Thursday, January 21, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Ankaragucu can consider themselves fortunate to have taken all 3 points tonight in a match where they rode their luck on numerous occasions.    However, we are not complaining, but sterner tests lie ahead, and perhaps lessons will have been learned tonight, especially in the area of defence  !!


Ricardo’s mistakes in recent weeks saw the return of last season’s regular goalkeeper, Korcan, and he received my Man of the Match award for a commanding performance.     Bolingi was also dropped to the bench after a run of ‘x’ matches without a goal and that was another sensible decision  !!


ANKARAGUCU             1                     Kasimpasa              0


Team – Korcan, Sarlija, Atakan, Erdi, Pinto, Ibrahim, Kulasik, Endri, Saba, Paintsil and Badji


Substitutes – Atila, Emre, Voca, Borven and Alper


The first action of the match came in the 11th minute when Korcan pulled off the save of the match.    Sarlija made an elementary mistake which allowed Kasimpasa attackers room and when the goalbound shot came in, it was tipped over the bar by Korcan.


5 minutes later and Ankaragucu went into the lead rather fortuitously.   The ball was played to Saba on the right and his cross into the box was meant for Badji, but it was parried by the goalkeeper straight to his defender, Florent, who instinctively headed into the unguarded goal.   Thank you very much Lady Luck   !!


2 minutes later and Korcan to the rescue again to save another goal bound shot.


One minute after that and Ankaragucu scored a 2nd goal when Erdi latched onto an over-head pass.   However, 3 Ankaragucu players were clearly offside when he scored  !


On the half hour mark and Korcan made a crucial save when a shot came in from the right and was heading inside the post.   However, he managed to divert the ball around the post for a corner.


Some neat work from Paintsil on the left approaching half time when he passed to Ibrahim just inside the box, but his shot went just past the left post.


Further chances fell to Saba and Endri who combined to send in crosses inside the 6 yard box, but both were too slow to react and the chances were gone,


Kasimpasa stepped up the pressure in the 2nd half with the Ankaragucu defence looking fragile and scary at times, but for the most part, hoofing the ball clear kept the score at 1-0.


Ankaragucu was mostly restricted to breakaways in the 2nd half with Paintsil always looking dangerous until he was substituted.    Shortly after the resumption, he laid off a good ball to Ibrahim, but his effort was saved.


Half way through the 2nd half and another scare in the Ankaragucu defence when from a cut-back on the left the shot was just out.


Saba had numerous chances to put Kasimpasa under pressure from breakaways and he made some great runs down the right and left wings, but his final ball usually ended up at a Kasimpasa defender’s feet.   He really must learn to look up before delivering the final pass with attackers looking for an accurate cross.     Also, on the few occasions when he does have a chance to look up, he dithers and is usually dispossessed by a defender  !!


In the last action of the match in time added on, Voca made a hash of his clearance inside the box and the ball went straight to a Kasimpasa attacker just outside the box.   He sent in a screamer of a shot which hit the outside of the post and out with Korcan a split second away from saving it if it had been on the other side of the post  !!


Relief all round at the sound of the whistle to end the match.     A valuable 3 points for Ankaragucu but they will need to up their game for the crucial matches on the horizon with all the teams in the relegation zone battling it out for points.


Ankaragucu will be in action next Monday in Alanya who have lost their early season sparkle.    However, it will be another chance for Ankaragucu to show their resolve and bring points back to Ankara.    No doubt tonight’s win will have given them some much needed confidence.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, January 19, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler was outplayed throughout the whole match today in Izmir.   Even without their normal strikers, Stancu, Sio and Candeias, they can have no complaints.


They only had one serious shot on target by Soner, almost at the final whistle, but it was powder-puff and easily saved.


Goztepe        4                GENCLERBIRLIGI           0


Team – Nordfeldt, Pehlivan, Toure, Diego, Johanssen, Soner, Piris, Polomat, Yildirim, Altiparmak and Ilker


Substitutes – Omurcan, Berisbek, Mustafa and Seyhan


Goztepe made it clear from the kick-off that they were focused on all-out attack and they had 2 great chances early in the match which went begging.   


Both from classic cut-backs which are difficult to defend.    The first, in the 8th minute was crossed from the left goal line and the angled flick went just past the right post.   


The second was an uncustomary mistake by Toure which allowed the attacker to cut the ball back on the left and the shot was parried by Nordfeldt and then cleared by a nearby defender.


However, it was no surprise when Goztepe took the lead in the 24th minute from a corner on the right which was swung into the 6 yard box when Zulj sent an angled header inside the left post.


It was almost 2 on the half hour mark when Nordfeldt pulled off a great save to tip a goal bound shot over the bar.


Approaching half time and the 2nd goal arrived.    A fast attack down the left, and when the cross came in there was Ndiaye to stretch out a leg between two defenders for a classic predator strike.


It was 45 plus 1 and I was ready for my half time ‘refreshment’ when Piris made a terrible back pass which was latched onto by Akbunar who rounded Nordfeldt and stroked the ball in.   Sloppy defending and Toure was slow to keep tabs on Akbunar  !!


Goztepe came out for the 2nd half and straight into attack again.   They had 2 chances to increase their lead before they put the sword in.


Firstly, Tripic missed a sitter when the ball was cut-back to him all alone in the centre within the 6 yard box and he blasted the ball over when all that was needed was a simple tap-in.    Secondly, there was a fast flowing move down the left and the final shot hit the post on the way out.


The 4th goal duly arrived half way through the 2nd half when Goztepe waltzed through the Gencler defence and Akbunar had time to fire in a shot inside the right post with Nordfeldt well beaten.


From then until the final whistle Goztepe was content to play the running-down-time game with Gencler chasing shadows and lacking their normal fighting spirit.


So, Gencler stay stuck in the relegation zone alongside Denizli, Ankaragucu, Erzurum and Kayseri.


Another difficult match looms for Gencler on Saturday when they host Trabzonspor.    It doesn’t get any easier in this league   !!


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, January 18, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.  


Ankaragucu can have no complaints about tonight’s defeat when they were outclassed in every department by a team looking in determined fashion to be champions this season.


Ankaragucu shot themselves in the foot in the first half when two defensive aberrations handed Fener a 2-0 interval lead, and there was no way back for an Ankaragucu team bereft of a strike force  !!


Fenerbahce         3                  ANKARAGUCU          1


Team -  Ricardo, Atila, Sarlija, Atakan, Pinto, Lukasik, Voca, Paintsil, Endri, Saba and Bolingi


Substitutes – Emre, Borven, Assane, Alper and Sahverdi


Fener was first to threaten and Atila made a crucial instinctive goal-line save from a goal bound header following a corner.


It took Ankaragucu until the 24th minute to threaten when from a corner on the right, Altay saved onto the inside of the post and the ball was cleared.


Ricardo must hold his hand up for conceding the 1st goal when he parried a weak shot from Thiam who followed up and tapped the ball in.    I don’t understand why he couldn’t hold onto the ball, or at least sent it out for a corner   !!


6 minutes later and another defensive calamity  !!    A cross came in from the left for Samatta.    It should have been dealt with by either Sarlija or Atakan, but they both got into a tangle going for the same ball and Samatta brushed past them and stroked the ball in.


Endri could have reduced the arrears 8 minutes before half time, but his well struck free kick went just past the post.


Just before the half time whistle there was another scary moment in the Ankaragucu penalty box when a goal bound shot was luckily deflected by Pinto for a corner.


7 minutes into the 2nd half and Lukasik’s free kick from just outside the box went whizzing pas the post with Altay rooted to the spot.


2 minutes later and Ricardo again demonstrated his love affair with parried saves.    Fortunately on this occasion it was cleared by a defender.


Fener put the match to bed in the 66th minute with a great individual goal by Valencia.   He received a pass just outside the box on the right, looked up, and sent a great shot just inside the left post with Ricardo getting fingertips to it but unable to save it.


3 minutes into time added on and Ankaragucu bagged a consolation goal.     A cross came in from the right to Borven on the left and he passed the ball to Emre on the right just outside the box who sent in a great shot to the left with Altay well beaten.


I have to say that Ankaragucu were well beaten by a team who you sensed were more determined.     Ankaragucu was forced into mistakes many times in defence with the constant Fener pressure.


Latterly, apart from the late goal, Ankaragucu resorted to high ball out of defence as they gradually ran out of ideas.    


It is glaringly obvious that Ankaragucu is lacking a physical presence up front similar to the 4 Africans in the Fener team, ie, Thiam, Samatta, Valencia and Cisse   !!!


The sands of time continue to fall and Thursday night must be classed as a crucial moment in the season when Ankaragucu either grasp the nettle or succumb to relegation.     It is now is their own hands at the home match against Kasimpasa.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, January 15, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Genclerbirligi misfired tonight, and even with the lion’s share of the play they couldn’t score from open play.    Karagumruk on the other hand were more assured throughout the match and fully deserved their 3 points.   


It was a scrappy match, with Gencler in particular being wayward with their crosses and final passes in the final 3rd.       They never gave up, but the spark in their play was sadly missing tonight.


GENCLERBIRLIGI       1              Fatih Karagumruk          3


Team – Nordfeldt, Johanssen, Arda, Toure, Polomat, Piris, Soner, Yilmaz, Candeias, Furman and Sio


Substitutes – Ilker, Mustafa, Berisberk and Karakas


I must admit that I was nearly drifting off to sleep and boredom until the 21st minute when the action eventually started.   A Karagrumruk attacker was brought down just outside the box .......which was the referee’s initial decision.    However, after a message in his earpiece, he gave a penalty.    In hindsight, the offence was only just inside the box, although it was a marginal decision and probably the correct one.


Lucas took the penalty and sent the ball to the right with Nordfeldt diving in the opposite direction.


15 minutes later and it was 2 when Ndao picked up the ball on the right wing and went on a solo run.    He cut into the box and fired in a shot from an acute angle which went in at the left post with Nordfeldt well and truly beaten.


Into the 2nd half and Gencler had Nordfeldt to thank for saving a goal bound shot shortly after the resumption.


Karagumruk was still dictating play and looking the more dangerous when Gencler received a lifeline in the 72nd minute.    A cross came in from the right, and with no Gencler forwards near the ball, a defender tried to clear with his left foot while on the ground.   He did clear the ball, but the referee deemed that he had handled it first.     I have to say that I felt sorry for him because it was clearly ball to hand and unintentional.   However, the new rule on this subject doesn’t give referees much flexibility, and so a penalty it was.


Piris took it and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with a perfect penalty.


Any hope of a Gencler revival was dashed 15 minutes later when Karagumruk broke down the right.    The cross came in and a header was goal bound until Nordfeldt pulled off a great safe and parried the ball.    Unfortunately, the ball went straight to the unmarked Sobiech who had the easiest of tasks to stroke the ball in with Nordfeldt helpless and the Gencler defence all at sea.


So, another home match which (on paper) Gencler should have won, but they can have no complaints about losing tonight.     All credit to an efficient Karagumruk team who, unlike Gencler, took their chances and deservedly all 3 points.


Gencler face another mountain next Tuesday when they travel to Goztepe, which is never an easy place to go and collect points.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, January 10, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


There is no doubting Ankaragucu’s effort and will to win attitude, but again their deficiencies were laid bare when their strike force failed to deliver tonight.


I lost count of the times when Ankaragucu had fast breaks and as soon as they entered the final 3rd ....... they froze !!    They would then pass from left to right, right to left and back, and eventually in most cases .......... lose possession.


The present Basaksehir team is not the team which won the league last season, and it is clear why they will not win it again this season because they are not a great team.   However, Basak’s one touch passing had the Ankaragucu defence running in circles at times, and if they had the killer touch it would have been much worse for Ankaragucu.


ANKARAGUCU         1              Istanbul Basaksehir         2


Team – Ricardo, Atila, Erdi, Sarlija, Atakan, Lukasik, Diousse, Endri, Bolingi, Saba and Borven.


Substitutes – Voca, Paintsil, Cetin, Cebrail and Orkan


The first real action of the match came in the 7th minute when a Basak goal bound shot just inside the box was saved by Ricardo at full stretch at the right post.


Then 10 minutes later Ankaragucu gave us a football lesson on how NOT to defend a corner !!!     The ball was whipped into a crowded penalty box and the ball fell near the 4 Ankaragucu players who looked as though they were in a daze and ball watching.   Borven was one of them (what was he doing there ??!!) and he back-heeled the ball instead of hoofing it away to safety.   The ball rolled out to the left, just inside the box, and the unmarked Visca fired in a great shot to the top right.


Ankaragucu attacked straight from the re-start and Borven had a great chance to make amends for his sloppy defending when he mis-hit his shot in the 6 yard box when it should have been nestling in the back of the net.


One minute later with Ankaragucu still on the attack, they were awarded a free kick on the left about 5 yards in from the corner flag.    Endri took it and it sailed into the top right much to his delight.    I’m not sure if it was meant as a cross or a shot, but ....... hey ....... who cares !!!


There was almost time before the half time whistle for Basak to grab a 2nd , and again, Ankaragucu’s fragility at corners were their undoing.   They allowed a Basak forward to be first to the in-swinger but fortunately his header went narrowly past the post.


Into the 2nd half and the crucial 2nd was scored from a free kick on the right.   Sarlija tried to head the ball for a corner but only succeeded in nodding it down near the unmarked Dembaba who had the easiest of tasks to poke it in.


As an ex-Class 1 referee, I don’t normally like to criticise them, knowing how difficult it is to be correct in all decisions for 90 plus, but ............ I must point the finger at today’s referee who missed a glaring act of violent conduct when Rafael pulled Paintsil down and then kicked him in the nuts.    A yellow was produced  !!!     Shame   !!!


There was a late flurry of attacks by Ankaragucu, but too little ........ too late.   Paintsil had a great chance to equalise approaching the final whistle when he was one on one with the goalkeeper, but he was too slow to react and the chance was lost.


I’m normally a patient person, but ............... I’m really losing it with Bolingi and Borven.    They are supposed to be strikers and score goals on a regular basis.    True, Borven hasn’t started in most matches recently, but Bolingi is fast becoming a burden for the team   !!


It is true that Ankaragucu has missed 4 of their best players in recent matches through injuries (Pazdan, Pinto, Kitsiou and Emre), but that cannot be used as an excuse which affects all teams from time to time.      However, it has certainly been an influence on recent results and it is to be hoped that they are back again .............. and soon  !!!


Next up is an away match against Fener.....spit.....bahce next Monday 18 January.    Let’s keep the faith   !!!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, January 09, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


There is no doubting Gencler’s fighting spirit, but they were outclassed by a rampant and clinical Galatasaray team tonight who look in ominous form.


Gencler was without their regular goalkeeper, Nordfeldt, but no criticism meant towards stand-in goalkeeper, Adiyaman, who had no chance with the Galatasaray onslaught.


Galatasaray was in complete control of the match throughout and Gencler can have no complaints with the score line.


Galatasaray           6                 GENCLERBIRLIGI          0


Team – Adiyaman, Polomat, Arda, Toure, Johanssen, Piris, Soner, Yilmaz, Yildirim, Candeias and Ayite


Substitutes – Ilker, Altiparmak, Pehlivan and Berisbek


The match was only 30 seconds old when Galatasaray stormed into the lead from a break on the left.   The ball was sent into the centre where Diagne controlled the ball and fired into the right corner.


Adiyaman had to be smart to save after 10 minutes from a clever Galatasaray attack as they poured forward looking for No2.


They should have made it 2 after 24 minutes when Ogulcan blasted over inside the 6 yard box.


However, the 2nd goal came 5 minutes later from the impressive Belhanda when his shot from outside the box on the right was sent into the left corner.    It was a great effort, but I have to say that Adiyaman was slow to get down to try and save it  !!


Adiyaman will no doubt want to forget this match, especially in the 43rd minute when from a back-pass he sent the ball straight to Belhanda who had the easiest of tasks of punishing his wayward pass.


Then with the referee poised to blow for half time, Belhanda punished some slack defending to use the outside of his right foot to lob the ball over Adiyaman.       At this level of football, mistakes usually get punished  !!


The match was over as a contest, but Galatasaray made sure in the 63rd minute when they took a quick throw-in on the left and the ball was passed into the centre where the unmarked Ogulcan had the easiest of tasks to slot-in.


Adiyaman’s night wasn’t quite finished 2 minutes later when he brought down a Galatasaray attacker in a tackle more suited to a Rugby match.    Babel stepped up and sent the ball into the left corner just out of reach of Adiyaman’s despairing dive.


So, Gencler are still in the relegation zone, 3 points above 4th bottom Kayseri, and as I said before, it is very tight in the bottom half of the league with all the teams desperate for points now as we head into the 2nd half of the league fixtures.


Next up is a home match next Friday against Fatih Karagumruk.    As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, January 06, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


A stupid, unnecessary and violent act from the Hatay goalkeeper, Munir, was a game changer when Hatay looked to be in control of the match.


The Red Card definitely affected  Hatay’s rhythm in the 2nd half when Gencler grabbed the initiative and ‘put the sword in’.


Hatay shot themselves in the foot, but question marks hang over Munir’s actions and it will be interesting to see how it will affect team morale after they threw away a possible 3 points.


GENCLERBIRLIGI         3                 Hatayspor             1


Team – Nordfeldt, Johanssen, Arda, Toure, Polomat, Soner, Piris, Ayite, Candeias, Yilmaz and Sio


Substitutes – Furman, Berisbek, Altiparmak and Seyhan


The match came to life in the 24th minute with a spectacular goal from Boupenza who won the ball just outside the box in the centre and looped his shot into the top left with Nordfeldt helpless.


Hatay looked fairly relaxed and in control, but Gencler thought they had equalised on the half hour mark when Sio looked to have latched onto a missed clearance from a defender, but the VAR showed that he had used an arm to control the ball before poking in.


6 minutes later and Nordfeldt pulled off a great save from a goal bound shot when the shot came in from the left and the attacker tried his luck with a shot just inside the left post.


Then came the turning point in the match in the 43rd minute.    A cross came in from the left and Munir in goal had it covered and caught the ball cleanly and fell with the ball.    Arda also challenged for the ball and fell alongside him, but before Arda could stand, he was kicked in the face by Munir when they were both on the ground and Arda was not interfering with him.   The referee spotted it and produced the RED card immediately.    It was so blatant and I just can’t think what Munir was thinking about when he did it – totally unnecessary, violent and unprovoked   !!!


Penalty  !    The replacement goalkeeper, Akin, was sent the wrong way by Piris and Gencler was level.


Akin was brought into action 4 minutes into time added on when he pulled off a great save to stop a goal bound shot, and then it was the interval.


Gencler came out for the 2nd half and they went for the jugular   !!    


Sio had 3 chances just after the re-start.    The first one was down to him not being quick enough to react from a cross from the right.     Next, Akin made a great save from his shot just inside the box and Akin saved again when he shot from the left.


Gencler continued to attack and in the 51st minute came their reward when Johanssen was brought down just inside the box as he was about to cross.    Piris stepped up again and sent his perfect penalty down the centre with Akin diving to his right.


15 minutes later it was almost 3 when Yilmaz sent his header just past the post with Akin scrambling to cover it.


Hatay’s 10 men continued to try and mount attacks and Gencler had Nordfeldt to thank for saving a goal bound header from a free kick with 15 minutes to go.


However, Gencler put the match to bed with 7 minutes to go with a simple and well constructed goal.   A fast attack down the right, the classic cut-back from the goal line, and Sio picked his spot.


The win moves Gencler up to 15th position and 4 points ahead of 18th placed Ankaragucu, but it is still very congested in the bottom half of the league with teams now desperate for points as we head into the 2nd half of the league.


Next up is an away match against Galata.....spit......saray on Saturday.    This will obviously be a real test of Gencler’s fighting spirit.


As always, watch this space for the outcome  !


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, January 05, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


The match was heading for a no-score draw until half way through the 2nd half when the Ankaragucu defence went to sleep and allowed Antep to break fast and score.   The referee called it offside, but with VAR not in ‘Ankaragucu Mode Tonight’, it was given after the referee consulted it.    It was extremely close, but there is no arguing with VAR   !!!


Ankatagucu played some nice and neat football throughout the match, but when they entered the final 3rd there was little or no threat.   The only time they came reasonably close was early in the match when Saba shot from a difficult angle on the right and his shot was saved by the goalkeeper.    (As an aside ........ I only played once in goal in ‘my football career’ for my High School team in a Cup Match when the regular goalkeeper was injured and I saved a certain goal near the end of the match, and even I could have saved Saba’s shot  !!).


Anyway, back to the future ..............


Gaziantepspor            2                   ANKARAGUCU        0


Team – Ricardo, Atila, Sarlija, Atakan, Erdi, Voca, Paintsil, Lukasik, Endri, Saba and Bolingi


Substitutes – Borven, Cetin and Adzic


Gaziantep posed 3 threats in the 1st half, and all 3 around the half way mark ...............   First, a Gazi forward skied a shot over the bar in the 6 yard box with the goal at his mercy.   The other two were headers which went narrowly past the post from crosses into the box.


Ricardo pulled off a great reflex save shortly after the resumption after the half time break.   From a corner on the left a Gazi player struck a strong goal bound header and Ricardo’s parried save was cleared.


On the 68th minute it all went pear-shaped for Ankaragucu.   The Ankaragucu defence were caught out with a fast Gazi breakaway.     VAR had to be consulted and it proved the correct decision, but ............ only by a whisker  !!


Ankaragucu kept pressing forward looking for the equaliser, but were caught out again 5 minutes into time added on.     Ankaragucu took a quick throw-in in the attacking half, but it was hurried and went straight to a Gazi player.    His quick thinking spotted a colleague inside his own half near the half-way line, and he sent a long pass into the Ankaragucu area.    With Ankaragucu players committed to attack, they were caught flat-footed, and the Gazi player raced into the penalty box and let fly.   Ricardo managed to parry his shot, but the rebound fell kindly for the Gazi player and in the ball went.     The referee again consulted VAR and the goal stood.


With the last action of the match, Ankaragucu scored an offside goal when Saba was caught, and it was the correct decision.


So, in conclusion, yes, Ankaragucu played the ball around and created lots of space for themselves, but nothing to show for it in the final 3rd.      Ankaragucu is in desperate need of quality strikers who can punish teams, but .............. when will we see them I wonder    ???!!!


Next up is a home match next Sunday against last season’s champions, Istanbul Basaksehir, who are having an up and down season blowing hot and cold.     Let’s hope they have an off day on Sunday, because Ankaragucu must return to winning ways and .......... soon !


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim