Friday, April 30, 2021




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

Wednesday, April 28, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


There is no doubting Gencler’s fighting spirit which they again showed last night, but against a team of the calibre of Hatay it was not enough.


Hatay contrived to miss countless opportunities to put the match to bed before they finally did so.    Their one touch passing game mesmerised the Gencler defenders at times and it is no coincidence that they are riding high in 5th spot in the league hoping to make their debut in Yooro Footie next season.


Hatayspor              3                       GENCLERBIRLIGI           1


Team – Nordfeldt, Arda, Diego, Pehlivan, Johannson, Soner, Piris, Sio, Lima, Candeias and Stancu


Substitutes – Yilmaz, Polomat, Yildirim and Berisbek


The match started at a fast pace and Hatay almost opened the scoring in the 1st minute when from a corner Nordfeldt saved a goal bound header by Diouf.


However, the goal did arrive 6 minutes later and even though it was a fluke, they all count  !!   Aabid crossed the ball into the centre for Diouf, but the ball just eluded him and Nordfeldt hesitated expecting Diouf to make contact.    Consequently, the ball sailed inside the right post and Aabid was credited with the goal   !!


Nordfeldt made a few other crucial saves before the half time whistle and the Hatay goalkeeper only had one serious save to make.


5 minutes into the 2nd half and the 2nd goal arrived for Hatay after a defensive mistake by Gencler.    The fast break was on and the ball was taken down to the goal line on the right with the Gencler defence scurrying back to cover.    The classic cut-back was made to Diouf in the centre and he gave Nordfeldt no chance with a clinical finish.


Gencler to their credit continued to try and attack but without success until they were handed a lifeline in the 75th minute.    Kamara was adjudged to have brought down Stancu on the edge of the penalty area when there was no clear danger.    It was a stupid, clumsy and unnecessary challenge but I have never witnessed Piris missing a penalty this season and again he bulleted in his effort to the centre with the goalkeeper diving to his left.


Gencler tried to find the equaliser, but it was Hatay who reacted first with a 3rd goal 8 minutes later.    From a free kick on the left to ball was passed into the box where it was met by Man of the Match, Diouf, who gave Nordfeldt no chance with his shot.


Soner and Yildirm both had chances before the end but the former shot past the post and the latter shot straight at the goalkeeper.


So, Gencler are seemingly stuck in 2nd bottom position in the league with no respite in sight.   Next up is a home match against Galata.....spit.....saray on Sunday and it is unlikely that Gencler can expect to take anything for that match.    Galata....spit.....saray, Fener.....spit....bahce and Beshiktrash are fighting it out at the top of the league so this will be a ‘must win’ match for both teams   !!


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Ankaragucu vs Gaziantep match preview!


Firstly we would like to send our Heartfelt condolences to the family of young Ankaragucu fan Berat Ali who sadly passed away at Gazi University Hospital. It really puts everything else into perspective. 

Ankaragucu host Gaziantep on Thursday night looking to bounce back after 2 disappointing results against Denizlispor and Yeni Malatyaspor. Anyone who has followed Ankaragucu will know that when the good times are here, the bad times are only just around the corner.  

The last couple of performances have been disappointing, especially coming against fellow relegation rivals. But the club have now come under scrutiny due to alleged unpaid wages of players for the last 5 months. We have spoken about this so many times over the years with Ankaragucu, but there seems to be this attitude in Turkey, where clubs buy players knowing fine well they cant afford to pay their salaries every week.

We have saw this happening with most clubs in Turkey, even some of the Istanbul teams. Eventually the reputation catches up with you and foreign players don't want to sign for clubs who have a history of not paying salaries. 

The good news for Ankaragucu is that Zvonimir Sarlija will return to the team after suspension and likely partner Ante Kulusic. Michal Pazdan had his opportunity to impress and win his place back at the weekend, but his horror show for the 2nd goal will seal his place on the bench at best. 

The bad news is Joseph Paintsil and his indiscipline has caught up with him again as he is suspended while Geraldo is also suspended due to his reckless sending off. Torgeir Borven, Aliou Badji and Atakan Cankaya are all likely to miss out as they still haven't joined in full time training. 

Losing both Borven and Badji has been the main factor in the poor form of late as having no recognised striker in attack has sadly shown. It can only be hoped that Hikmet Karaman gives Embiya Ayyildiz his opportunity on Thursday night. The young striker has looked lively when coming on and has a good goal scoring record in the Turkish lower leagues. 

The midfield trio of Ibrahim, Alper and Endri has looked impressive under Karaman but that was disrupted at the weekend with Endri moving further forward and Voca coming in. Voca failed to impress and it should see Endri moving back into midfield. The other option is to play Endri out wide due to Geraldo and Paintsil being out and bring Lukasik into the midfield. 

His biggest task will be who to play in attack. Maybe a change of formation to a 4-4-1-1? We can take a look below at a possible line up. The other concern is the form of both Goalkeepers. If Ankaragucu are to stay in the Super Lig, signing a good Goalkeeper in the summer must be a priority as neither Korcan or Freidrich are good enough. 

Thursdays opponents Gaziantep have had a good season and still playing for a Europa League place. Fellow strugglers Erzurumspor did however beat them 3-2 at the weekend and must give Ankaragucu some encouragement. 

Papy Djilobodji will again be the dangerman at set pieces as the towering defender knows where the back of the net is especially from corners. Alexandru Maxim is one of the best players in the Super Lig outside of the Istanbul sides, while Muhammet Demir is also a good player who will need to be marked closely in attack. Former Ankaragucu winger Kenan Ozer is part of the Gaziantep side and on his day is a goal threat. 

Gaziantep won 2-0 the last time both sides met, so Ankaragucu will be hoping to even the scores this time around. Ankaragucu can also take some encouragement that Gaziantep have lost 3 and drew 1 of their last 4 games. 

Team News

GK - Korcan - I would personally like to see Mert Topuz given his opportunity but Karaman will likely go with experience. 

RB - Kitsiou - Has been the teams best performer the last couple of months, will be disappointed in the result at the weekend and will look to drive the team on.

CB - Sarlija - Has earned his place as the teams most important Centre back with his performances and was missed at the weekend. 

CB - Kulusic - Likely to be given the nod over Pazdan and Erdi.

LB - Pinto - Need a big performance from Pinto especially with so many attacking players out and lack of creativity

CM - Ibrahim - Ideally needs a rest as he covers so much ground, but not many options on the bench especially with Atakan out. 

CAM - Alper - Along with Kitsou has been a key player for the club and will be instrumental in keeping Ankaragucu in this league. Need another big performance on Thursday.

CM - Lukasik - Voca failed to grab his chance which could see Lukasik return to the team. If he can perform to the level we know he is capable of he could be an important player between now and the end of the season. 

LW - Endri - Would rather he played in midfield, but he is the only other creative player capable of playing in a wide position. 

RW - Saba - Quite simply, we need Saba to turn up and take any opportunities that comes his way instead of passing straight to the Goalkeeper. 

CF - Embiya - Only recognises striker in the team. The 2o year old could be in line to make his full debut. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Yeni Malatyaspor 2-1 Ankaragucu match report!


Ankaragucu are in danger of being drawn back into the danger zone after a disappointing week picking up only 1 point against relegation rivals Denizlispor and Yeni Malatyaspor. With injuries and suspensions mounting the clubs transfer policies in both Summer and January are coming back to haunt them.

Team - Korcan, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic, Pinto, Ibrahim, Voca, Alper, Endri, Paintsil, Saba

Subs - Freidrich, Atilla, Geraldo, Emre, Embiya, Sahverdi, Ali Kaan, Lukasik

Borven, Badji and Atakan were again ruled out with injury and Sarlija was suspended. This meant Pazdan and Voca both came back into the team while Saba started up front interchanging with Endri and Paintsil.

Losing both strikers has become a big problem for Ankaragucu as neither Paintsil or Saba can play in that role. They lack the hold up play and being able to play with their back to goal, or the football brain that Borven has. They also lack any physical presence and Emre Gural cant be trusted to start games.

Ankaragucu did start the match brightly with Alper and Endri both combining well in the opening stages. Endri set up Apler after 4 minutes who shot high and wide, and then 2 minutes later brilliant play from Endri set up Saba who yet again shot straight at the keeper when he should have scored. This is becoming a bit of a habit with Saba. 

Adem Buyuk set up Ahmet for Malatyaspor who shot straight at Korcan from the edge of the box but at this stage Ankaragucu looked the livelier of the sides. 

The next big chance came again for Ankaragucu  after 33 minutes when Kitsiou broke in to the box and smashed his shot of the post with the Greek again having a good game. 

Into the last 5 minutes of the half and thats when Malatyaspor started to dominate. Fofana cut inside Kitsiou before shooting on goal but Korcan tipped the ball round the post. From the resulting corner former Ankaragucu forward Kubilay headed against the bar and Fofana volleyed the rebound over.

Half Time 0-0

Into the second half and surprisingly Hikmet Karaman didnt bring either Emre or Embiya on with Ankaragucu badly needing someone in that forward position. 

Ten minutes into the second half and Malatyaspor took the lead, a lovely cross from Karem for Adem Buyuk who headed beyond Korcan to make it 1-0 for the home side. 

Only 5 minutes after coming on substitute Geraldo was shown a red card for a stupid tackle and now has more red cards (1) than the total number of goals or assists he has combined. His signing in January along with Badji is really looking like bad business at this stage. 

Ten minutes later Malatyaspor sealed the 3 points as they danced around the Ankaragucu defence, the ball finally made its way to Tetteh who beat Pazdan and put the ball past Korcan to make it 2-0. Pazdan was really poor for the goal and looks a shadow of his former self. 

Paintsil scored a late consolation from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 but was also yellow carded and misses another game through suspension. 

Next up is Gaziantep on Thursday and Karaman will have to do it without Geraldo or Paintsil and potentially Borven, Badji and the missing man Atakan. Another issue Ankaragucu has is the Goalkeeper position with neither Korcan or Freidrich good enough for the number 1 spot. Its time for Mert Topuz to be given his opportunity. The good news is Sarlija should return from suspension.  

Saturday, April 24, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler may still be stuck in 3rd bottom position in the league but nobody can accuse them of throwing the towel in.    They ran their socks off last night and should have beaten a poor Rize team more convincingly.    Anyway, the bottom line is ....... 3 points secured to keep them in the mix at the bottom of the league , but they take closer order with the other teams at the bottom.


GENCLERBIRLIGI                        2                     Rizespor             1


Team – Adiyaman, Johansson, Pehlivan, Diego, Mert, Piris, Soner, Candeias, Lima, Sio and Stancu


Substitutes – Syhan, Polomat and Mustafa


The 1st half didn’t light up until the referee was looking at his watch and thinking about blowing for half time.     I kept thinking throughout the match ............. is this the Rize team that scored 5 goals against Konya last week  !!!       It was amazing to witness the disconnect between the Rize players as they stumbled from one mistake to another and looking like it was the first time they had played together  !!


Sio almost opened the scoring in the 37th minute but his goal bound shot was well saved by the goalkeeper who managed to push his shot over the bar for a corner.


The most serious blunder from the Rize defence came in 45 plus 1 when 2 defenders left the ball for each other.     Soner, following up, said ........ thank you very much chaps .............. as he nipped in gratefully to steal the ball and pass across the area for Johansson to send a screamer into the top left.    


I doubt if the Rize Coach entered the dressing room at the end of this match   !!!


Gencler came out for the 2nd half in full on attack mode as they searched for the 2nd goal.     However, it was Rize who almost scored the equaliser with their 1st serious attack of the match in the 57th minute, but Jokovic’s shot went just past the post.


Gencler’s 2nd goal came 5 minutes later with a fast break on the right.    The ball was played into Sio in the centre just outside the box and he let fly with a shot which took a cruel deflection off a defender to wrong foot the goalkeeper.


10 minutes later and Rize was back in the match when Samudio headed in from a corner.     Rize suddenly started to play with more urgency and if I was the Rize Coach I would be asking the players why this attitude wasn’t adopted from the outset   !!!


Gencler had 2 more good chances to wrap the match up near the end.    Firstly, Lima was put through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but his angled shot was just past the post.      Then in the dying minutes a fast break on the right by Candeias who crossed into the box for Lima to hit his shot against the underside of the bar and the rebound was cleared.


As I’ve said many times, there are no easy matches in this league, however, some may be slightly easier than others   !!!


Gencler now have 5 matches left to rescue their season, but all 5 matches are against teams who will probably start as ‘favourites’, therefore Gencler will need more of the fighting spirit they showed last night.


Next up is an away match on Tuesday against 6th top Hatay.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Ankaragucu 1-1 Denizlispor match preview!


A disappointing result and performance from Ankaragucu today who lacked the intensity and energy they have shown in recent weeks while wasteful in front of goal. 

Team - Korcan, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Sarlija, Pinto, Ibrahim, Alper, Endri, Emre, Geraldo, Paintsil

Subs - Freidrich, Pazdan, Erdi, Orkan, Embiya, Voca, Sahverdi, Saba, Assane, Atilla

Ankaragucu started the game with no recognised striker again with both Borven and Badji ruled out due to injury. Emre Gural and Geraldo were both disappointing and lack the quality and fitness to start games. 

It was Denizlispor who started the brighter and they took an early lead through Hugo Rodallega who was a constant threat throughout the match. Kulusic fouled his man on the edge of the box and he referee awarded a free kick. Up stepped the Colombian to curl the ball brilliantly into the top corner giving Korcan no chance. 

Ankaragucu were struggling to create any open chances but were coming back into the game. Kitsiou again was involved in most of the attacking play. His first chance was a shot from 25 yards which Abdulkadir made a good save.

Alper Potuk had another good game and on the 36th minute picked out Kitsiou unmarked at the back post who volleyed past Abdulkadir to make it 1-1. 

Denizlispor had a chance just before half time as Tusha was through on goal but shot straight at Korcan.

Half Time 1-1

Into the second half and it was much of the same with Ankaragucu lacking energy and giving the ball away to cheaply. 

Joseph Paintsil deservedly earned the plaudits for his excellent performance against Besiktas last week. But today he was back to his old self of being selfish. He beat his man with a nice bit of skill and had Emre unmarked in the box with only the Keeper to beat, but Paintsil decided to try and score from a tight angle and his shot went wide. Really poor play from Paintsil.

Sagal and Rodallega both had chances go wide for Denizlispor before Endri saw his free kick saved by Abdulkadir. From the resulting corner Abdulkadir spilled the ball to Alper who saw his shot hit the post and go wide.

Saba was put through on goal but hit the ball straight at Abdulkadir, the ball fell to Kitsiou who lobbed the ball towards goal but it was cleared from going into the back of the net by the defender on the line. Saba had another great chance as again he was put through on goal but again shot straight at Abdulkadir. I will never understand how a professional footballer can have two opportunities to win a match and shoots straight at the goalkeeper both times. 

Sahverdi had a good effort just before full time but Abdulkadir again made a great save as he gave Denizlispor a share of the points and a 1-1 draw to end the match.

Its difficult to be to critical of todays result, but this was a missed opportunity for Ankaragucu and they will now travel to fellow relegation candidates Yeni Malatyaspor on Sunday knowing they must win. Erzurumspor beat Malatyaspor today as things get really tight at the bottom.

It looks like Atakan wont play for Ankaragucu again as if he plays 1 more game his contract is extended by 1 year. With interest from Fenerbahce it looks like he doesnt want that to happen and Ankaragucu will lose him for a small fee at the end of the season.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


It was almost another surprise win for Gencler tonight after Kayseri dictated play in the first half and went in 1-0 up.    In actual fact, the Kayseri build-up play in the first half was impressive but the final pass in the final 3rd and the poor finishing did not really trouble the Gencler defence and Adiyaman in goal.


However, Kayseri was given a wake-up call within 5 minutes of the re-start when Gencler scored two quick goals, but they responded near the end of the match to claim one point.


Kayseri              2                 GENCLERBIRLIGI           2


Team – Adiyaman, Pehlivan, Mert, Diego, Polomat, Piris, Soner, Berisbek, Candeias, Stancu and Lima


Substitutes – Ayite, Sio and Ilker


There were only 2 moments of excitement in the first half.     In the 8th minute Gencler had a great chance to open the scoring when they broke out fast from defence which caught the Kayseri defence unawares.     The ball was played to Candeias just inside the box on the right and his angled shot was just past the left post.


Then, 5 minutes before the half time whistle and a smart piece of football by Kayseri with Henrique opening the scoring.     It was a fast move and when the through ball was played to Henrique on the right, the linesman’s flag went up for offside just as he was rounding Adiyamn and firing in from a tight angle.     However, before awarding the goal, the referee received a message in his earpiece.     After a delay and VAR, the goal was confirmed.


Into the 2nd half and straight from the kick-off Gencler went into the attack and some inter-passing took the ball to Piris just inside the box on the right and he shot across the goalkeeper just inside the left post.


Kayseri was obviously still in shock 4 minutes later when Gencler went ahead.   A fast attack was mounted down the left and the ball was played to Stancu who skilfully flicked the ball with the outside of his boot from the left post to just inside the right post.


It was looking like an unlikely win for Gencler with only 10 minutes of the match remaining, when ‘old Ankaragucu boy’, Ilhan, equalised.     He had only come off the bench a few minutes before his moment of glory.    A cross came in from the right to the near post and his shot crept inside the left post past the despairing hand of Adiyaman.


The statistics from Gencler’s last 18 matches don’t make for encouraging reading –


Won – 3

Drawn – 4

Lost – 11


Also, with only 6 matches left, optimism in the Gencler camp will probably not be on the menu, especially as 3 of them will be against Hatay, Galatasaray and Trabzon   !


However, first things first, and on Friday they are at home to fast improving Rize who will come to Ankara buoyed by their 5-3 win against Konya today.       Gencler are still stuck in 3rd bottom position in the league, so the pressure is beginning to mount    !!!


As always, watch this space for the outcome.     


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, April 19, 2021

Ankaragucu vs Denizlispor match preview!


The Football world has woken up to the news today that 12 Clubs including 6 EPL teams, Serie A and Spanish Sides are forming a breakaway league with no relegation or promotion involved. Its basically a League formed for the Elite rich and taking the game further away from the Working class.

The great news is there are no plans for any Turkish clubs being involved in this set up which means we can continues to enjoy the ups and downs and entertainment of the Super Lig.

Ankaragucu will host bottom side Denizlispor on Wednesday in what can only be described as the biggest week in the clubs recent history. On Sunday the team will travel to Yeni Malatyaspor knowing 6 points from those 2 games will almost certainly see Ankaragucu remain in the Turkish top flight.

Despite being bottom of the League, Denizlispor will be difficult opponents. Former Ankaragucu legend Hakan Kutlu resigned from his position as head coach at the weekend after their 3-2 defeat at home against Erzurumspor despite being 2-0 up. Kutlu was also pictured with an Ankaragucu scarf in his office which led to criticism from Denizlispor fans as the two sides would play midweek.

Ali Tandogan was today appointed their new manager and will be hoping to get a reaction from the players as this is the last chance for Denizli to save their Super Lig status. I have watched Denizli a few times this season and they have some good attacking players such as Recep Niyaz, Hugo Rodallega and Angelo Sagal. Former Ankaragucu winger Hadi Sacko is also likely to start for them on Wednesday. They do however struggle to keep clean sheets and are on a run of only 1 win in their last 8 games which was against Yeni Malatyaspor.

Ankaragucu are likely to be without Torgeir Borven, Aliou Badji, Saba Lobjanidze and Atakan Cankaya through injury but will welcome back Endri Cekici into the team after suspension. Assane Diousse also returns from injury.

The 2-2 draw at Besiktas was a fantastic result for Ankaragucu with the last 30 minutes in particular one of the best performances i have seen in the last 10 years. Everyone played their part but Stelios Kitsiou in particular deserves special mention for his man of the match performance. 

Joseph Paintsil scored 2 important penalties against Besiktas but it was his skill and pace that won both of them that was most impressive. Paintsil has the ability to be even better if he keeps his discipline in check and stops being selfish at times. 

No doubt Hikmet Karaman will have the team fired up and organised for Wednesdays match. The team are nearly over the line and the 3 points will send them a step closer to safety.

Saturday, April 17, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler was guilty of taking their eye off the ball last night after seemingly having all 3 points sewn up at half time.


This was a classic ‘Match of Two Halves’ if ever there was one.    Having dominated the 1st half, especially after their first goal. Gencler construed to gift the impetus to Sivas in the 2nd half when they really should have had it sewn up with more goals in the 1st half.


GENCLERBIRLIGI             2                      Sivasspor        3


Team – Nordfeldt, Johansson, Pehlivan, Diego, Polomat, Piris, Soner, Candeias, Stancu, Yilmaz and Lima


Substitutes – Yildirim, Sio and Ayite


It took until the 20th minute for the first real action to occur.     Yalcin was on course to open the scoring for Sivas but Nordfeldt pulled off an excellent save to deny him.


That was a wake-up call for Gencler and 3 minutes later Lima let fly with a thunderbolt which the goalkeeper turned round the post for a corner.


From the corner, Diego rose unchallenged to head into the top right from the centre of the 6 yard box.


It was all Gencler at this stage with Sivas still apparently in shock mode, and 12 minutes later it was 2-0 with the goal of the match.    Johansson picked the ball up at the half way line and drove forward waltzing through some feeble defending and let fly just outside the box with a bullet which gave the goalkeeper no chance, although he did manage to get his fingertips to the ball.


Riza Calimbay, the Sivas Coach, obviously gave his team a roasting at half time when they came out all fired-up.


10 minutes in and Felix had the goal at his mercy but tapped the ball weakly at Nordfeldt instead of blasting it in, and 5 minutes later Erdogan had his goal bound shot saved by Nordfeldt.


However, it was no surprise when the Sivas goal arrived in the 77th minute.    A cross came in from the right and Felix rose unchallenged to power in a header.


The equaliser arrived 6 minutes later when a cross came in from the left and Kayode slid in at the near post ahead of several defenders to poke it in.


That was it, or so I thought, with the match into time added on and both teams seemingly settling for a draw.      However, with almost the last action of the match there was a break by Sivas with passes going from left to right and into the centre of the box.      The final pass into the box was side-footed in by Polomat in his effort to clear the danger for a corner.    A sad moment for the normally reliable Polomat   !!


Gencler are still stuck in 19th position in the league (3rd bottom), but only 6 points behind Ankaragucu in 14th position.      So, with 7 matches left until the end of the season, the relegation dog-fight will continue.


Next up is another ‘6 pointer’ with an away match against fellow strugglers Kayseri on Tuesday, followed by a home match against improving Rize on Friday.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, April 16, 2021

Besiktas 2-2 Ankaragucu match report!


I've been an Ankaragucu supporter for 11 years and the last 30 minutes of tonight's match is up there with the best performances I've seen from an Ankaragucu team in terms of the football they played and sheer determination to take something from the game.

Team - Korcan, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Sarlija, Pinto, Ibrahim, Alper, Emre, Geraldo, Paintsil, Badji

Subs - Furkan, Pazdan, Erdi, Orkan, Ali Kaan, Sahverdi, Alperen, Lukasik, Voca, Atilla

Ankaragucu faced an uphill task right from kick off as Borven, Saba and Endri were all ruled out with injuries and suspension. Hikmet Karaman decided to go for an attacking formation as he said he felt Ankaragucu could score more than 1 goal in the match after watching their game with Erzurumspor. He was correct!

The team got off to the worst possible start as Besiktas were awarded a penalty in the 1st minute of the match. Ankaragucu were too open and Badji made a clumsy challenge on Ozyakup who went down easily. The referee checked VAR and then pointed to the spot. Up stepped Nkoudou but Korcan guessed the right way and made a good save.

Besiktas dominated possession in the first half but Ankaragucu looked dangerous on the counter attack and the final ball let them down on too many occasions. It looked like we were heading into the break even until Besiktas took the lead 4 minutes into added on time. A soft free kick was awarded and Gezzall put in a lovely cross which Kulusic headed into his own net. The goal should have been ruled out as the replay showed Vida elbowed Sarlija in the face but there was no VAR check.

Half Time 1-0

Five minutes into the second half and it looked like game over with another Kulusic own goal, this time from another good cross from the impressive Rosier. Two great headers from Kulusic but unfortunately at the wrong end of the pitch.

From the minute the 2nd goal went in, Ankaragucu were a different team. There passing was much better, they closed every ball down and made it difficult for Besiktas to retain possession. 

Idriz Voca had an effort just inside of the box go flying over the bar when he should have done better. And then a minute later Ibrahim saw his shot blocked at the last second and deflected just over. 

A couple of minutes later Ankaragucu pulled 1 back. A lovely ball from Pinto sent Paintsil through and he beat Rosier before taking on Welinton who brought the Ghanaian down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Paintsil confidently to make it 2-1 and put Ankaragucu back in the game.

Then came the move of the match involving Pinto, Voca and Orkan who set up Emre Gural but he shout straight at Ersin. A beautiful move from Ankaragucu who were attacking at every opportunity.

The goal finally came when Ibrahim played a lovely ball through for Paintsil who was brought down in the area by Tore and the referee again pointed to the stop. Paintsil again stepped up confidently and sent Ersin the wrong way making it 2-2 and deserved share of the points for Ankaragucu in the last minute of the game.

A truly remarkable performance and result for Ankaragucu when you take everything into account. Hikmet Karaman is putting himself in the hat for Manager of the Year!!

Next up is Denizlispor next Wednesday in what will be another huge game against another team fighting for survival in the Turkish Super Lig!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Besiktas vs Ankaragucu match preview!


The two form teams in the Turkish Super Lig come head to head tomorrow night as Ankaragucu travel to league leaders Besiktas in what will be the toughest game under Hikmet Karaman to date.

Besiktas currently lead the table by four points ahead of rivals Fenerbahce and also have a game in hand. They have only lost 1 of their last 11 which was strangely against a poor Kasimpasa side. Ankaragucu will be hoping Besiktas have another off night tomorrow in Istanbul as they look to continue this impressive form under Karaman.

We are starting to run out of words to describe the incredible job Hikmet Karaman has done at Ankaragucu. The impossible task of taking a team bottom of the league and 7 points from safety when he took over and facing a difficult run of games. 

He has managed to galvinise the squad and brought discipline while making Ankaragucu hard to beat. The team again looked solid at the back against Genclerbirligi last weekend and every player gave 100 percent while wearing the jersey on the pitch. These are the two most important but simple changes Karaman has made to the team since coming in.

With 5 games remaining tomorrow nights match is the most difficult with most Ankaragucu fans happy if the team can even take a point. Its certainly within the teams capabilities of causing an upset but Ankaragucu will have to be at their very best, while hoping Besiktas have a rare off night. 

The defence will again be key to Ankaragucu taking anything from the game with Sarlija likely to partner Kulusic again with both Kitsou and Pinto taking up the wing back positions. Karaman may even look to go to a more defensive formation with Pazdan coming in to a back 3 but that would in turn upset the balance in midfield that has served him so well.

Ibarhim Akdag does all the dirty work to allow Endri and Alper Potuk play further forward, but the later 2 will likely spend most of the night defending with Besiktas expected to have the majority of possession. Borven and Saba are both doubts for the game through injury which means Paintsil will take up one of the forward positions with the likes of Badji, Emre Gural and Geraldo fighting it out for the other 2. The more likely option will be Emre Gural and Endri playing further forward and Karaman bringing an extra defensive midfielder into the middle of the park. 

Besiktas have a lot of quality in midfield and attack with the likes of Rachid Gezzal who has most assists in Super Lig this season, Vincent Aboubakar who is in running for player of the season but will face a late fitness test, Atiba Hutchinson who still at the age of 38 is one of the best players in the Super Lig and partners Ozyakup in midfield. Cenk Tosun picked up an injury last week and will miss the match but they still have Cyle Larin and plenty of attacking options. 

Its important Ankaragucu find the right balance and keep things tight in the early stages. The longer the game goes on and Ankaragucu frustrate Besiktas the better chance they have of maybe taking a point back home. Losing Saba is a blow as his speed on the counter attack is a huge asset in these games. 

Hopefully we will be celebrating a positive outcome tomorrow but its going to be a really difficult game. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


The Ankara Derby exploded into life half way through the 2nd half when Ankaragucu went 2-0 up within the space of 5 minutes.


Gencler had their chances in the 1st half, but they can have no quarrel with the end result which sees Ankaragucu move up to 13th position in the table and put a little distance between themselves and the relegation zone.


Gencler meanwhile, are still stuck there and they now have a mountain to climb if they are to move out of the bottom four.


ANKARAGUCU             2                        Genclerbirligi          1


Ankaragucu Team –


Korcan, Kulusic, Sarlija, Pinto, Kitsiou, Ibrahim, Alper, Endri, Paintsil, Borven and Badji


Substitutes – Geraldo, Emre, Voca and Erdi


Genclerbirligi Team –


Nordfeldt, Polomat, Diego, Arda, Johansson, Soner, Piris, Ayite, Yilmaz, Candeias and Lima


Substitutes – Stancu and Sio


Gencler had the 1st chance of the match in the 8th minute after both teams had sized each other up.    Ayite waltzed through the Ankaragucu defence playing one-twos, but his shot was well past the post.


9 minutes later, there was a disconnect between Korcan and his defence when a back-pass was short which gave a goal scoring opportunity, but Pinto was in the right place at the right time to block the effort.


Ankaragucu thought that they had opened the scoring in the 20th minute when from a free kick on the right the ball was played off a Gencler defender to Badji.   His back flick rebounded off his heel too fast and touched his hand before he scored, and after consulting VAR, the referee awarded a free kick to Gencler.    Unfortunate for Badji since it was obvious that the hand-ball was unintentional, but ............... rules are rules !!!


Gencler had 2 more goal attempts before the half time whistle but both were well saved by Korcan.


There was obviously a very serious talk in the Dressing Room at half time by Hikmet Bey when Ankaragucu came out with all guns blazing   !!!


9 minutes in and there was a terrible miss by Emre, who had come on for the injured Borven.   Great play down the right and a pin-point cut-back from Alper to Emre who shot weakly against a defender with the goal at his mercy.    He did something similar 5 minutes later, but ........ we can forgive him after his heroics in the 65th minute.


Endri was brought down just outside the box just to the right of centre.    Emre stepped up to take the free kick ........ the camera panned-in on his face, a picture of concentration...... and then he let fly a fierce shot into the top left corner with Nordfeldt clutching air.     A goal worthy of ...... Goal of the Season  !!


4 minutes later and an Ankaragucu break which resulted in Endri going 1 on 1 with Nordfeldt.    His shot was parried and Arda, who was tracking back, knocked in the rebound   !!


15 minutes to go and Gencler broke away on the right.     Lima received the ball and passed to Stancu on the left who struck an angled shot into the right corner with the Ankaragucu defence caught out.


Gencler sensed blood and came pouring forward in search of the equaliser which almost came in the 82nd minute but Korcan pulled off a great save from a Yilmaz goal bound shot.


There was just time for Emre to hit the bar with a great shot from just inside the box before the final whistle.


There will be no respite in the following weeks of the league run-down with some very difficult matches coming up for both teams.


Next Friday Gencler host Sivas in the early match, followed by Ankaragucu’s visit to league leaders Beshiktrash.


As I write this, the Erzurum v Beshiktrash match is tied at 2 each with 30 minutes to go.    Anyway, after the recent form of Ankaragucu they have nothing to fear from a visit to Istan.....spit....bul and we will hopefully again have an attacking line-up and attack from start to finish.


Bring it on.      Well played tonight Ankaragucu   !!!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

PS .............. just about to print and Beshiktrash has scored a 3rd ...... Aaaaaaargh   !!!