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
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
Paintsil and Cebrail
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 !!
All the best
from Eski Kanka Jim