Tuesday, June 30, 2020

SQUEAKY BUM TIME APPROACHES FOR BOTH ANKARA TEAMS !!




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Yes, it is tight at the top of the League with the League Title still up for grabs.   However, it is all doom and gloom at the bottom with the relegation issue likely to be played out until the last ball is kicked.

It was Ankaragucu who caused the biggest shock of the weekend when they returned from high flying Trabzon with a well earned point, and in the process, dented Trabzon’s title hopes.   Genclerbirligi, on the other hand, had another setback at home losing all 3 points to Kasimpasa.

In view of the current situation, I am unable to watch any of the matches, so my reports for the time being will cover the bare-bones with little or no detail.

Trabzonspor         1               ANKARAGUCU         1

Team -   Ricordo, Pinto, Pazdan, Kulusic, Atila, Faty, Sedat, Scarione, Rodrigues, Saba and Orgill

Trabzon went straight into the lead in the 3rd minute when Sorloth put Trabzon ahead, and I feared the worst.    However, Ankaragucu held firm and were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute which was despatched by Rodrigues.  

Then, 10 minutes before the end Rodrigues was shown a Red card which left Ankaragucu hanging on, and they had a narrow escape in the dying minutes when Trabzon was denied a penalty after the referee consulted the VAR   !!

GENCLERBIRLIGI       0        Kasimpasa       2

Team – Nordfeldt, Ozgenc, Ramos, Toure, Pehlivanoglu, Baino, Candeias, Ayite, Sessegnon, Sio and Stancu

Gencler didn’t improve their survival efforts any by capitulating at home to fellow strugglers Kasimpasa despite having the lions share of possession.    They went behind in the 17th minute when Koita opened the scoring and Ndongala sealed it in 90 plus 5.

With Gencler in 13th position on 31 points and Ankaragucu in 18th position (bottom) on 25 points, the relegation issue is still not a done deal.

The next 2 weeks will prove crucial for both teams, starting next Saturday when Ankaragucu are at home to Alanya in 7th position.    Gencler travel to Malatya who are in 15th place.

So, with only 5 more matches left to play, it is now in the players own hands to do the business to at least keep the pot boiling for yet another week.

Also, it goes without saying that Ankaragucu will miss Rodrigues up front next week, which, dare I say it, will mean Ilhan Parlak will be in the starting line up.    Therefore, more pressure on Orgill to start finding the back of the net after a long barren spell   !!!

Watch this space next Sunday for details.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, June 21, 2020

GENCLERBIRLIGI – A MISSED OPPORTUNITY !!




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Genclerbirligi scorned the chance to move into mid-table safety last night when they drew a blank against bottom club Kayseri.    Well ........... they were bottom, but that ‘distinction’ now belongs to Ankaragucu  !!!

Kayserispor        2            GENCLERBIRLIGI         0

Team – Nordfeldt, Oguz, Kizildag, Toure, Pehlivanoglu, Baiano, Pehlivan, Ozdemir, Candeias, Sio and Stancu

Interesting to spot that old Ankaragucu favourite, Djedje was in the Kayseri team !

Henrique opened the scoring after half an hour of play in the 1st half, and substitute Kravets put the game out of Gencler’s reach near the end of the match.

Gencler is still left with plenty to do with 6 matches left to play, as they struggle to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

Currently in 11th position, they could be in 12th position if Kasimpasa beat Fener tonight.

Some crucial matches coming up for Gencler against fellow strugglers Kasimpasa, also Fener....spit....bahce, Sivas and Beshiktrash.

First up though is the home match against Kasimpasa on Monday 29 June which is one of those ‘must win’ matches.

Watch this space for the outcome !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, June 19, 2020

Ankaragücü vs Basaksehir match preview!




Ankaragücü are running out of time to save their place in the Turkish Super Lig, and with 7 games remaining they have another tough one tomorrow night at home against title contenders Basaksehir.

Ankaragücü player well last week at Gaziantep when you take into consideration it was the players first game in 12 weeks. That’s longer than a usual summer pre season and there were no friendly matches to keep the players fitness levels up.

The main frustration from the game, was again the inability to convert the many chances the team created. Dever Orgill again worked hard and played his part in the Scarione goal, but at no time looked like scoring. Saba Lobjanidze had a very quiet game, while Gerson showed flashes of brilliance, and then frustrated at other times.

The front 3 players mentioned will be key to Ankaragücü staying up and they have 7 games starting from tomorrow night to turn things around. Gelmin Rivas also comes back into the squad while the likes of Konrad Mikhalak and Ilhan Parlak are chapping at the managers door.

Oscar Scarione has had a tough time since joining the club 18 months ago having only managed a handful of games due to injuries and fitness. In the few games he has played, he has showed his quality with some important goals, and that was the case again at the weekend with another brilliant strike. If he can stay fit he will be another key player.

Ante Kulusic misses out due to suspension and his place will be taken by either Ricardo Faty or Fatih Tultak. Faty will likely get the nod as 19 year old Tultak has yet to make his debut. Alihan Kubalas for unknown reasons terminated his contract with the club weeks ago.

Basaksehir will come to Ankara looking to take all 3 points back to Istanbul as they sit joint top with Trabzonspor. They will be hoping to make it 3rd time lucky this year and finally win the Super
Lig title.

Key players will be Edin Visca, Irfan Kahveci and Daniel Aleksic who will provide the ammunition for in form strike force Demba Ba and Enzo Crivelli. Basaksehir have so many talented players but Visca in particular is arguably the best player in the Super Lig.

Ankaragücü will need to be at their best to take anything from this game and Basaksehir will need to have an off day. Let’s hope for a miracle as Ankaragücü badly need those 3 points.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

GENCLERBIRLIGI EASE THE PRESSURE !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The Round Ball in Ankara is back in business again, although sometimes with less detail for Genclerbirligi matches due to the recent decision to play matches behind closed doors for the time being  !

GENCLERBIRLIGI       2             Konyaspor         1

Team – Nordfeldt, Ozgenc, Toure, Ramos Pehlivanoglu, Sessegnon, Seuntjens Pehlivan, Candeias, Sio and Stancu

Sio opened the scoring after the break on 59 minutes, and Jevtovic equalised 3 minutes later.   The winner arrived 7 minutes from the end when substitute Ozdemir made it safe.

As you would expect from these 2 teams, it was a close and tight encounter with Gencler having only 4 shots on target to Konya’s 3.

This win moved Gencler almost into mid-table to 12th position, but they can’t breathe a sigh of relief yet with only 6 points separating them from the relegation zone   !!

Next Saturday, Gencler travel to bottom club Kayseri who are still not confirmed as ‘relegated’, so things are becoming tense with points vital for both teams.

With a win, Gencler can cement mid-table safety and put another nail into Kayseri’s coffin  !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, June 15, 2020

Gaziantep 1-1 Ankaragucu match report!



The Turkish Super Lig resumed this weekend, and it was the all too familiar unlucky story for Ankaragucu as they drew 1-1 at Gaziantep. Its difficult for all teams at the moment having last played 3 months ago to show their full potential and it showed at times with both sides which made for an exciting game for the neutral.

Team - Freidrich, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic, Atilla, Pinto, Lukasik, Scarione, Gerson, Saba, Orgill
Subs -Korcan, Sedat, Mahmut, Faty, Ender, Michalak, Cebrail, Aydin, Ilhan, Tultak

Mustafa Resit decided to go with Haruns favorite player Atilla at left back and move Pinto into midfield. There was also a starting place in the line up for Oscar Scarione which proved to be a good decision. No place in the squad for January signings Gelmin Rivas or Milos Stojanovic with Ricardo Faty taking up the final foreign place.

Rivas in particular is a surprise as Dever Orgill again failed to find the net making it only 4 goals from his 23 outings this season. Reports suggested Rivas was in a lot better shape since returning and was looking good in training. Ankaragucu are running out of time to stay in the Super Lig and it could be a wise decision to include him against Basaksehir next weekend.

Gaziantep started the brighter of the two teams and it was Muahmmet Demir who had the first chance of the game but he somehow headed over from just 5 yards out and it was a lucky escape for Ankaragucu.

Oscar Scarione went close for Ankaragucu from 30 yards but his shot was deflected just wide of the post, although the referee wrongly gave Gaziantep a goal kick.

The opening goal of the game came after 25 minutes when Kulusic clumsily brought Maxim down in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Maxim stepped up himself and sent Freidrich the wrong way to make it 1-0 Gaziantep.

Shortly after Gaziantep had a chance to double their lead through Djilobodji but he missed a sitter from 2 yards as he headed wide of the post and another lucky escape for Ankaragucu.

From then on, Ankaragucu dominated the game. Gerson Rodrigues went past a couple of Gaziantep defenders but instead of showing a bit of composure with just Guvenc to beat in the Gaziantep goal, he blasted his shot which came back off the crossbar. An excellent run from the Luxembourg international, but he should have finished it.

Half Time

Early in the second half Lukasik had a chance from the edge of the box but he shot just wide. Then minutes later came the goal, and what a goal it was. The ball found its way to Scarione on the edge of the box who shot into the top corner giving Guvenc no chance. A brilliant goal from the Argentinian.

Gerson then had a go from 25 yards but his swerving shot was palmed away by Guvenc and Ankaragucu were really piling the pressure on. Gerson and Scarione combined again with a lovely pass and go, Scarione only had the keeper to beat, but his shot was brilliantly saved.

Atilla Turan had a free kick saved by Guvenc before a crazy last 5 minutes where Ankaragucu should have taken the 3 points.

First up was Stelios Kitsiou, he brilliantly beat his man in the box and only had the keeper to beat but shot straight at him. Then minutes later a great counter attacking move found its way to Konrad Mikhalak but he also shot straight at Guvenc.

An overall good performance from Ankaragucu in their first match back but when you create so many open chances and only take 1 of them you fail to win football matches. Ankaragucu are now 2 points from safety but next up is on form Basaksehir next weekend at home. Lets pray for a miracle.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Ankaragucu news round up!



Its been a while since we posted on the Blog due to the shutdown of football and the Coronavirus outbreak. I hope everyone is safe and well and its not too much longer before we can get back to a bit of normality.

The Ankaragucu team returned to training last week and every player and member of staff was tested for Covid-19 before they started training again. Ricardo Faty tested positive and is currently in recovery while self isolating for 14 days. Gerson Rodrigues is also in self isolation after flying back into Turkey from Ukraine last week.

Fatih Mert has taken part in numerous interviews over the last couple of weeks and has reiterated his concern with the return of football, despite the financial implications for the club. The president stated that the Health and Safety of the players come first. This is after Faty tested positive, along with players from other clubs such as Besiktas and Erzerumspor who had 11 staff test positive. It looks unlikely that the Turkish FA will listen to the pleas from Fatih Mert as they look to play games behind closed doors.

In other news, Fatih Mert spoke of the financial situation at the club. There are a number of Sponsorships in the pipeline which were all set to go ahead, but have been put on hold until further notice. Money wise, there isnt any other income coming into the club and Management have had to put in more money to keep the club going. They have also introduced Club Membership to anyone who wants to become a member.

On the transfer front, Gerson Rodrigues, Konrad Michalak and Daniel Lukasik all want to stay at the club, but will again depend on finances. Rodrigues is also attracting interest from other Turkish Clubs. Dever Orgill said he would also be happy to stay at the club next season but depends on what other offers he has. The club have this morning being linked with 18 year old Bucaspor player Baris Sungur. The Izmir side have put a 500,000 Euro price tag on him with Basaksehir and Fenerbahce also said to be interested.

Finally, the club have started redevelopment of Tandogan facility for the youth team. Cengiz Paca has returned to the club and this was a big focus for him. Cengiz spoke of the future plans of bringing more youth players into the first team which has been neglected over the last 4 years, and the club will start with bringing the facilities back up to scratch.

Ankaragucu have always prided themselves on bringing youth through with the likes of Gokhan Akkan, Altay Bayindr, Kaan Kanak, Emre Tasdemir, Onur Atasayer, Umit Kurt and Umut Nayir all coming through the academy before moving on. With limited budget to sign players, the youth academy will be one of the focal points for the club moving forward.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

BREAKING NEWS ............. CORONA VIRUS.




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It has been announced this afternoon that Turkish Football is now postponed.

This is not unexpected news, in line with most of the Football Associations of other Europeans countries, and also in view of the news that the Antalyaspor Coach has possibly contracted the Corona Virus.

It remains to be seen when footie will be allowed to continue, with or without spectators, but of course, everyone must put health concerns first  !

Watch this space for further on this subject as and when it is known.

In the meantime ............. stay safe !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, March 16, 2020

GENCLERBIRLIGI STUCK IN THE DANGER ZONE !!




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Gencler was unable to pull themselves clear of the danger zone yesterday and remain stuck on the periphery of the relegation struggle.

Denizlispor           1             GENCLERBIRLIGI        0

I don’t have details of the match, but I think it was Baiano who scored and own goal for Denizli.

With a Europe wide footie close-down, footie continues in Turkey, albeit behind closed doors.

Also, the latest news last night is that all Night Clubs, Bars and Pubs will be closed across Turkey with effect from today, until .............. who knows !     I’m not sure at the moment if this also includes Bistros and Restaurants.

I am therefore left in limbo with no access to Super League footie.    However, I will endeavour to conjure-up some details of the matches to put up here.

It is anyone’s guess which 3 teams are going down this season, that is ............if the season plays out to its conclusion  !

Perm any 3 from Gencler, Antalya, Kasimpasa, Konya, Malatya, Rize, Ankaragucu and Kayseri  !!!

So, next Sundays’s home match against Konya takes on great significance for Gencler.   Win it, and move into the mid-table area, or lose it and stay in the relegation fight.

As always, watch this space !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, March 14, 2020

ANKARAGUCU LEAVE OUR NERVE ENDS JANGLING !!




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Just when we thought that Ankaragucu would run away with the match and put it to bed, we received a wake-up call just before the half time whistle when Rize brought themselves back into the match with a rather fortuitous goal due to chaos in the Ankaragucu defence !

However, the bottom line is ......... a win and 3 valuable points to stay in the race to avoid relegation, but just how that is going to pan-out remains to be seen with a Europe wide postponement of footie.

For the time being, Turkey is playing its footie behind closed doors as a containment measure to the Corona Virus, so we were unable to watch the match in the Stadium last night.

We therefore watched the match in The Yeni Sedir Bar and I brought along my ‘medicine’, as you can see in the photo below  !!!     This ‘medicine’ reportedly keeps the virus at bay  !!!   The kankas were there – Maniac Kanka Harun, Nurer Kanka, Haluk Kanka, along with lots of other Ankaragucu fanatics.



ANKARAGUCU      2            Caykur Rizespor           1

Team – Ricardo, Atila, Pazdan, Kulusic, Kitsiou, Faty, Sedat, Lukasik, Michalak, Rodrigues and Orgill

Substitutes – Scarione and Saba

Ankaragucu went straight into attack from the whistle and almost scored in the 1st minute.   An Ankaragucu free kick on the left just outside the box was taken by Michalak and the ball was heading for the top left when it took a slight deflection off the wall for a corner.

It was end to end after that for the first 15 minutes with Rize looking the more composed on the ball, but fortunately their final shots on goal were wayward.

Ankaragucu had another free kick on the right taken by Atila which was headed goalward by Orgill, but the goalkeeper got into a tangle with himself and managed to save with his feet and gather the ball.

Then on the 18th minute Ankaragucu won a corner on the right which was sent into the box and cleared by Burak (the Rize No28) straight into the goal with the goalkeeper and other defenders stunned.    The early goal was much appreciated  !!

4 minutes later and it was 2-0.   Another corner on the right was sent in and headed clear to Michalak who was on his own just outside the box.   He passed to Rodrigues on the right who swivelled and shot inside the left post to send us all wild.   This was a dream start but unfortunately Ankaragucu couldn’t find the killer touch to put the match to bed.

Rize continued attacking to find a way back into the match and they almost did in the 36th minute when from a corner on the right the ball was sent goalward, but who was on the line to clear to safety ??     Orgill ......... yesssssssss   !!

Rize continued to attack and it was Kulusic to the rescue as half time approached with a headed clearance in a dangerous position.

Then, with the last action before the half time whistle, Rize struck !   The defence was all at sea when a cross came in from the right to the back post.   A Rize attacker headed into the centre before the ball went out of play and the unmarked Garmash headed in for an easy, if fortunate, goal, and again the Ankaragucu defence lost its concentration to gift an unnecessary goal.

Rize resumed on the front foot and Ankaragucu’s old bad habits were returning, ie, passes going astray and giving the ball away cheaply.   Rize almost drew level 10 minutes after the re-start from a free kick on the right which was headed in on target, but Ricardo just managed to get his fingertips to it and tip the ball over the bar.

Half way through the 2nd half and it was Pazdan (not for the first time) to the rescue with a timely tackle to clear the danger.

Shortly after that, Sedat received a head-butt from a Rize defender in a challenge for the ball and he was stretchered off with a serious head injury and taken to hospital in an ambulance.   Hopefully, he will recover, but it looked very serious !

Entering the last 15 minutes of the match and Rize continued to look dangerous as they probed for the equaliser, but Ricardo pulled off some excellent saves to deny them.

10 minutes to go and Rodrigues had two chances to seal the match for Ankaragucu but he completely missed an excellent cross from the right, and then his shot a few minutes later was past the post.

5 minutes to go and Scarione did score, but the referee adjudged that he had used his upper arm to control the ball before shooting.

Rize had one last chance but Pazdan’s challenge on the attacker distracted him and he shot over.

In time added-on, Rodrigues had another chance, but his shot was saved.    Then in the last action of the match, Rodrigues was brought down unceremoniously by a Rize defender who received a Red Card for his troubles  !

So, despite the 3 points, Ankaragucu stay rooted to 2nd bottom place in the league, but on the same points as the team above them, Konya, who play Fener.....spit.....bahce tonight.    However, Ankaragucu is only 5 points behind Gencler in 11th position so are still in the fight to avoid the drop.

Next Saturday, Ankaragucu travel to Gaziantep KO 2pm.   Gazi sit in mid-table in 9th position so it goes without saying that this is another chance for Ankaragucu to rack-up another 3 points in their season long relegation fight.

Bring it on !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

GENCLERBIRLIGI CONSOLIDATE THEIR LEAGUE POSITION !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

As I mentioned in last week’s report, the likely outcome of last night’s match would probably be a draw, with both teams willing to accept such a scenario.   However, it may well be that Antalya was the happier team last night as they snatched a point from almost defeat near the end.

GENCLERBIRLIGI          1               Antalyaspor          1

Sio made the breakthrough for Gencler shortly after the resumption of the 2nd half and it looked like Gencler had earned a valuable 3 points.   However, 8 minutes before the final whistle, Podolski scored the equaliser to keep super league survival hopes alive for both teams.

The most important priority for Gencler at the moment is to keep winning points and to keep space between them and the relegation zone  !

Gencler can’t relax just yet with only 5 points separating them from 3rd bottom Kasimpasa, and 9 matches left to keep it that way.

Gencler face yet another crucial match on Saturday when they travel to Denizli who are on the same points total but with a slightly better goal difference.   Denizli will be all fired-up after winning a point last Saturday in Kadikoy against Fener......spit.....bahce.

Meanwhile, on Friday night, Ankaragucu will be desperate to beat Rize and join Kasimpasa on 23 points.

It is long overdue for both Ankara teams to make it a winning weekend  !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, March 07, 2020

ANKARAGUCU STUCK IN THE MIRE !!




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Similar to last week against Sivas, Ankaragucu scorned scoring chances last night with the main perpetrators being Orgill, Faty and Rodrigues.     It will be impossible for Ankaragucu to move out of the relegation zone if they refuse to take these goal scoring chances.   Chance after chance went begging  !!

It was a scrappy match with 31 fouls and 8 yellow cards.  Also, the referee, Arda Kardesler, had a shocker and I’m at a loss to understand how he managed to achieve his FIFA badge.   A disgraceful and biased performance from him all slanted towards Besiktas.    He will have to live with his conscience  !!

Besiktas          2              ANKARAGUCU        1

Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Pazdan, Atilla, Lukasik, Faty, Sedat, Michalak, Rodrigues and Orgill

Substitutes – Saba, Scarione and Ilhan

The kankas met-up in The Alerta Bar – Maniac Kanka Harun, Apple Kanka Erman, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and Haluk Kanka.



Besiktas almost opened the scoring in the 3rd minute when they broke at speed down the right and when the cross came in there were 3 attackers unmarked waiting to plant the ball in the back of the net.    However, the cross was behind all 3 of them and the ball was cleared.

However, just one minute later and a controversial decision which changed the course of the match.   Faty made a half-hearted and clumsy tackle inside the box and the Besiktas player made a theatrical dive to the ground in death throws.    The referee pointed to the spot despite requests from Sedat and Faty to check the VAR.

Burak stepped up and sent Ricardo the wrong way.    Even some of the Besiktas supporters in the Alerta were looking a bit sheepish at the decision !!!

The goal inspired Besiktas into further attacks and Burak missed two good chances by firing past the post when in good positions.    Also, Boyd missed one too by firing past the post.

It was then the turn of Ankaragucu to scorn chances when Orgill missed a cross from the right when all he had to do was connect with the ball and it would have gone in.

Approaching half time and another controversial decision by the referee when Sedat was brought down in the box by Karius and the referee waved play on.    Disgraceful decision especially after seeing the replay.

5 minutes to go before the break and at last a decision for Ankaragucu when a free kick was given just outside the box in the centre.   Up stepped Rodrigues and the ball went flying well over the bar similar to his free kicks last week against Sivas.    When will Rodrigues ever hit the target again me asks ??!!

Battle Damaged Kanka Damon’s comment at half time was ............  ‘the only thing Besiktas have that Ankaragucu doesn’t have is ................ a striker like Burak’   !!!

The 2nd half resumed with Ankaragucu still intent on attacking but time and again they were caught dithering on the ball and being easily dispossessed allowing Besiktas to break at speed.   Thankfully their strikers were copying Rodrigues and firing off target.

Orgill finally scored but his goal was disallowed after being in an offside position when he received the ball.

15 minutes to go and Faty had a great chance to find the equaliser when he was put through with only Karius to beat but he shot past the post.

Approaching the final whistle and it looked like Orgill went to sleep when he passed to a colleague on the left but remained stationary while the ball was returned with no Orgill in sight.    Sloppy and unforgivable  !!

2 minutes to go and Ankaragucu gave a present to Besiktas.   Pazdan was caught napping and lost control of the ball to Ljajic who fired in past a helpless Richardo for No2.

Into time added on and the referee decided it was time to compensate Ankaragucu for all his wrong calls and give them a consolation penalty after he consulted VAR.     Why didn’t he consult VAR before in the previous two controversial moments of the match  ??!!

Up stepped Ilhan to make no mistake.    However, it was too late to do any further damage, although Rodrigues did have a chance to start an attack but he was easily dispossessed.

Next Friday is crunch time for Ankaragucu when the play Rize at home in a crucial bottom of the league clash.   Even winning this match may not lift Ankaragucu out of the relegation zone but it will go a long way to restoring confidence for the more difficult matches to come in the run-in.

We have not given up hope of avoiding relegation ............. yet  !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

GENCLERBIRLIGI CRASH BACK TO EARTH !!




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Gencler was brought back to earth and reality on Sunday night in Istan.....spit....bul when they tasted defeat at the hands of a resurgent Galata....spit....saray team who look in determined mood to retain the league title.

Galatasaray       3            GENCLERBIRLIGI         0

Team – Nordfeldt, Ahmet, Flavio, Toure, Halil, Berat, Yasin, Candeias, Baiano, Sio and Sessegnon

Substitutes – Diallo, Nadir and Rahmetullah

Galatasaray was quick off the mark with Donk putting them ahead after only 3 minutes.   Falcao added a 2nd on the half hour mark and then put the match beyond Gencler half way through the 2nd half.

One man doesn’t make a team, but ........ Falcao seems to be the secret weapon behind Galatasaray’s recent form which has taken them to the top places to challenge early leaders Trabzon and Basaksehir.

Gencler retain 11th position in the league, but can’t relax just yet.    With 10 matches remaining they are only 7 points ahead of the relegation zone.   So, next Monday’s home match against an improving Antalya team is in the crucial category for both teams.    In my opinion, it has a draw written all over it, which, if they are honest, will probably satisfy both teams.

The run-in to the end of the season has all the hallmarks of being ‘nail-biting’ at the top and bottom of the league  !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, March 02, 2020

ANKARAGUCU UNDONE IN THE END BY A QUESTIONABLE RED CARD !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

There were a poignant few minutes prior to the kick off when the names of all the Turkish soldiers killed recently in Syria were read out over the loudspeaker system to respectful applause from both sets of supporters.

Another full house for yet another critical Ankaragucu match with even the away end full to capacity.   There was also a love-in between all the Ankaragucu tribunes and the Sivas end which more-or-less continued throughout the match – a pleasant change from the normal hatred which flows back and forward, especially against the Istan....spit...bul teams.

Unfortunately, Ankaragucu couldn’t cope with the Sivas onslaught in the final 20 minutes of the match when the 10 men finally succumbed, just as we were hoping to win at least one point.

ANKARAGUCU          0                 Sivasspor          3

Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic (captain), Cebrail, Michalak, Lukasik, Stanojevic, Saba, Rodrigues and Orgill

Substitutes – Orkan, Ilhan and Faty



Battle Damaged Kanka and I met at the Cay Cafe outside the Metro AVM for lunch prior to entering the Stadium, where we were joined by Murat Kaya, his son and Ismet Bey.



The first half was fairly even with both teams scorning chances to open the scoring.   Even the 2nd Yellow Card for Stanojevic in the 35th minute didn’t interrupt Ankaragucu’s game plan of attacking the Sivas goal.



However, it was Sivas who were first to threaten in the 11th minute when their No8 received a pass on the left.   He cut inside and sent his shot just past the right post.

6 minutes later it was Kitsiou to the rescue as he headed a dangerous free kick clear.

Ankaragucu’s first serious attempt on goal came 2 minutes later when Ankaragucu was awarded a free kick on the right.   The ball broke to Rodrigues who was unmarked beyond the left post, but his shot went past the left post.

4 minutes later and the Sivas No9 should have scored, but his header near the penalty spot was well saved by Ricardo.

5 minutes later and another dangerous Sivas cross into the box was hooked over the bar by Pazdan with Sivas attackers lurking behind him.

At the other end, Rodrigues had another chance but his shot was well over the bar with his weaker left foot.

At this point on the half hour mark, it was Stanojevic, and the Referee, who changed the course of the match by firstly, Stanojevic making an aggressive and clumsy challenge on a Sivas player, which rightly received a yellow card.    Then 5 minutes later he challenged another Sivas player near the touchline in front of Kapali and the referee produced another yellow followed by a RED.    We couldn;t see the incident clearly from our position in Maraton, but Nadeem saw the TV replay and said the referee was conned by the theatrics of the Sivas player who went down in ‘supposed agony’  !!

I have to say that the referee seemed to reach for the card immediately.   Speaking as an ex-Class 1 referee, we were always advised to take a second or two ‘thinking time’ before producing a card, if possible.    Perhaps Mr Ozturk would benefit from a few words of wisdom from the Turkish Referees Association and their senior referees  !!

Anyway, Ankaragucu continued to attack and Saba had the best chance of the match 4 minutes after the sending off to put Ankaragucu into the lead.   He was put through on the left and with only the goalkeeper to beat, he shot straight at him when a cool head was called for.

Half time, and a chance for Mustafa Bey to rally the players and give them some belief that they could take something from this match.

All credit to the 10 men who came out with all guns blazing for the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half.   Rodrigues had a chance to head in, but he miraculously missed the ball and the danger was cleared.   Then Saba had another chance when he carried the ball into the box, side-stepped 2 defenders and shot just past the post.

Then came the turning point in the 68th minute and what a calamitous goal it was too.   Two Sivas corners in succession, and from the 2nd one there was a scramble for a loose ball in the crowded area and the ball was bundled in.   Our thoughts at this point of salvaging a point evaporated  !

3 minutes later it was 2-0 after a cock-up in the defence when the ball was gifted to a Sivas attacker who was bought down in the box before he could get his shot in.   Ricardo saved brilliantly from Mert’s shot, but the rebound off Ricardo was tucked away by Mert as he followed-up his shot.   Rough justice for Ricardo  !

Sivas was now in total control of the match for the first time and the Ankaragucu players looked knackered and shell shocked.   Sivas then started to spread the ball around and run the clock down.

With the clock on 89 minutes, we decided to head for the exit and so we missed the final nail in the coffin when Yatabare added the 3rd in the 90th minute.   Perhaps Nadeem can give us the details of that goal in the comments section  ?!

So, what now ?    With a trip to Beshiktrash coming up on Friday there is not much room for optimism, but it’s not a done deal yet.

Ankaragucu sit in 2nd bottom position, but are only 2 points behind 4th bottom Konya.   Therefore, taking something from Friday’s match becomes crucial.

There is no doubting Ankaragucu’s fighting spirit, but they must put their chances away.   Too many goal scoring attempts missed yesterday and too many passes going astray.   Much work to be done in the Training Ground this week for sure  !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, February 27, 2020

JUNIOR KANKA ISAAC JOINS THE KANKA GROUP !!!




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

As promised in my previous match report, here is the photo of Junior Kanka Isaac that we have all been waiting for.



It was taken last night by Nadeem in celebration of his birth and also of Glasgow Rangers winning in Portugal against Braga with daddy’s Rangers scarf for ‘decoration’  !

Hopefully, Nadeem will supply another photo with an Ankaragucu scarf next week when Ankaragucu defeat Sivas on Sunday ……….. yessssssssssss !!!

Obviously, Junior Kanka will follow in Daddy’s footsteps and support the Rangers and Ankaragucu, but when he eventually visits Ankara, his Uncle Eski Kanka will have a photo with him wearing the Mighty Hibernian FC scarf ……… yessssssssssssss !!!

Welcome to the Kanka Group little Isaac  !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, February 24, 2020

ANKARAGUCU POSTED ABSENT !!






Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Let’s leave the bad news for the moment and let me report some good news  !!

It gives me much pleasure to announce the birth of baby Isaac (hereafter known as Junior Kanka) to our regular correspondent Bellshill Kanka Nadeem and his wife, Rebecca, yesterday in Scotland.

We hope to have a photo of Junior Kanka in due course which will be put up here by either Nadeem or me.    Congratulations to you both from all the kankas and our readers  !

Now to footie and the not so good news  !

After the euphoria of last week’s excellent performance and victory against Fener.....spit....bahce, much was expected of Ankaragucu in the Ankara Derby.   However, for most of the match they were posted absent with Gencler dictating the flow of play and giving Ankaragucu all sorts of problems.

I lost count of the number of Ankaragucu passes which went astray due to the persistent harrying and chasing of this impressive Gencler team.   Last week’s star player, Saba, was a pale shadow of the player we know he is, and he was substituted halfway through the 2nd half.

Redrigues was caught in possession numerous times and had a fruitless time of it up front, and the sooner he has his partner, Orgill, back, the better.

So, due to Gencler only allocating Ankaragucu supporters 10% of the Stadium, the kankas, (Battle Damaged Kanka, Haluk Kanka and I) had to watch the match in The Alerta Bar with lots of Gencler supporters who didn’t go to the Stadium.    Fortunately Gencler supporters are a friendly lot  !!!

Genclerbirligi           1             ANKARAGUCU        0

Ankaragucu Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Alihan, Kulusic, Pinto, Michalak, Lukasik, Faty, Lobjanidze – Saba, Ilhan and Rodrigues

Substitutes – Atilla, Rivas and Orkan

Genclerbirligi Team – Nordfeld, Erdem, Toure, Halil, Candeias, Baiano, Yasin, Sio, Sessegnon, Ramos and Stancu

Substitutes – Ahmet, Bjysymr and Berat

Both teams were content to size each other up until the 10th minute when Rodrigues was put through on the left, but his shot to the near post was easily saved by Nordfeld.   The ball was returned into the danger area and hit Ilhan on the back of his head and out of play.   Comical  ???     Yes ............ unfortunately  !!!

7 minutes later and the save of the match by Ricardo.   A cross came in from the left which he palmed out to the right to an unmarked Gencler player who cut the ball back into the area near the penalty spot to another unmarked Gencler attacker.    Ricardo just had a moment to recover from the first save and dived to make a 2nd save which prevented a certain goal.

Gencler continued to dominate and create chances and they almost opened the scoring just before half time whistle after Lukasik brought down Sessegnon just outside the box and received a yellow for his trouble.   The free kick was like a bullet and whizzed narrowly past the post.   Another let-off for Ankaragucu.

I was hoping for a game of 2 halves, but my hopes were dashed as Gencler continued to dominate proceedings and put the Ankaragucu defence under more pressure.


Unhappy faces, but unsurprising, especially in the 74th minute   !!!

Half way through the 2nd half and Ankaragucu was awarded a free kick on the left just outside the box which went flying well over the bar (and not for the 1st time  !!).

Sio was causing lots of problems for the Ankaragucu defence and he was denied a goal when his shot was just past the post.   Gencler had another chance a few minutes later when another shot went narrowly past the post.

However, the Gencler pressure finally paid off in the 74th minute and nobody could have been surprised when it arrived.   A cross came in from the left and Sio rose above everyone else to send an angled header into the top right with Ricardo helpless to prevent the goal.   A classic header and well worthy of winning any match  !

Into time added on and Gencler continued to cut Ankaragucu open in their search for No2 with Ankaragucu devoid of ideas and their normal fighting spirit.

So, a disappointing performance by Ankaragucu, but all credit to Gencler who fully deserved to take all 3 points.

Ankaragucu remain in the relegation zone, but only one point below Konya and 4 points behind Rize, Denizli and Malatya.   Gencler on the other hand move up to 10th place, and on this performance can put relegation fears to bed.

As I’ve said many times here, it doesn’t get any easier in this league and next Sunday Ankaragucu will play host to high flying Sivas who are sitting in the European places and will be looking to collect all 3 points.    The only way Ankaragucu will stop them is if they can re-discover the form they showed against Fener last week.   A tall order ......... yes, but not an insurmountable obstacle.

Gencler travel to back in form Galata.....spit.....saray in what will be a test of their recent resurgence.

Squeaky-bum time approaches for Ankaragucu  !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim