Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Last night in Izmir I witnessed two teams desperate for all 3 points to pull out of the relegation zone. So, it was an attacking match and end-to-end for the most part.
There were only four players from the 1st half of the season who started for Gencler, with new players brought in during The Window to try and save Gencler’s season.
It is too early to comment on Gencler’s survival chances with the new players added to the squad, but at least they didn’t ‘hang their heads’ when they fell behind.
Gencler has been cut adrift at the bottom of the league and must find points ........and soon ! Currently they are 12 points below the safety net.
One thing for sure is that it won’t get any easier in the next 2 weeks with Gencler playing teams in the top half of the league.
Altinordu 2 GENCLERBIRLIGI 1
Team - Nurullah, Mohammed, Abdullah, Alperen, Thomas, Baris, Tiago, Mete, Erkan, Gabriel and Jaime
Substitutes – Enes, Ozgur, Gokhan and Altiparmak
Altinordu almost opened the scoring for Gencler in the 4th minute when a shot was deflected off a defender, but the goalkeeper was quick to react and touched the ball behind for a corner.
One minute later and it was Nurullah brought into the action when he saved a goal bound shot for a corner.
4 minutes later and Altinordu was awarded a penalty when a player was brought down in the box. However, the referee was directed to VAR and he awarded a free kick to Gencler for a handball in the build-up to the penalty decision.
15 minutes in and the Altinordu goalkeeper made another great save from a Gencler goal bound header.
The break through came 5 minutes later when Gencler was awarded a free kick just outside the box left of centre. The goalkeeper had set-up his wall to protect his left post, but he was slow to react when Gabriel sent his shot inside the right post.
It was almost 2 just before the half time whistle when Mohammed clipped in a shot on the half volley from a cross on the left. However, the referee was again directed to the VAR and a free kick awarded to Altinordu for a Gencler offside in the build-up.
The match continued to be an end-to-end affair with Altinordu having the killer instinct and Gencler scorning scoring opportunities.
The 2nd half was only 5 minutes old when Altinordu found the equaliser with a scrappy goal. A corner on the left was not dealt with by the defence when the ball came into the 6 yard box and Ozgun was on hand to bundle the ball in with his body.
Altinordu went ahead 15 minutes later with the goal of the match. Emircan sent in an angled shot just outside the box on the left to just inside the right post.
Gencler kept searching for the equaliser but their finishing was wayward with shots flying over and past the posts.
With 15 minutes to go they almost found it when a shot from outside the box was deflected goal bound, but the goalkeeper made a great save to tip the ball over the bar for a corner.
Altinordu was hanging on in the last 5 minutes and hoofing the ball out of their box anywhere for safety.
On the balance of play, I think it is fair to say that Gencler deserved one point for their endeavours, but ............... as we all know ............ the round ball must be placed between the sticks !!!
Next up is a home match against Bolu on Saturday 21st January. Bolu sit in 5th top position in the league and are only 2 points behind 2nd top spot. So, as I said before, another difficult match for Gencler to negotiate (aren’t they all ??!!).
As always, watch this space for the outcome.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim