Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Ankaragucu spurned the opportunity of moving 6 points clear at the top of the league last night, but still remain in top position, but only 3 points ahead of Umraniye with the chasing pack of Bandirma, Eyup, Istanbulspor and Erzurum closing in with an eye on promotion to the Super League.
Ankaragucu was defeated last night by their defensive frailties in the 1st half when they failed to deal with the pace of the Eyup attackers. That is no criticism of Ankaragucu’s endeavours, but the bottom line is that for all their attacking play they were not clinical enough against an impressive Eyup team.
However, with their never say die attitude, there is still cause for optimism, but Ankaragucu needs to translate that into 3 points next Saturday !!
ANKARAGUCU 2 Eyupspor 3
Team –Akin, Erdem, Yusuf, Sinan, Yasin, Ishak, Abdullah, Aatif, Zahid, Ariyibi and Owusu
Substitutes- Eren, Murat, Geraldo and Hasan
Eyup was first out the traps and had Ankaragucu on the back foot in the early stages of the match. They almost opened the scoring after only 2 minutes when Sinan was caught dithering in the box and was disposed by 2 attackers. The shot was parried by Akin and a defender was in the right place to sweep up and send the ball out for a corner.
It only took another 12 minutes for Eyup to open the scoring with a sweeping move started in their own half from a throw in. The long ball was played forward to Rodrigues who outpaced 2 defenders and sent in a fierce shot for a classic goal.
7 minutes later and it was two when danger man Rodrigues outpaced defenders on the left wing and sent in an inch perfect cross for Ogulcan to bullet a header in with the defence again a split second behind to pick him up.
Some teams would have crumbled at this point, but to Ankaragucu’s credit they continued to press forward and their heads didn’t go down.
6 minutes later and Ankaragucu was back in the match with a controversial goal. A free kick on the left was swung over and headed in by Sinan, but the ball went through a hole in the net. The referee initially gave a goal kick, but after protests by the Ankaragucu players and after the 4th official had spoken to the referee the goal was given. The ground staff and one of the linesmen will have a ‘smack on the wrist’ today !!!
The equaliser came 5 minutes before half time and was a goal worthy of winning any match and well crafted by Aatif and Owusu. Aatif played an accurate cut-back on the right to Owusu who avoided 2 tackles and sent his shot inside the left post with perhaps a slight deflection on the way in.
An impressive fight back by Ankaragucu to go in all square at half time !!
We were full of expectation of Ankaragucu winning this match at this stage, but only 2 minutes into the 2nd half and Eyup scored the winner. A free kick on the left was sent into the box and Ogulcan was there first to flick the ball inside the right post. There was a suspicion of offside, but .......... without VAR the goal stood.
To their credit, Ankaragucu pressed forward to find the equaliser again and they almost did when Owusu scuffed a shot when in a good position and the ball was retrieved by the goalkeeper. Aatif hit the bar with a shot near the end, but Eyup held on and saw the match out.
Disappointing ........... yes, but as I said earlier, Ankaragucu is still on top of the league with another crucial match coming up next Saturday. Ankaragucu travel to take on 2nd top Umraniye in a match which could very well have a major bearing on which team ends up as Champions and which team has to settle for runners-up.
This match will be the acid test of Ankaragucu’s season, so as always, watch this space for the outcome and the details.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim