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