Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
A trip to Trabzon was a bridge too far for Gencler yesterday as they were comprehensively outplayed and so return to The Championship League next season.
Having said that, there can be no doubting Gencler’s fighting spirit, but their undoing occurred in January, February and into March when they went 11 matches without winning and dropped into the relegation zone.
Trabzon dominated the match yesterday and Gencler can thank Nordfeldt for an outstanding display between the sticks to keep the score line respectable.
Trabzonspor 2 GENCLERBIRLIGI 1
Team – Nordfeldt, Polomat, Arda, Mert, Johansson, Toure, Soner, Yilmaz, Ayite, Berisbek and Stancu
Substitutes – Lima, Mugni and Ilker
It was all Trabzon in the 1st half and Trabzon almost took the lead after 15 minutes when Nwakaeme hit the post from a shot just outside the box. 2 minutes later and the woodwork saved Gencler again when a shot came in and hit the crossbar.
The Trabzon barrage continued and Nordfeldt saved a goal bound shot by Nwakaeme and then a point blank shot inside the 6 yard box.
However, the break through arrived just before the half time whistle when a mistimed tackle by Arda allowed Ekuban through and he sent his shot inside the left post with Nordfeldt unable to reach it.
Gencler had one shot on target in the 1st half when Ayite’s shot was saved by Ugurcan.
Into the 2nd half and Trabzon was stunned after only 5 minutes when Ayite avoided 2 tackles and sent his fierce shot from just inside the box on the right into the net with Ugurcan well beaten.
Trabzon continued to dictate play and Nordfeldt made 2 crucial saves to frustrate them. Then Trabzon thought they had restored their lead in the 70th minute but it was correctly ruled offside.
Trabzon continued to press forward and 5 minutes later Nordfeldt to the rescue again to save another goal bound shot.
Into the last 10 minutes and was looking increasingly like a 1-1 stalemate, and then Trabzon scored in the 83rd minute, but again it was correctly ruled out after the referee had consulted VAR and confirmed that Nwakaeme had fouled Arda before the final shot.
However, the winning goal arrived 3 minutes later when Afobe was played through with only Nordfeldt to beat and he made no mistake. Claims were made for offside, but the replay clearly showed that Polomat had played Afobe onside.
Gencler did have a chance to score in the 75th minute when a shot from Stancu just outside the box hit the top of the crossbar and went out of play.
So, Gencler can have no complaints with the outcome, but as I have said many times here this season, there can be no criticism of their fighting spirit. They have a strong defence but they will perhaps be looking at strengthening their midfield for next season.
As we know from experience, there are no easy matches in The Championship League and it is very difficult to bounce straight back up.
On the upside, at least there will be the Ankara Derby to look forward to next season with Ankaragucu also relegated !!
As always, watch this space when hostilities resume !!
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim