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