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