Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Ankaragucu followed up last week’s impressive win in Denizli with another victory in Ankara tonight.
The Ankaragucu revival continues therefore, and from apparently languishing and cut adrift at the bottom of the league a few weeks ago, they are now moving up to challenge for mid-table security. However, this progress must be maintained in the weeks ahead with so many teams in a similar position !
ANKARAGUCU 3 Yeni Malatyaspor 1
Team – Ricardo, Kitsiou, Atakan, Sarlija, Atila, Voca, Saba, Endri, Lukasik, Paintsil and Bolingi
Substitutes – Erdi, Adzic, Diousse, Borvan and Cetin
Ankaragucu was quick out of the traps and ahead in the 3rd minute. Paintsil was sent an excellent pass and off he went scurrying down the left to the goal line. His cut-back was parried by the goalkeeper right into the path of the in-rushing Lukasik who tapped-in the rebound.
Paintsil was a ‘livewire’ throughout and had his best match for Ankaragucu (man of the match !). He almost made it two 3 minutes later from his shot inside the box, but it was saved.
Bad news on the half hour mark when, Captain for the Day, Kitsiou, went off injured and replaced by Erdi.
Shortly after, Paintsil had another effort from outside the box saved.
Then, 3 minutes later, Bolingi played a good pass into Paintsil on the left and he took off on a run, cut into the box, and was brought down from behind as he was about to shoot. He dusted himself down, picked up the ball and stuck it under his shirt. This is mine, and nobody argued !!! He then calmly stroked the ball into the right with the goalkeeper diving to his left.
Into the 2nd half and Ankaragucu should have made it 3 when Paintsil went on one of his runs down the right and passed into the centre for Bolingi, but a defender was well positioned to deflect the pass out for a corner.
A scare and a wake up call for Ankaragucu on the 72nd minute mark when a Malatya attack and shot was saved by Ricardo, but it hit the post and was fortunately cleared.
2 minutes later and another save from Ricardo as Malatya stepped-up the pressure searching for a way back into the match.
It came one minute later with a cross from the right which was headed down to Yousef who slid the ball in with the Ankaragucu defence caught out.
5 minutes later there was a flare-up on the touch line with 2 players which eventually included most of the players – it seemed like someone said the wrong words !!! The referee calmed things down and produced 2 yellow cards, and then he obviously received a message in his earpiece and went to consult VAR. On his return he produced the RED card for Hafez which I can only assume was for violent play. There were lots of head to head confrontations and obviously his connected with an Ankaragucu player !!
3 minutes to go and the match was over for Malatya when Cetin made progress down the right and crossed for Borven to clip the ball in via the inside of the left post to make the match safe heading into time added on !
Ankaragucu had 2 more chances to score No4 in time added on. First, Ankaragucu scored, but Saba had been ruled offside in the build up. Secondly, Diousse by set-up by Saba, but blasted his shot high and wide.
So, the bottom line is that Ankaragucu secured 3 more valuable points in their fight against relegation. However, I have to say that Ankaragucu was fortunate on a few occasions that the Malatya forwards were wayward at crosses and corners with the final efforts going over the bar or past the post more often than not.
Next up for Ankaragucu is a difficult away match on Tuesday in Gaziantep. Of course, as I have said many times here, there are no easy matches in this league, but if they play with the same spirit and determination which they have shown in the past few weeks, then we should be optimistic of bringing at least one point back to Ankara.
As always, keep watching this space for the outcome.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim