Friday, April 09, 2021

The Ankara Derby - Match Preview


 

The Ankara Derby has been historically a different type of Derby to most others across the Football world. Derby day tends to start on the Monday at work where colleagues of rival teams will start to discuss the coming weekends match between two bitter rivals. For 90 minutes those friends and colleagues on opposing sides become the enemy. Hostile atmospheres, pyro displays and violence are all usually on show. 

In Turkey we have Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray, Goztepe vs Izmir, the Adana Derby and a few others that reach those levels of intensity and hatred. Across Europe you have Rangers vs Celtic, Red Star Belgrade, vs Partizan, Dortmund vs Schalke and in South America there is the famous Boca vs River, Newells vs Rosario Central and finally in Africa you have the Cairo and Casablanca Derby's. 

When Ankaragucu and Genclerbirlig meet its more about bragging rights than any of the above. The Derby still means a lot to the fans of two struggling sides but you don't tend to get the violence or heated atmosphere to most other Derby matches. 

This Sunday will the stakes are even higher with both clubs fighting against relegation to Lig 1 this is arguably one of the biggest Ankara Derby's in history. There will be no fans at the match due to Covid restrictions but the fans of both sides will be cheering on every move from their homes hoping that their team deliver the 3 points. 

Back in February both Ankaragucu and Gencler were almost certainties to be relegated as they were rooted to the bottom of the table. Fast forward to April and we have two in form sides looking to fight their way out of the relegation zone. Ankaragucu have managed that but its still too close for comfort. 

Another good result on Wednesday against Konyaspor puts Ankaragucu in a good position going into Sundays game and Hikmet Karaman will have a tough decision with his starting line up. Zvonomir Sarlija replaced the suspended Pazdan and played very well so it will be interesting to see who partners Kulusic in the starting line up. 

Aliou Badji got himself on the scoresheet and both him and Borven worked their socks off for the team. Borven isn't as effective playing out wide but his work rate is invaluable and will likely start in that position again. That leaves the final attacking position down to Geraldo, Saba or Paintsil. They have all played their part but suffer from inconsistency, but i believe Karaman will go with Saba who has the most amount of assists and goals for the team in that position over the season. 

Alper Potuk has shown why Ankaragucu were so keen to sign him in the summer with excellent performances under Hikmet Karaman. He looks fitter and like he enjoys playing football again. He will again be key to any positive outcome for Ankaragucu on Sunday with his attacking runs and creativity form midfield. 

When Ibrahim Akdag signed for Ankaragucu there were a lot of raised eyebrows, and his first month we saw a lot of indiscipline and stupid yellow cards. Since Karaman has come in he has played a vital role for the team. Ibrahim does all the dirty work, tackling, tracking back, covers every blade of grass which allows Alper and Endri to go forward and create. 

Gencler have won 3 out of their last 4 games including impressive wins against Fenerbahce and Alanyaspor. Under former Ankaragucu coach Ozcan Bizati they have seen a bit of a resurgence and will be looking to carry that into Sundays match. 

Sefa Yilmaz and Daniel Candeias will be important players for Gencler on Sunday as they both have the quality to punish Ankaragucu in the wide areas. Candeias is also very hard working and will chase back to help his team on defence. Sefa has scored a few good goals of late and cant be given any space near the box to shoot. 

That said if Ankaragucu turn up and play to their best there is nothing to fear on Sunday. Gencler although on a good run are a poor side and the 3 points will go a long way to survival for Ankaragucu. 

It was 1-1 in December the last time the two sides met but Ankaragucu will have to play at a lot higher standard than that day if they do want to take all 3 points. Haydi Baskent!!!

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Konyaspor 1-1 Ankaragucu match report!


 

Ankaragucu took a share of the points in Konya yesterday with another good performance and 1-1 draw against an in form Konyaspor side. Aliou Badji repaid the faith shown by Hikmet Karaman by scoring the opening goal and delivering an all round impressive performance. 

Team - Korcan, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Sarlija, Pinto, Ibrahim, Endri, Alper, Paintsil, Borven, Badji

Subs - Furkan, Erdi, Atilla, Ali Kaan, Voca, Assane, Gerlado, Orkan, Saba, Emre

Hikemt Karaman made a few changes with Sarlija coming in for the suspended Pazdan, while both Badji and Paintsil replaced Saba and Gerlado. It meant Borven took up a position on the right hand side and again showed what a great attitude he has with another hard working performance. 

Konyaspor started the brighter of the two sides and both Cikaleshi and Milosevic tried their luck from distance but both efforts wend wide in the opening stages. Korcan also made a good save to keep the scores level after 10 minutes. 

It took 26 minutes for Ankaragucu to register their first shot on goal after nice play from Endri and Paintsil but the later saw his curling effort easily saved by Sehic.

Petr Skubic had a good chance at the back post after a good ball from the impressive Jevtovic but he hit the side netting at full stretch.

Just before half time Ankaragucu had a great chance to take the lead. Brilliant skill from Alper Potuk down the left side before a nice ball into Paintsil who in turn put in a great cross for Borven who had an empty goal and tap in but somehow hit the post. An unbelievable miss and chance for Ankaragucu to take the lead. 

Half Time - 0-0

Ankaragucu started the second half well as Borven went on a good run before setting up Paintsil who shot over the bar. Two minutes later Kitsiou set up Badji in the box but his shot was straight at Sehic. 

Alper Potuk was having another good game and all of the good attacking moves involved the former Turkish International. He played a nice ball in for Paintsil but he headed the ball straight at Sehic. 

A few minutes later Ankaragucu took the lead, and what a goal it was. Some brilliant build up play involving Kitsiou, Paintsil and Endri with the ball finally finding its way to Pinto who played a lovely 1-2 with Badji, the ball then fell perfectly for Badji who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Ankaragucu. 

Four minutes later Jevtovic shot from 25 yards and the ball came back off the post with Korcan beaten. Ankaragucu got lucky but that only lasted 6 minutes as Shengelia equalised. A nice ball through caught both Pinto and Kulusic out and the Georgian International took a nice touch before firing past  Korcan to make it 1-1. 

Ankaragucu went up the other end looking for the winner and Alper had another nice bit of skill on the touchline and beat the keeper but the Konya defence got back to clear. 

Konyaspor almost won it at the end but for a great save from Korcan from a Jevtovic header. In the end both teams settled for the point. Two sides on form and we would have settled for that result before the game started. Now Ankaragucu can look forward to an Ankara Derby on Sunday in what will be the biggest game between the two sides in recent history. 

Special mention must go to Alper for his Man of the Match performance and Aliou Badji who worked his socks off and got his reward in the end. Bring on Gencler!!!


GENCLERBIRLIGI – ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE !!

 



 

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

 

Gencler almost escaped from the relegation zone yesterday, but in almost the last kick of the ball, they lost 2 valuable points.

 

Erzurum left it late until 90 plus 3 to share the spoils after having 73% possession and 5 shots on target.    Gencler on the other hand had 27% possession and only 2 shots on target.

 

GENCLERBIRLIGI             1                          BBS Erzurum              1

 

Team – Nordfeldt, Johansson, Arda, Mustafa, Pehlivan, Piris, Soner, Candeias, Yildirim, Yilmaz and Lima

 

Substitutes – Diego, Stancu, Mugni Ayite and Polomat

 

Again, I was unable to watch the match due to the Ankaragucu match being on at the same time, but with all due respect to both teams, according to reports I don’t think I missed much  !!

 

Lima opened the scoring on the half hour mark and it looked like Gencler was going to sneak all 3 points until Da Costa scored the equaliser just before the full time whistle.

 

So, Gencler’s 3 match winning run comes to an end and it may not look too rosy for them with some difficult matches on the horizon, eg, their final match is away to Trabzonspor where they will face a formidable opponent still fighting it out for either Champions League or Europa League qualification.

 

There are only 6 matches left before the end of the season, but this Sunday’s Derby match will have a huge bearing on the run-in.     Yes, it’s a Derby but Ankaragucu look the likelier team to emerge on top after their successful results under their new Coach, Hikmet Karaman, who has turned the team’s fortunes around.    

 

An intriguing match is in prospect, so as always, watch this space for the outcome.

 

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Konyaspor vs Ankaragucu match preview!


 

Ankaragucu enter the most important week of the season so far with games against Konyaspor and then the Ankara derby on Sunday. All 3 clubs are fighting relegation and the outcomes will go a long way in determining the clubs fate come the end of the season. 

Another fantastic result at the weekend for Ankaragucu as they kept another clean sheet and won 1-0 against Antalyaspor. The 3 points take the team out of the relegation zone and gives them confidence going into tomorrows game with Konyaspor. 

One of the first things Hikmet Karaman did when he came back to the club, was tighten up the defence. The team have kept 4 clean sheets since his return with only Hatayspor and Trabzon scoring more than 1 goal against Ankaragucu. 

Michael Pazdan came back into the side at the weekend in place of Sarlija who had to make do with a place on the bench. The Pole has came in for criticism this season with some of his performances and the sending off at Kayserispor. Against Antalyaspor he was back to his best and played a big in the 3 points alongside Thiago Pinto, Ante Kulusic and Stelios Kitsiou.

Thiago Pinto also returned to the starting line up and arguably put in his best performance of the season. Defensively he made 2-3 last minute blocks to stop clear goals, and he again put in a beautiful cross for Borven who scored the only goal of the game. 

When Ankaragucu signed Torgeir Borven back in the summer, it was seen as something of a coup for the club. He had an excellent scoring record in the Norwegian Premier League. Both Fuat Capa and Mustafa Dalci for some reason decided Jonathan Bolingi and Emre Gural were better options in attack. Hikmet Karaman has again shown his man management by putting trust in Borven and he has repaid his manager with his 10th goal of the season and is now a key player. 

The home side Konyaspor will be difficult opponents and are on good form under Ilhan Palut with only 1 defeat in their last 8 games including winning their last 2. On paper they have too good a team to go down with the likes of Deni Milosevic, Petr Skubic, Jesse Sekedika and can even call on Farouk Miya from the bench. They will likely play a 4-2-3-1 formation which Ankaragucu can match up to.

The last time the two sides met Ankaragucu ran out 4-3 winners in a 7 goal thriller. Hikmet Karaman will be hoping for a better defensive performance this time round but a similar outcome taking all 3 points. If Ankaragucu can finish this week of with 4 points from the two games it will be a great week for the club. 

Monday, April 05, 2021

GENCLERBIRLIGI MAINTAIN WINNING RUN !

 



 

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

 

Gencler produced another surprise yesterday when they returned from Alanya with all 3 points.     

 

Alanya started the season extremely well and was looking like a team who was destined for a Champions League slot.    However, they have fallen away in the 2nd half of the season, but before the match yesterday was looking likely to win a place in the Europa League.    That may be a dream if they keep losing home matches against the bottom of the league clubs.

 

Having disposed of Fenerbahce and Kasimpasa in recent weeks, this was another big scalp taken by Gencler and keeps them in the fight to avoid relegation.

 

Alanyaspor                1                      GENCLERBIRLIGI             2

 

Team – Nordfeldt, Johansson, Mustafa, Arda, Pehlivan, Soner, Piris, Yilmaz, Yildirim, Candeias and Lima

 

Substitutes – Diego, Stancu, Mugni, Drdan and Onurcan

 

The Ankaragucu v Antalya match was on at the same time, so I was unable to watch the match.    But from the statistics of the match it seems that Gencler snatched the 3 points by taking the few chances offered.

 

Alanya had 72% possession, 90% pass accuracy and 8 shots on target.

 

Gencler 28% possession, 68% pass accuracy and only 3 shots on target

 

No doubt there will be serious words and repercussions from the Alanya Coach today   !!!

 

Johansson opened the scoring in the 8th minute and Alanya equalised approaching half time.    The winner was scored near the end of the match by substitute Stancu who returned to the squad after a lengthy absence.

 

Having looked like a doomed team last month, there will be another chance for Gencler (in 3rd bottom position) to perhaps move out of the relegation zone on Wednesday when they host 2nd bottom Erzurum.

 

The situation in the bottom half of the league is becoming tense with only Denizli looking likely to take the drop as things stand at the moment.     The other 3 positions are still being fought out and should provide some interesting matches in the last few matches of the league  !!!

 

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, April 04, 2021

ANKARAGUCU RETURN TO WINNING WAYS !!

 



 

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

 

A fortuitous, but crucial 3 points won by Ankaragucu today, but they rode their luck, especially in the 1st half when it was Antalya who created all of the few chances on offer.

 

Ankaragucu had to wait until the 70th minute of the match to have their first shot on target  !!!

 

In hindsight, Antalya have only themselves to blame for losing after playing the boring game of pass-back to the goalkeeper for long periods, which probably accounted for their 60% possession.    Also, their shooting in good positions was wayward which probably gave Ankaragucu some measure of encouragement as the match progressed in the 2nd half.

 

ANKARAGUCU           1                       Antalyaspor            0

 

Team – Korcan, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Pazdan, Pinto, Ibrahim, Alper, Endri, Saba, Geraldo and Borven

 

Substitutes – Paintsil, Badji and Voca

 

It took until the 14th minute of the match for the first real action when Pinto cleared a dangerous attack.

 

9 minutes later and Antalya had another chance when a cross came in from the right, but the Antalya attacker had a downward header which Korcan easily saved.

 

5 minutes later and it was Pazdan to the rescue when he broke up an Antalya attack and cleared the danger when the attacker was about to shoot.

 

Ankaragucu had their first chance 5 minutes later when they were awarded a free kick just outside the box, but Alper sent his shot around the wall and just past the post.

 

5 minutes later and Podolski almost scored for Antalya, but his goal bound shot was deflected for a corner.     Then 2 minutes later an Antalya attacker was well placed to score and scuffed his shot past.

 

In the last action of the 1st half Saba missed a great chance to score when he received a pass from the left inside the 6 yard box, but he tried to control the ball instead of connecting first time and the ball was cleared.

 

So, Ankaragucu was perhaps fortunate to go in at half time all square, thanks to the efforts of the defence and some slow and sloppy play from Antalya.

 

On the resumption, Antalya had two good chances to open the scoring.    Firstly, an attacker missed an open goal after a quick breakaway when he sent his shot high and wide.   Then, Korcan saved a shot in the 6 yard box.

 

It took until the 70th minute for Ankaragucu to have their first shot on target and it was almost the opening goal.    From a free kick just outside the box, Endri’s shot was going in just under the bar but the goalkeeper made a great save to tip the ball over.

 

12 minutes later and the break through  !      Pazdan set the move up on the half way line with a pass to the left.    The cross came in and Borven ghosted in between 2 defenders to bullet a header in with the goalkeeper helpless.    A fantastic striker’s goal   !!!

 

There was just time for one more Ankaragucu goal attempt when Paintsil was put through on goal.    He saw the goalkeeper well off his line and tried to take advantage, but although the idea was excellent, the shot was weak and the goalkeeper was able to collect.

 

So, an excellent end result which takes Ankaragucu out of the relegation zone, but it is still very tight down there with teams scrapping for points.    

 

Yet another crucial match coming up on Wednesday when Ankaragucu travel to Konya.     There is no love lost between those 2 teams so we can expect a very close match, but with Hikmet Bey’s tactical genius there is every hope that Ankaragucu can bring at least one point back to Ankara.

 

It is quite obvious that Ankaragucu is not for quitting.    So, as always, watch this space for the outcome.

 

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Trabzonspor 4-1 Ankaragücü match report


 

The 4-1 scoreline flattered Trabzonspor who were the better side and deserved the 3 points, but Ankaragücü could easily have come away with a point if it hadn’t been for a couple of costly errors and the brilliant Ugurcan in the Trabzonspor goal.

Team - Freidrich, Pinto, Sarlija, Kulusic, Atilla, Ibrahim, Endri, Paintsil, Geraldo, Saba, Borven

Subs - Korcan, Badji, Assane, Emre, Orkan, Pazdan, Erdi, Ali Kaan, Voca

Ankaragücü were dealt a blow when Alper and Kitsiou were both ruled out due to injury. Both players have been key to the recent good form. Thiago Pinto came in at right back which is always difficult for a left footed player as it effects the balance. While Paintsil came in for Alper. For me that was the first mistake Karaman has made as it left the team exposed in midfield and too open.

As I predicted Ekuban and Djaniny caused Ankaragücü problems all afternoon and took only 7 minutes to give Trabzonspor the lead. Djaniny saw his shot saved by Freidrich but it was parried into the path of Ekuban who had a tap in to make it 1-0.

It took Ankaragücü 20 minutes to equalise and it came after Geraldo was founded in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Up stepped Ibrahim to make it 1-1.

Only 2 minutes later the Djaniny and Ekuban duo combined again as the later turned Kulusic in the box and finished past Freidrich to make it 2-1.

A horrible 5 minute period for Ankaragücü saw Trabzonspor go 3-1 up this time Sarlija was dispossessed on the half way line by Djaniny, who ran through on goal before rounding Freidrich and Atilla before putting the ball in the net. 

Djaniny nearly scored again after an excellent ball from the brilliant Bakesetas but Freidrich made a good save.

Just before half time Ugurcan made a brilliant double save from Saba and Endri after nice play from Geraldo. The save form Endri in particular really was top class.

Half Time 3-1

Into second half and it was all Ugurcan. First up was a good save from Saba, then he made a good save from Badji who should have done better.

Borven had a chance on the 74th minute but he blasted his shot wide and then 5 minutes later a great ball in from Geraldo for Badji but the big striker headed wide.

Edgar Le made sure of the 3 points for Trabzonspor in the final minute after a mistake from Korcan to make it 4-1. As said a deserved win for Trabzonspor who are a good side but Ankaragücü played well for 70 minutes of the game. 

Next up is a huge game against Antalyaspor next Sunday which is a must win (for you Miguel) we will have the preview midweek.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

GENCLERBIRLIGI STILL UP FOR THE FIGHT !!

 



 

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

 

There is no denying Gencler’s fighting spirit   !!   After 11 matches without a win, they have now managed 2 consecutive wins and move up one place off the bottom of the league above Denizlispor, at least until tomorrow.

 

GENCLERBIRLIGI           2             Kasimpasa           1

 

Team – Nordfeldt, Johanssen, Arda, Mustafa, Pehlivan, Soner, Piris, Candeias, Yildirm, Ayite and Lima

 

Substitutes – Yilmaz, Diego, Mugni and Polomat

 

It was all Kasimpasa in the 1st half with Gencler only having one serious shot on goal.

 

Kasimpasa’s first chance came in the 10th minute when a sweeping move sent the Gencler defence scurrying back, but the final effort was just past the post.

 

10 minutes later and it was Nordfeldt to the rescue when he saved a goal bound header from a corner.

 

Gencler’s first chance came 3 minutes later but Soner’s shot was just past the post.

 

Kasimpasa had 2 more good chances before the half time whistle, but both were saved by Nordfeldt.

 

Kasimpasa was weaving pretty patterns all over the field in the 1st half with 72% possession but nothing to seriously trouble Nordfeldt.

 

Into the 2nd half and again Nordfeldt made a great save 6 minutes in with a point blank save   !

 

Then 8 minutes later, against the run of play, Gencler struck.   A breakaway on the right and Candeias crossed for Yilmaz to nip in between 2 defenders and bullet a shot into the top right.

 

Kasimpasa wasn’t finished and they equalised in the 65th minute when they had an attack down the left.   The cross came in, which eluded everyone in the box, but Yusef was unmarked on the back post and he shot inside the left post for an excellent predator’s goal.

 

That was it ........ I thought.     However, Gencler produced the goal of the match when they attacked down the left.    The cut-back came in from the goal line and Yilmaz was there to cheekily back-heel the ball inside the left post to deceive everyone ...... and the goalkeeper.

 

That was it .......... I thought.    Still one more piece of action when Pehlivan tripped an attacker in the box with only 10 minutes to go.    The referee pointed immediately to the penalty spot, but there was a VAR moment before his decision was confirmed.

 

Hajradino sent his kick to the right which Nordfeldt parried, and his shot on the rebound was blasted over the bar  !!!

 

So, even with only 29% possession and only 2 shots on target, Gencler took all 3 points, which leaves the fight in the relegation zone even more intense.

 

Next up is an away match against Alanya on Sunday 4th April and another chance for Gencler to escape from the relegation zone.

 

As always, watch this space for the outcome.

 

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Trabzonspor vs Ankaragucu match preview!


 

Saturday May 2010 was the last time Ankaragucu took all 3 points against Trabzonspor thanks to a Robert Vittek goal and a 1-0 win for Ankaragucu. Vittek would then go on to sign for Trabzonspor the next season after all the financial problems caused by the Gokcek family. 

If you had asked any Ankaragucu fan 2 months ago if the team could win at Trabzonspor they would likely have laughed. Since then Hikmet Karaman has come in and made it 3 wins 2 draws and 1 defeat in his first 6 games since returning to the club. Even more impressive is that the 3 wins came against Galatasaray, Fatih Karagumruk and Goztepe. 

Its not just the performances on the park that have impressed everyone under Karaman. You just need to follow the clubs Twitter page or his Instagram page and you will see the work that goes in off the field, even things like Marketing, Social Media and promoting the official club shop. 

Hikmet Karaman has breathed life back into Ankaragucu. A club that was down and wounded with players suffering with fitness and confidence. 

The first thing Karaman has changed in the team as he looks to guide Ankaragucu to safety, is the defence and how the team defend .Ankaragucu were leaking goals almost every match. But they now look more solid and organised with Sarlija and Kulusic forming a strong partnership at the back. 

Geraldo again impressed last week and its no just about him building on his fitness as he hadnt played much football when joining Ankaragucu. Captain Stelios Kitsiou was back to his best last weekend with 2 assists and again proving why he is one of the best wing backs in the Super Lig. 

On the opposite side of the pitch Karaman again preferred to go with Atilla Turan who chipped in with his 1st assist of the season against Goztepe. 

The team will go to Trabzon with confidence after the 3-0 win against Goztepe last week. It was an excellent overall performance and again Borven showing if you create opportunities for him he will score. 

The Trabzon match will be another difficult match. But another one which Ankaragucu can take points from. Its the same old story from Trabzon which has been the same ever since I have been following Turkish Football. They tend to get off to a bad start, before going on a good run where they look like they can challenge but then fail in some of the must win matches. 

They have a lot of good attacking options in Nwakaeme, Yusuf Sari, Caleb Ekuban and Djaniny who after a slow start has looked impressive. The problem with Trabzon is inconsistency and although they have looked better at the back, you still fancy your chances of scoring against them. 

If Ankaragucu can stop the likes of Nwakaeme and Djaniny and stay organised they have the pace with the likes of Saba, Geraldo and Paintsil to punish Trabzonspor on the counter attack. The key to the match will be the defence and making it difficult for Trabzons attacking players. 

Early team news, Korcan Celikay has returned to full training while Daniel Lukasik and Alper Potuk are both carrying knocks and will be evaluated. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

GENCLERBIRLIGI GIFTED THREE POINTS !!!

 



 

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

 

This was not so much a revival, as an off-day for Fenerbahce who were a shadow of the team they have been in recent weeks.

 

This match had ‘home banker’ written all over it with Fener challenging for a Champions League position and playing against the league basement team.

 

However, not for the first time, Gencler tore up the script and made Fener ‘eat humble pie’   !!

 

It was all going according to plan when Fener took the lead, but then they folded and Gencler took advantage of their profligacy.

 

Also, Gencler has appointed their 4th Coach of the season, which is surely a world record   ??!!   He is Ozcan Bizati who has been around the Turkish leagues for a good few years and was Assistant Coach for Gencler and Ankaragucu among his many Clubs.

 

Fenerbahce             1                          GENCLERBIRLIGI            2

 

Team – Nordfeldt, Pehlivan, Akbas, Arda, Johanssen, Soner, Piris, Ayite, Yildirim, Candeias and Lima

 

Substitutes – Mugni, Yilmaz and Srdan

 

Fener started the match with a swagger and scored after 8 minutes, but it was correctly ruled offside.

 

2 minutes later Nordfeldt pulled off a great save when one-on-one with an attacker.

However, the goal finally arrived in the 34th minute when Filip headed in at the back post from a free kick on the right.

 

Cue .......... Fener goal rush   ??!!       Wrong !!!     4 minutes later it was 1-1 after a calamity in the Fener defence.     A cross came in from the left which Altay had covered, but his defender, Aziz, stepped in ahead of him and deflected the ball into the net.     We can only wonder what Altay said to him   !!!

 

Just before the half time whistle Lima had a chance to score, but Altay was a split second ahead of him and smothered the ball.

 

Into the 2nd half and I could sense Fener’s frustration.    They probably couldn’t get their head around the fact that Gencler was not ‘lying down’ and settling for 1 point.    The frustration turned to panic in the 62nd minute when Gencler took the lead.

 

It was a great move down the right with inter-passing and when the cross came in from the right, Ayite was first to it and he bulleted a header inside the right post with Altay helpless.   There was some hesitation by the referee before awarding the goal to check VAR, but the goal was given.

 

Fener was in panic mode as the clock ran-down and were guilty of hurried passes going astray, but they almost equalised in time added on when a shot hit the post and was cleared.

 

So, the record book will show a win for Gencler, but I doubt if we will see such a ragged and listless performance like this from Fener again this season.

 

Gencler’s first win in 12 attempts, but they are still propping up the league.    If it really is a Gencler revival then they will have to prove it against fellow strugglers Kasimpasa next Saturday.    This match will be the acid test   !!!

 

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, March 14, 2021

ANKARAGUCU MOVING IN AN UPWARDS TRAJECTORY !!!

 



 

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.       

 

Ankaragucu moved out of the relegation zone today at the Eryaman Stadium when they had an emphatic 3rd consecutive win.

 

They now take closer order to the mid-table teams who will now be looking over their shoulders at the Ankaragucu resurgence.

 

ANKARAGUCU            3                           Goztepe       0

 

Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Sarlija, Attila, Endri, Ibrahim, Geraldo, Alper Saba and Borven

 

Substitutes – Paintsil, Assane, Emre, Orkan and Badji

 

Ankaragucu started impressively and Saba almost opened the scoring after 14 minutes when he received a pass on the left.    He cut-into the box and let fly with a goal bound shot which was well saved for a corner.

 

However, the opening goal duly arrived 13 minutes later when a cross was sent over from the left touchline and Borven ghosted in between two defenders to bullet a header in with the goalkeeper having no chance.

 

9 minutes later and Saba had another chance when, after good work by Geraldo, he had a great chance but his shot was weak and easily saved.

 

Almost on the half time whistle and Kitsiou had a chance but he got himself in a tangle in the box and had the ball cleared by a defender before he could recover.

 

Goztepe had an equal share of possession in the 1st half but Ricardo didn’t have a direct shot to deal with during the 1st half and very little to do in the 2nd half either   !!

 

Ankaragucu continued to attack in the 2nd half as they searched for the 2nd goal, and it almost arrived 2 minutes in when Endri had a goal bound shot well saved.

 

It did arrive in the 60th minute   !!       Paintsil, who had just come off the bench, was the architect when he worked his way from the left touchline into the centre and laid the ball off to Kitsiou on the right.    Kitsiou slipped the ball into the path of Borven who blasted the ball into the net with the Goztepe defence spinning around in circles   !!     A truly great team goal.

 

The 3rd goal arrived 2 minutes later and Kitsiou was again the provider when he passed to Endri just inside the box on the right.   Endri picked his spot just inside the right post with a measured shot with the goalkeeper stuck to his line and the Goztepe defence obviously in shock   !!

 

Ankaragucu was guilty of taking their foot off the gas for the remaining half hour and I’m sure Hikmet Bey will remind them this week that it is not the way forward.    It may also be due to the many changes that were made which usually interrupts the flow of the match.

 

There was still time for Badji and Paintsil to combine to carve out a chance before the final whistle, but Paintsil’s shot was weak and easily saved.

 

Ibrahim also had a chance in the dying minutes, but his goal bound shot was well saved.

 

It is not often, in recent times, that we have had the opportunity to praise the Ankaragucu Coach, but we must give praise where praise is due.   Hikmet Karaman has turned this team around and he has transferred his passion to the players who obviously have responded and respect his judgment.

 

Praise also for the ‘new’ Borven who has rediscovered his predatory instincts, and as Nadeem mentioned last week, he also tracks back to help the defence when necessary.

 

It was interesting to note today that although Goztepe had 60% of the possession, they managed only 2 shots on target, as opposed to Ankaragucu’s 9 on target.

 

So, to next Saturday, and Ankaragucu travel to the Black Sea coast to take on Trabzonspor who are sitting in 4th position in the league.    At least the Trabzon Stadium won’t be the usual cauldron of noise without spectators, but they will, of course, be respected.     Hikmet Bey will no doubt remind the players that if they can beat Galata.....spit....saray, then they can do the same to Trabzon   !!!

 

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

 

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, March 12, 2021

Ankaragucu vs Goztepe match preview!


 

Two wins in a row have given Ankaragucu the lifeline they needed in their bid to stay in the Turkish Super Lig. The fact that they came against Galatasaray and Fatih Karagumruk is even more impressive. Hikmet Karaman celebrated his birthday earlier in the week and 3 points against Goztepe would be the perfect gift.

Ankaragucu still have a lot of work to do if they are to stay up but the encouraging signs are the team looks organised and you can sense a real togetherness since Hikmet Karaman has come in. Wins bring confidence and you can see some of the players thriving.

Alper Potuk and Torgeir Borven are the two in particular who have benefited most under the guidence of Karaman. When Ankaragucu signed Alper he was the marquee signing with big things expected of the former Fenerbahce and Turkish International. No one has ever doubted his talent, but his fitness levels and attitude certainly could be questioned. Giving him the captains armband was also a big mistake. 

It looked like Alper had no future with the club due to disciplinary problems. But you have to give the 29 year old credit for the way he has bounced back. His performances over the last two games have been very impressive and exactly why Ankaragucu wanted to sign him. His quality on the ball, skill and the way he can link midfield and attack is key to Ankaragucu staying up.

Big things were also expected from Borven when he signed. He had a great scoring record in the Norwegian league and looked like a major coup for the club. Fuat Capa and Mustafa Dalci however played him sparingly and never gave him a run of games despite having the best goals and assists per minutes played in the squad. 

Under Hikmet Karaman, Borven has been more than just a penalty box scorer. His work rate is impressive as he covers the full length of the pitch and has alternated between multiple different positions on the pitch. He also looks like he is enjoying his football. 

Goztepe are this weeks opponents and another in which Ankaragucu will be confident that they can take points from. The visitors however will be tough opposition and find themselves in 9th position. 

Halil Akbunar and Cherif Ndiaye are the two players i see as the dangermen for Goztepe. Ive always been a big fan of Akbunar and his creativity, while Ndiaye in the short time ive saw him looks a handful up front. 

They are on a great run of form at the moment and are on a 5 game unbeaten run including wins against Fenerbahce, Basaksehir and Erzurumspor which see them as one of the form teams in the Super Lig and also fighting for a European place. 

Early team news see Ankaragucu have a full squad to chose from with the likes of Atakan, Badji and Pinto all back in training and available for selection. 

We expect Karaman to go with the same team that has been successful over the last 2 games and hope they can make it 3 in a row. 

Monday, March 08, 2021

GENCLERBIRLIGI STARING RELEGATION IN THE FACE !!

 



 

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

 

Gencler was on the back foot during most of the match yesterday chasing the ball against a Basaksehir team determined to keep possession and deny Gencler any hope of scoring.     In that respect, Basak succeeded, but in so doing they made it one of the most boring matches I have ever watched.

 

GENCLERBIRLIGI         0               Istanbul Basaksehir           1

 

Team – Nordfeldt, Johanssen, Diego, Piris, Polomat, Soner, Furman, Candeias, Yildirim, Yilmaz and Lima

 

Substitutes – Ayite, Mugnil and Arda

 

The 1st half was a .......... yawn ...... yawn.........affair  with the 1st real action in the 45th minute when from a Gencler corner Lima headed against the bar and the ball was cleared.    Basak ‘enjoyed’ 70% possession and had zero shots on target.     It was as if they were playing for one point  !!

 

It took Basak until 20 minutes into the 2nd half to have a shot on target when they broke away and a goal bound shot was saved by Nordfeldt.    At this stage they were still playing ponderous football from touchline to touchline and back to their goalkeeper.    Keeping possession, but going nowhere   !!

 

The match suddenly exploded into life around the 75th minute mark when numerous substitutions were made by both teams and they decided to go into all out attack mode.

 

DemBa had a great chance when from a cross from the right he hit it first time but Nordfeldt pulled off a great save to deny him.

 

Nearing the end of the match and Polomat received his 2nd yellow when he pulled an attacker back whilst in full flow heading for the box.     Uncharacteristic from him, but at this stage in the season perhaps frustration kicks in   !!

 

With the match heading for a 0-0 stalemate, DemBa once again came to the rescue of Basak in the 89th minute.    A shot from outside the box was well saved by Nordfeldt, but he spilled the save and DemBa was first to react and blasted the rebound into the net to secure an unlikely 3 points for Basak.

 

Gencler has now gone 11 matches without a win and the writing is on the wall that they must face the fact that they are staring relegation in the face.

 

As we know, there are no ‘easy’ matches in this league and next Sunday will be no exception as Gencler travel to Istanbul to face a Fenerbahce team currently challenging for top spot in the league.

 

Probably a damage limitation line-up for Gencler to try and ‘shut up shop’.      As always, watch this space for the outcome.

 

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim