Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Ankaragucu was yet again forced to play without their two main strikers who are both injured, and also without two other front men. I don’t hold this up as an excuse for their recent results since all professional teams should have a Plan B, C and D to cover these exigencies. However, it has certainly been a contributory factor which has set the alarm bells ringing with only 4 matches left to save their season !!
Embiya from the Youth Team was brought in for his first start, but gave way to Emre in the 2nd half. He is a young man with potential but was not ready for a ‘baptism of fire’ to play up front on his own in such an important match.
ANKARAGUCU 0 Gaziantep 1
Team – Korcan, Atila, Sarlija, Kulusic, Kitsiou, Ibrahim, Lukasik, Pinto, Alper, Endri and Embiya
Substitutes – Emre, Diousse, Cetin and Orkan
We had to wait until the 20th minute for the first real action when Pinto broke away on the left and sent his cross into the box, Embiya’s shot was blocked and the follow-up shot by Endri was way off target.
On the half hour mark Lukasik made a vital tackle to thwart an Antep forward shaping up to shoot.
Approaching half time and Alper had a shot from just outside the box but it was just over the bar.
So, a pretty even 1st half with no clear-cut chances to give both goalkeepers any problems.
3 minutes into the 2nd half and Dico had a chance to put Antep ahead but his shot was past the post.
6 minutes later and Ankaragucu’s only chance in the match came when Endri sent in a goal bound shot which produced a great instinctive save by the goalkeeper.
Still Ankaragucu kept pressing forward searching for the vital goal and it was full back Kitsiou who almost found a way through. Firstly, he sent a shot high and wide of the left post, then he was there again to send his header over the bar and another shot which went over the bar. There is no denying his willingness to get himself forward to assist the attackers but perhaps on another day one of his efforts might have gone in !!
10 minutes to go and some great play by Alper to work his way into the box past 2 tackles, but his final pass went astray and the chance was gone.
So, with only 5 minutes left to play, I had settled for 1 point, and to be honest, I was grateful for it. However, then came the game changer !!
An Antep innocuous cross came in from the right, and in an error of judgment, Korcan came off his line to intercept but he totally misjudged the flight of the ball which went well over his head to an Antep attacker on the right. He crossed quickly for Sousa to tap-in for the easiest of goals with Korcan and the defence all at sixes and sevens !! The TV camera zoomed in on Hikmet Karaman and his facial expression said it all !! A sickening end to the match for Ankaragucu who could not be faulted for their efforts.
So, as i said earlier, there are only 4 matches left to get the show back on the road and the door is not closed yet. Ankaragucu is in 6th bottom position, but the points difference between 4th bottom and 10th bottom is only 5 points, and there will obviously be a tense struggle in the final 2 weeks of the season.
Therefore, it is to be hoped that Borven and Badji are fit to play on Monday against fellow strugglers Basaksehir who have been in good form over the past few weeks. Every point is now vital to avoid moving into the bottom 4. !!!
As always, watch this space for the outcome.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim