ricardo, Sarliga, Erdi, Kitsiou, Atila, Atakan, Ender, Endri, Pinto, Saba and Emre


Substitutes – Paintsil and Cebrail


The Ankaragucu starting line-up had a different look from the past few weeks due to Covid 19 concerns and suspensions.    However, most of the starting 11 have been involved in one way or another during the season so far.


Hatay made their intentions clear from the start with their attacking and determination to keep possession.    However, Ricardo was not duly troubled until the half hour mark.


It was Ankaragucu who threatened first when Saba had a shot on goal, but his shot was weak and easily saved.   Then after 20 minutes played Emre had a great chance when a Hatay defender made a mistake in the box, but he wasn’t quick enough to shoot and was dispossessed.


Another chance came Ankaragucu’s way 6 minutes later when Endri had a free kick about 25 yards out.    He sent in a great swerving shot which the goalkeeper could only parry, but the Ankaragucu attackers were too slow to follow-up and a defender cleared the danger.


Hatay had a chance 4 minutes later when from a quick throw-in there was a shot from just inside the box which was well saved by Ricardo.


From the resulting clearance, Ankaragucu made a break down the left and played some really neat football to cross the ball in for Kitsiou, but the goalkeeper was a split second ahead and cleared.


Approaching half time, and Dioff had a header for goal, but Erdi intercepted and the ball was out for a corner.


In the last action of the half, Endri almost scored direct from a corner but the goalkeeper managed to push the ball away to safety.


The 2nd half was only 3 minutes old when we probably had the turning point in the match when the Hatay captain, Gokhan, received a straight red card.    He went into a tackle with studs-up and the Ankaragucu player went down in agony, but play was waved on.   Seconds later there was an Ankaragucu foul and the referee blew for a free kick.    However, before the kick could be taken he obviously received a message in his earpiece and he signalled VAR.   He then signalled a free kick for Ankaragucu and produced the red card for Gokhan.


This was the signal for Ankaragucu to attack with more urgency and they almost went ahead 10 minutes later when Saba was put through on goal on the right with only the goalkeeper to beat.    His shot was going inside the left post, but the goalkeeper managed a slight touch on the ball to send it just outside the left post and the chance was lost.


Saba had another chance a minute later when a left wing cross was sent over but his header was well over the bar.


4 minutes later and yet another great chance was spurned when Saba made a good run down the right and crossed for Emre at the back post, but somehow he contrived to miss an easy tap-in and I was beginning to wonder if the break-through would ever come.


It did........... 5 minutes later and what a relief   !!    A cross came in from the left and Emre was on hand to poke to ball in at the right post.    Again, the referee was urged to check the VAR for a possible offside, but the goal was quite rightly awarded.


With 15 minutes to go and Hatay was beginning to look rattled, making basic mistakes and bad temper kicking-in, but they were still looking for that equaliser.


It nearly arrived when a cross came in from the left, but Ricardo was quick off his line to take the ball off an attacker’s head and the ball was cleared for a corner.   It was then a let-off for Ankaragucu when a Hatay attacker had a free shot inside the 6 yard box when well placed, but fortunately his shot was well past the left post.


Another scare was averted when Ricardo made a great save from a fierce goal bound shot from just outside the box with only 10 minutes left.


Then with only 2 minutes left, Paintsil showed some great skill on the left to beat 2 defenders and the goalkeeper to stroke the ball in for the 2nd goal.


So, as I said, all eyes focused now on Sunday, and no doubt a full-on no quarter asked and no quarter given derby, but with a difference.    This is now a match for survival in the Super League and for the winner the spoils will be a boost in that direction.


For Ankaragucu, it is now one match at a time and to keep their winning roll going as long as possible.   To go into the Winter Break in mid-table must be the aim and it is well within their grasp .     You only had to look at the reaction from the players at the final whistle to see how important it is for them !!


Do it Ankaragucu   !!!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, December 14, 2020

Ankaragucu vs Hatayspor match preview!


The rescheduled match between Ankaragucu and Hatayspor takes place tomorrow afternoon after the initial game was cancelled due to the Covid outbreak within the Hatay squad. Hatayspor are on a run of good form of late with only 1 loss in their last 5 games and find themselves sitting nicely in 8th place in the Turkish Super Lig. 

Ankaragucu registered their first win of the season with a spirited comeback and 4-3 win over Konyaspor at the weekend. They will need more of the same from the attack tomorrow, but will need a big improvement in defence if they are to take anything from this match. 

Ricardo Freidrich is a very popular player within the squad and amongst the Ankaragucu support due to his attitude and commitment to the club. His performances this season however havent been anywhere near acceptable and his place is under threat after mistakes for 2 of the goals at the weekend. 

In defence, Michal Pazdan has injured his hand and its not clear whether he will be fit for tomorrows match. He will be a big loss if he is ruled out again. The centre back pairing of Sarlija and Atakan were all over the place at the weekend and it is a concern if they are to start again. 

On a more positive note, the performances of Saba Lobjanidze, Stelios Kitsiou, Joseph Paintsil and Emre Gural will give Mustafa Dalci confidence that Ankaragucu can take something from this game if they perform at the same level again. 

Saba in particular was excellent, scoring his first goal in 9 months, adding an assist and winning a penalty. Hopefully that gives him the confidence to go on a run now and start adding numbers to his game. Kitsiou was back to his best while Paintsil and Emre both made a big difference when they came on. 

Emre Aygoren was chosen to come on ahead of Sahverdi and Voca who wasnt even in the squad at the weekend. The 20 year old youth academy product impressed when he came on with his work rate and pressing and might have done enough to play his way into Mustafa Dalci plans. Its always nice to see academy products play in the first team. 

Hatayspor are punching above their weight in the Super Lig after winning promotion last season. They were one of the early favorites for relegation but a 3-0 win over Erzerumspor and 3-1 win against Fatih Karagumruk in the last couple of weeks have saw Omer Erdogans side site nicely in the top half of the table.

They have some talented and experience players in their side including Adama Traore from Monaco and former Stoke and Man United Striker Mame Diouf. Its likely they will go with a 4-1-4-1 formation and they will be looking to take all 3 points back to Hatay.

Its difficult to predict the Ankaragucu squad due to the unknown of Michal Pazdan so i have went with the below assuming he is still injured. 

GK - Korcan - I do like Freidrich, but its been too many mistakes of late and time for Korcan to come in until the January transfer window where a Goalkeeper should be on the shopping list. 

RB - Kitsiou - Back to his best at the weekend and the captain of the team for me. 

CB - Atakan - With Pazdan out the only option is Atakan or 18 year old Murat who is yet to make his debut.

CB - Sarlija - The only fit centre back at the club just now.

LB - Pinto - An important player for the club, needs to do better defensively than he did at the weekend. Always a threat going forward. 

CM - Lukasik - Played an important part in the first goal at the weekend and needs a run of games to get back to his best. 

CM - Assane - Can be a good player but needs to use his brain more and also improve on his fitness. But he does have a good range of passing and is calm on the ball. 

RW - Paintsil - Impressed when he came on at the weekend and should start tomorrow, an important player if he can stay fit. 

CAM - Emre Gural - Again contributed when he came on and deserves a starting place in the team. 

LW - Saba - Hopefully he can build on his performance from the weekend and show some consistency now. 

CF - Borven - Will score goals if you create chances for him

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Ankaragücü 4-3 Konyaspor! Match Report


You have to go back to 25th August for the last time Ankaragücü won a game in the Turkish Super Lig with a 2-1 win at Goztepe in last seasons campaign.

Nearly 4 months later Ankaragücü finally registered their first win of the season last night in a 7 goal thriller winning 4-3 against Konyaspor.

Team - Freidrich, Kitsiou, Sarlija, Atakan, Pinto, Lukasik, Assane, Saba, Endri, Bolingi, Borven

Subs - Korcan, Ender, Sahverdi, Cebrail, Mucahit, Paintsil, Murat, Mert, Emre, Atila 

Ankaragücü got off to a great start when Saba scored his first goal in 9 months when Pinto played a long through ball, Sehic came out of his goal and got into a mix up with Ugur, and Saba managed to capitalise as he lobbed Sehic from 25 yards and put Ankaragücü into the lead after 15 minutes.

Konyaspor were controlling the early stages with Ankaragücü struggling to keep the ball and they drew level on the 28th minute. Bolingi lunged for the ball in the box and brought down Milosevic and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Uğur to make it 1-1 with a well taken penalty.

Ten minutes later Konyaspor took the lead with more poor defending and Milosevic beat Freidrich at his near post to make it 2-1. Freidrich will be disappointed that he never saved the effort as he was in a good position. Pinto and Bolingi also sleeping and lost the man at the back post.

A couple of minutes later Ankaragücü almost equalised but Endri saw his cross go just wide as a Konyaspor player got the final touch. Two minutes later Bolingi hit the bar from a header just before half time.

Half Time - Ankaragücü 1-2 Konyaspor 

Ankaragücü got off to an excellent start in the second half when Torgeir Borven headed the team level after a brilliant cross from Stelios Kitsiou to make it 2-2. Kitsiou was back to his best and drove the team forward at every opportunity.

Konyaspor were causing all sorts of problems for Ankaragücü down the left hand side with Pinto and Bolingi struggling defensively. Skubic nearly took advantage but for a good save from Freidrich. Hurtado had a chance down the same side minutes later but dragged his shot wide.

Konya went back into the lead on the 70th minute and it was that left hand side again. A long cross ball at the back post where Bolingi left Skubic unmarked who headed over Fredrich to make it 2-3. 

Then came the turning point in the match as Mustafa Dalci brought Paintsil and Emre Gural on. Just 2 minutes later a brilliant move involving Emre and Saba who set up Paintsil and the Ghanaian forward scored his 3rd goal of the season to draw level.

Minutes later Bolingi had the chance to win the game but Sehic made a good save. Just when it looked like we were heading for a draw, Saba tried to beat his man in the box and Uğur handled the ball. Referee checked VAR and awarded the penalty. Up stepped Emre Gural to place the ball into the back of the net and make it 4-3 Ankaragücü with only minutes to play.

There was enough time for Bolingi who had one of the worst performances you will see from a professional footballer to be red carded for dissent and a second booking. His usual laughing is the reaction you would expect to see from someone struggling with discipline problems.

So a brilliant first win of the season for Ankaragücü with a lot of positives especially the performances of Saba Lobjanidze and Stelios Kitsiou. But also the difference Paintsil and Emre Gural both made when they came on, as well as youth product Ender Aygoren who also played well when he came on.

The negatives are the defence again looked all over the place with neither Atakan or Sarlija impressing while Pinto struggled defensively and was given no support from Bolingi.

Ankaragücü now face Hatayspor on Tuesday afternoon and it’s another must win match before the derby against Genclerbirligi next week.