Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
The last time Ankaragucu won a major trophy I was otherwise engaged in more ‘serious matters’ and so missed it. However, the great man, Kenan Evren, redeemed himself in my eyes and promoted Ankaragucu to the top league after winning the Turkish Cup !!
I had to wait until the beginning of the Gokcek Era to see Ankaragucu lift silverware for the 1st time when they won The TRT Cup in Saray !!
Back to the present, and all credit to Sivas yesterday who fully deserved their moment of glory in winning the Capital Cup, also know as the TSYD (Sportswriters Cup).
The fact that both of their goals came from Ankaragucu ‘schoolboy errors’ doesn’t hide the fact that they always looked the likelier team to score and were always ahead of Ankaragucu in most aspects of the game, ie, passing, speed, possession, winning 50/50 balls and having that cutting edge.
ANKARAGUCU 0 Sivasspor 2
Team – Ricardo, Cebrail, Erdi, Pazdan, Pinto, Sarlija, Diousse, Lukasik, Alper, Borven and Emre
Substitutes – Kulusic, Berke, Kitsiou, Korcan, Can and Atila
Sivas was straight into the attack from the whistle and it took and saving clearance from Pazdan to save Ankaragucu going behind in the opening minute. Not long after that came a scary moment when Ricardo came rushing out of the penalty box to intercept a through ball, and in doing so, collided with a Sivas attacker. In my opinion, he was lucky that the referee gave a free kick in his favour !
10 minutes in and Ankaragucu finally ventured into the final 3rd when Alper floated in a free kick on the left but there was an infringement in the box and the chance was lost.
8 minutes later the lively and skilful Erdogan crossed the ball from the right but Ricardo spotted the danger and cut it out to make a crucial save.
4 minutes later and another scary moment when a pass-back was made to Ricardo, but his attempted clearance ricocheted off a Sivas attacker and fortunately went out for a corner and not into the unprotected goal !
3 minutes later and from yet another dangerous Sivas attack it was Pazdan again to clear the danger.
Then with only 8 minutes until half time Sivas made the break through, but what a calamity of a goal it was. There was no danger when a back pass was played to Ricardo, who had all the time in the world to clear. He looked up and passed the ball straight to an unmarked Sivas attacker who probably couldn’t believe his luck. He slipped the ball to Hakan who had the easiest of tasks of driving the ball into the right corner. Of course, goalkeepers are human and make mistakes, but .......... this is one which Ricardo will want to forget !!
Ankaragucu to their credit didn’t throw in the towel, and Emre could easily have equalised on 2 occasions before the half time whistle. Firstly, he made good contact with his head from a right wing cross which the goalkeeper saved for a corner. The header was probably going just past the post but it was a good effort.
Then with just a minute left to play, and Ankaragucu was awarded a free kick on the right just outside the box. Emre took it and curled in an exquisite shot which beat the goalkeeper and clipped the top of the crossbar and out.
Ankaragucu started the 2nd half in determined fashion, but Sivas still looked like the team in control. Berke had a great chance when his shot went just over the bar. Can also had the best chance of the match when, with one on one with the goalkeeper, he was too slow to shoot and in doing so allowed a defender to catch him and dispossess him. Near the end, Can did score, but it was rightly chalked off for handball when he controlled the ball.
In between, Sivas had a goalbound shot blocked by Sarlija before the killer blow was struck.
It was into time added on when two Ankaragucu players collided in a mix-up in the midfield area. The ball broke to Yatabare who set off like a whippet and stroked the ball in to put the game to bed.
As I said, this was a well deserved win for Sivas who took their chances, unlike Ankaragucu who really need to score some goals soon to restore some confidence to the team. However, as I said in my previous report recently, they need to go back to basics on the Training Pitch.
Their crosses from free kicks and corners must improve. They must also practice one touch passing to keep breakaways flowing. Too often yesterday the breakaways were slowed down which allowed the Sivas defence to re-group. Breakaways are supposed to be fast flowing attacks to catch out defenders caught out of position and to bury the ball in the net either from crosses or cut-backs.
Those points must be addressed before next weekend’s match away to fellow strugglers Rize. The stakes are high for this match. The losing team will find itself cast adrift from the pack.
Let’s bring all 3 points back to Ankara and get the show on the road !!!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim