Saturday, March 25, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


An impressive fight-back in the 2nd half today for Gencler, who played the entire 2nd half with only 10 men, to deservedly share the spoils.


On this performance, it is difficult to believe that Keciorengucu is challenging for promotion to The Super League.    They may have had the lion’s share of possession today, but in the entire match they only managed one shot on target and the gift of an own-goal from Gencler.    Nurullah probably had his quietest match of the season  !!


Gencler showed their old fighting spirit and probably felt aggrieved when they went behind in the 2nd half, but the equaliser near the end was worthy of gaining a valuable point.    It is not often that we can witness a goal scored direct from a corner kick without anyone touching the ball  !!


Keciorengucu              2                        GENCLERBIRLIGI                 2


Team – Nurullah, Yasin, Thomas, Alperen, Ugur, Abdullah, Khadfi, Mete Kaan, Bugra, Ivan and Jaime


Substitutes – Erkan, Ilker, Gabriel, Hayrullah and Ozkan


The match woke up from its ‘dreamy’ start in the 24th minute when a Gencler breakaway started around the centre circle.    However, a Kecioren defender reached the ball first, but his back pass intended for the goalkeeper was mis-hit and pounced upon by Mete Kaan who drove forward to score easily with the goalkeeper totally exposed.


Then in the 35 minute Ugur saw RED for an unnecessary tackle from behind on a Kecioren player’s ankle.     The referee brandished a yellow card, but before the free kick could be taken, he was directed to the VAR screen.     He returned and changed the card to Red which on reflection was the correct decision for a wild and dangerous tackle, especially from behind.


One minute into time added on in the 1st half and Kecioren was back in the match.   A great pass by Dembele in the centre to the left, and when the cross came into the box, it was deflected by Ivan at the near post to the top of the far post.      Kecioren’s first serious attempt on goal in the 1st half   !!


The 2nd half was only 10 minutes old when Kecioren took the lead and an excellent goal it was too.    Anderson flew down the right wing and crossed into the box to the far post where the ball was nodded down to the unmarked Dembele who sent a screamer inside the right post.


That looked like game-over, but Gencler wasn’t quite finished.    10 minutes to go and they had a corner on the left.     Bugra sent in a curved cross which eluded everyone, and the ball sailed into the top right with the goalkeeper stranded on his line in the centre and a defender unable to reach the ball.


Gencler is still stuck in the relegation zone, but there are 6 teams within 11 points of each other in the bottom half with still all to play for.


Next up for Gencler is an away match against mid-table Manisa on Sunday 2nd April.      Manisa is still within touching distance of the play-off positions, so Gencler will need to be at the top of their game for this one.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, March 20, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


(Headline courtesy of Battle Damaged Kanka Damon).


We were all expectant of a repeat of last week’s performance, but unfortunately it didn’t materialise when Ankaragucu was brought back down to earth when they were comprehensively beaten by a hungrier and superior team, which doesn’t augur well for Ankaragucu’s future fixtures.


Remembering the ease in which Fiorintina brushed Sivas aside in midweek, I think we could  be forgiven for expecting Ankaragucu to brush Sivas aside and equal that result (or at least take the 3 points), but we never seem to learn the lesson that we take nothing for granted as far as Ankaragucu is concerned.


Sivasspor               2                     ANKARAGUCU           0


Team – Gokhan, Kitsiou, Radadovic, Atakan, Hasan Ali, Taylan, Diack, Zahid, Milson, Emre and Ali Sowe


Substitutes – Tasos Dokanovic, Tore, Bevic and Bahadir


It only took Sivas 7 minutes to make their intentions clear when they forced Gokhan and a defender to make a double save from 2 goal bound shots.


One minute later and Ali was celebrating scoring the opener but it was offside ................ but only just   !


22 minutes in and the opening goal came at the other end.      A fast break on the right and the cross came into the centre for the unmarked Cofie to bullet in a header inside the right post.


2 minutes later and it was almost the 2nd goal when Gokhan made a poor clearance straight to a Sivas player whose cross into the centre to an unmarked attacker was deflected for a corner by Radakovic.


Ali almost found the equaliser when he was put through on the left    He rounded he goalkeeper and shot, but the angle was tight and he looked off balance as he shot.


Then on the half hour mark Sivas scored what would have been a contender for Goal of the Match when Saiz picked up the ball about 30 yards out in the centre, and with 3 Ankaragucu defenders not close enough to put in a tackle, he let fly and the ball whizzed inside the right post.     However, the celebrations were cut short when the referee was directed to the VAR and there was an offside in the build up   !


4 minutes later and Ankaragucu thought that they had found the equaliser, but again it was ruled out for offside........... but again, only just   !


The 2nd half was only 10 minutes old when Gokhan had to be replaced by Bahadir.    It was unclear what the problem was, but Gokhan was holding his head and stomach.     Hopefully it isn’t serious   ?!


Half way through the 2nd half and Ankaragucu was guilty of returning to the bad old days of passing back and sideways, running out of ideas and looking like they were settling for damage limitation   !!!


Sivas was awarded a free kick just outside the box in the centre which resulted in another double save by Bahadir and Diack from 2 goal bound shots.


Then with 15 minutes to go Sivas put the sword in and made the end result a formality.    Atakan was the culprit when his poor clearance went straight to a Sivas player, and when the ball was played into the box the shot was deflected by Atakan with his arm.   Penalty, and no question about it   !      Saiz sent his shot down the centre with Bahadir diving to his left.


Sivas was in total control from this point to the end with Ankaragucu looking like a well beaten team.


Despite the fact that Ankaragucu had 63% possession in the match, they could only muster one shot on target which speaks volumes about their failure to penetrate the Sivas defence.   I have to say that the Sivas players gave Ankaragucu no time on the ball and were chasing everything (even lost causes  !!).


I don’t like to criticise the New Coach, Sedat Bey, who is still no doubt feeling his way in, but I really must question his tactics last night.     If the team can’t match Sivas for skill and speed, then they must show more passion in the way that they did for Omer Erdogan when he was Coach    !!


There is a mountain looming in the next match away to Fenerbahce who are challenging Galatasaray at the top of the league.     The date has yet to be notified, and when it is, I will put it here in the comments section.


In the meantime, all eyes are on the other teams in the bottom half of the league in the hope that they lose points.    Ankaragucu can’t allow themselves to be cut adrift with 8 teams at the bottom only 6 points apart (excluding Hatay and Gaziantep who will not be relegated).


As always, keep watching this space.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, March 19, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler can have no complaints about losing out to league leaders Samsunspor last night after countless missed chances, and up against a resolute Samsun defence.


It was generally an even match, but one piece of skill won all 3 points   !


Gencler hasn’t found the back of the net since beating Goztepe way back at the beginning of February and the clock is ticking.    They are 3rd bottom of the league (2nd bottom if we discount Malatya in bottom position), and to be honest, there doesn’t seem to be much room for manoeuvre as the season approaches the run-in stage, with equally difficult matches on the horizon.


Samsun’s large visiting support which filled the away end were vociferous throughout, and the vertical pouring rain didn’t dampen their spirits.


GENCLERBIRLIGI              0                     Samsunspor           1


Team – Nurullah, Ugur, Alperen, Thomas, Yasin, Abdullah, Ivan, Erkan, Mete Kaan, Khadfi and Soulemanye


Substitutes – Gabriel, Bugra, Enes, Hayrullah and Jaime


After just 10 minutes of play, the match exploded into life when Gencler had an excellent opportunity to put pressure on the league leaders when Samsun defender Soner used his arm to stop a shot in the box.     Penalty, and no question about it   !       Soulemanye stepped up and sent his fierce shot to the outside of the left post and the ball was cleared.


Undeterred, Gencler continued to attack to find the crucial opening goal and it almost arrived 10 minutes later when Abdullah’s shot from just outside the box was just too high and wide of the left post.


10 minutes later and the Samsun goalkeeper made a spectacular save from a goal bound shot.


At this point, Gencler was looking the hungrier team and Samsun’s lofty league position flattering to deceive   !


Then, as it sometimes happens, a goal came against the run of play.     And........ what a goal it was.      Worthy of winning any match   !!     Samsun was awarded a free kick about 40 yards out in the centre.    After collaboration with his team mates, Tanque stepped up and sent a screamer of a shot into the top right with Nurullah getting his fingertips to the ball but unable to stop it.


Into the 2nd half and both teams kept searching for a goal, but I have to say that Gencler just didn’t have the cutting edge to trouble the Samsun defence.


Only 3 minutes left in the match and Samsun was hanging on and running the clock down when Gencler thought that they had found the equaliser.    The ball was passed to Soulemanye in the centre and he squirmed his way past 3 defenders and passed to the unmarked Ugur on the right who shot through the goalkeeper’s legs for what looked like a good goal.


However,the VAR Referee called the referee’s attention to the screen to show him a foul in the build-up to the pass to Soulemanye when the Samsun captain was pushed as he was about to clear the ball to safety.     Lots of protests from the Gencler bench, but the end decision was correct.


Eyes forward to their next match, and Gencler has the ‘mini Ankara Derby’ next Saturday 25th March away against this season’s surprise package................ Keciorengucu who sit in 4th top position in the league and are still searching for the automatic promotion place.    


So, yet another mountain for Gencler to climb in their bid to escape from the relegation zone.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Sivasspor vs Ankaragucu match review!


Sedat Agcay takes the team to Sivasspor this weekend looking to build on a good 2-0 win over Alanyaspor at the weekend. Sedat has now lost 1 and won 1 of his first 2 games and must keep up the momentum as it gets really tight at the bottom of the table and that fight against relegation.

Sivasspor were soundly beaten 3-0 with Istanbulspor at the weekend and start player Max Gradel was also sent off which means he will miss the game at the weekend. They are on a 3 match losing run and also play against Fiorentina in the Europa Lig game tonight which should take quite a bit out of the legs as they try and overturn the 1-0 first leg defeat in Florence. 

Nihad Mujakic should return to the team for Ankaragucu after he missed the weekends match due to suspension. Kevin Malcuit and Enoch Kwarteng will both miss out again due to injury but everyone else should be available. 

The midfield has lost some experience in Tolga but last weekends 3 of Diack, Taylan and Zahid played well, especially Zahid who keeps improving each week with his responsibilities as captain. He chipped in with an assist for Ali Sowe and will again be a key player both in terms of creating chances but also using his experience next to Lamine Diack who has impressed since coming into the team. 

Milson came into the team and certainly gave a good account of himself in his first game grabbing a goal and adds pace to the attack. Hopefully he improves each week and shows consistency.

Ali Sowe continues to lead the line and is now up to 8 goals in the Super Lig which should see him reach double figures this season if he stays injury free. Stanislaw Sestak holds the record in the last 20 years with 14 goals. Can he beat that record?

Sivasspor won the last time the 2 sides met in Ankara 2-0 but Ankaragucu have saw improvement since then and will be hoping that they can take all 3 points this time. Sadat Agcay said the team wont return empty handed. 

Sedat has a very tough job as he replaces the popular Omer Erdogan whose style of football really was a joy to watch, but if he keeps winning matches he will soon win over more of the support. 

The politics of Ankaragucu will always be there unfortunately but the biggest focus at the moment is staying in the Super Lig. With Istanbulspor winning at the weekend only 7 points separate Umraniyespor who are bottom and Alanyaspor in 12th. Sivasspor are also 1 point below Ankaragucu so Sundays match has much more meaning to it. 

Come on the Gucu!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Happy 100th Birthday today to Genclerbirligi Football Club from The Round Ball in Ankara Kanka Group   !!


Probably, celebrations will be delayed for the time being and commence at the end of the season if Gencler can avoid relegation   ??!!


A first step would be to take something from Saturday’s match against League Leaders Samsunspor   !!!


As we have said here many times, we need at least two Ankara teams in The Super League, especially Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi   !!!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, March 13, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Yesterday didn’t start on a positive footing when Damon and I were ALMOST thrown out of the Stadium.    


It was all so innocent at The Police Checkpoint after entering the Stadium, because after all, we are not exactly hooligans ............ well, even if I do look like one   !!!       Anyway, the Police Officer checking me, decided that my phone charger was a ‘dangerous weapon’ despite my pleas that it was a necessary piece of equipment to operate my telephone   !!


He was not impressed and ordered me to put it in the rubbish box.     Damon leapt to my defence and informed him that the charger is an expensive item and would be an unlikely weapon, and when that logic failed, he informed the Police Officer that it was tantamount to theft to take my charger   !!


As you can imagine, this did not sit well with the Police Officer who then indicated to me that he would put us out of the Stadium if I didn’t comply.     At this point, and by a lucky chance, a Temporary Police Officer who had overheard the conversation, intervened and offered a solution.


He suggested leaving the charger with the Cafe staff and fortunately an old friend of ours (A Prosecuting Judge from the Ankara Courthouse) was there with his nephew and that impressed the shit out of the Police Officer   !!       He folded   !!!!


So, once again TORPIL works in Turkey (ie, it’s not what you know, but ......who   !!).   This story will no doubt resonate with Cider Kanka Johnny A who also had an occasion to experience torpil in the past thanks to his Ankaragucu TShirt  !!


There were two happy endings to this story ................ 1.    I retrieved my valuable charger at half time.      2.     Ankaragucu won all 3 points   !!


So, back to footie after that exciting torpil story   !!


Ankaragucu fully deserved to take all 3 points after an excellent team performance reminiscent of the days when Omer Erdogan was our Coach.     I think  the crucial factor was the inclusion of Milson up front to support Ali, and they seem to have developed a successful partnership.     


Zahid, who wore the captain’s armband, was prominent in midfield and Emre also had a good match supporting the 2 strikers.    I don’t want to single out any players in particular, suffice to say that it was a first class team performance.


ANKARAGUCU              2                           Alanyaspor               0


Team –Gokhan, Kitsiou, Radakovic , Atakan, Hasan Ali, Taylan, Diack, Zadid, Milson, Emre and Ali Sow


Substitutes – Berzde, Andrej, Firatcan and Pedrinho


The first goal arrive just after the ‘Bursaspor Song’ in the 16th minute which, by the way, was not sung by Damon.      Mmmmmmm......... I wonder why   ?        Perhaps he will tell us in the comments section   !!!


After a defensive mistake by Alanya, the ball was picked-up by Taylan who fed it to Milson on the left who then cut the ball back into the centre for Ali to stroke in.


Alanya almost equalised 6 minutes later when an attacker wasn’t picked-up, but his header flashed inches past the post.


Approaching half time and Milson should have scored the 2nd when he received the ball in the box from a free kick, but he blasted it over when he really should have done better.


On the resumption of play, Ankaragucu laid siege to the Alanya goal and were unlucky on 4 occasions  not to find the 2nd goal.


Zahid, Milson, and Ali all had shots on goal which were either saved, deflected or past the post.


However, that crucial goal eventually came with 15 minutes to go and what a cracker it was too.     The ball was passed to Milson just outside the box on the right and he sent a screamer of a shot inside the left post to tie the match up. 


So, 3 valuable points after some disappointing results over the past few weeks.     It is becoming quite congested at the bottom of the league, and discounting Hatay and Antep, there are 8 teams within 7 points of each other.      Ankaragucu occupy 6th bottom place.


So, it is going to be a bloody scrap towards the end of the season which is all the more reason to build points now before the run-in starts   !


A good opportunity for 3 more points from Ankaragucu who will be away in Sivas next Sunday 19th March, so as always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, March 09, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


If Gencler is seriously considering escaping from the relegation zone, then they will need a huge improvement for the upcoming fixtures, especially the next one against Samsun who is in a race to be crowned Champıons with some previously lower league teams such as .......... Eyup, Pendik Keciorengucu and Bodrum   !!!


The wind of change continues to blow through Turkish football with once successful teams like .........Bursa, Karsiyaka and Eskisehir (to name but 3) languishing in the lower leagues.


It was a tense and nervy match last night with both relegation candidates unwilling to concede the first important goal.


GENCLERBIRLIGI           0                      Denizlispor               0


Team – Nurullah, Ugur, Alperen, Thomas, Yasin, Tiago, Ivan, Erkan, Mete Kaan, Khadfi and Jaime


Substitutes – Enes, Souleymane, Gabriel and Sekou


Unfortunately, there was nothing of note to report in the 1st half with both goalkeepers untroubled with any serious goal scoring attempts.     I said to myself at this point ............ the 1st goal should seal this match   !!


The only real chance of the match fell to Gencler shortly after the resumption when a shot by Erkan just outside the box, heading for the top left, was well saved by the goalkeeper.


Half way through the 2nd half Gencler had another half chance, but after a defensive blunder by Denizli, Jaime’s poor cross into the box was intercepted and cleared.


Then, Denizli had a reasonable call for a penalty after 2 consecutive ‘apparent’ fouls in the Gencler box, but the appeals were waved away by the referee.     If he had checked VAR, it may have been a different story   !!


There is no change at the bottom of the league with 5 teams still in the relegation mix.    Bottom Club Malatya will not be relegated due to their removal from fixtures after the earthquakes.    More pressure for the 5 Club to deal with   !!!


So, as I said earlier, Gencler’s next match is at home to Samsun on Saturday 18 March which will be a tricky one for them to negotiate, unless a vast improvement occurs   !


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, March 06, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Ankaragucu left Istanbul empty-handed last night after being out-fought and outplayed by a slick Besiktas team who seemed to win most of the 50/50 balls and kept the Ankaragucu defence busy for most of the match.


The damage could have been much worse had it not been for the heroics of Man of the Match, Gokhan, who came to Ankaragucu’s rescue countless times with match winning saves.    Unfortunately, Ankaragucu didn’t have the wherewithal in attack to take advantage   !


The only plus I can take from Ankaragucu’s perspective is that their 2nd half performance improved after they were almost blown away in the 1st half.   Ankaragucu failed to put one shot on target in the 1st half   !


Besiktas              2                     ANKARAGUCU               1


Team – Gokhan, Hasan Ali, Mujakic, Radakovic, Kevin, Pedrinho, Diack, Beridze, Zahid, Emre and Ali Sowe


Substitutes – Tasos, Taylan, Milson and Oko


Besiktas started the match like a hurricane and almost blew Ankaragucu away as they laid siege to Ankaragucu’s goal.    Attack after attack rained in on Gokhan and how he responded   !!!


Gokhan was in action as early as the 7th minute when he saved well in the centre from a fierce goal bound shot from just outside the box.     One minute later and from a cross on the left to inside the 6 yard box he made a point blank save from a goal bound shot by Cenk.


Ankaragucu made a flowing move up the left on the half hour mark, but the cut-back from the goal line was deflected out for a corner before the ball entered the danger area.


The goal which Besiktas had threatened to score finally arrived on the 37th minute when a free kick was awarded outside the box on the left.      The ball was sent into a crowded 6 yard box where a Besiktas attacker tried a shot.     The ball was beaten out off the goal line by Gokhan and a defender, but  straight to Ucan who had the easiest of tasks to tap in.


Besiktas had their tails up, and going into time added on, Gokhan made three great saves from goal bound shots.


The half time whistle most surely came as a relief to the Ankaragucu players   !!!


7 minutes into the 2nd half and Besiktas gifted a goal to Ankaragucu.   A defender made a poor back pass to the goalkeeper on the right which he was unable to reach, and Ali ghosting in on the left stroked the ball in for the equaliser.


The euphoria was short lived and our hope for salvaging a point dashed only 2 minutes later with the goal of the match.     From the centre circle, Besiktas stroked the ball from right to left when it was picked up by Aboubakar.     He drove into the box around 3 defenders, who failed to make a tackle, and from near the centre fired inside the left post.


Besiktas almost added a 3rd near the end when Mujakic made a great saving tackle as the Besiktas attacker was about to pull the trigger   !!


Inconsistent Ankaragucu is well and truly in the relegation mix and is in dire need of picking up points ............. and soon   !!


They have the opportunity of doing that next Sunday when they host mid-table Alanya which, of course, falls into the category of ............ a must win match   !


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, March 04, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Football resumed in Turkey this weekend after a break due to the horrendous earthquakes which have devastated lots of cities, town and villages in the South East of Turkey in recent weeks.    Hatayspor and Gaziantepspor will not participate further this season, but they will both retain their Super League status for next season.    Adanaspor and Yeni Malatyaspor will also be affected in a similar way in the Championship League.


As for today’s match, I have to say that it was one of the most boring matches I have watched........well, until the 2nd half goal woke me up   !!!


Tuzla                1                     GENCLERBIRLIGI             0


Team – Nurullah, Erkan, Thomas, Alperen, Ugur, Yasin, Khadfi, Mete Kaan, Tiago, Gabriel and Jaime


Substitutes – Ivan, Enes, Suleymanay, Altiparmak and Muhammed


Ankaragucu old boy, Yasin, started for Gencler and I doubt he will be missed by Ankaragucu........... unless I include his long throw-ins   !!!


Lots of attacking intent in the 1st half but nothing to trouble both goalkeepers.    Tuzla had 3 shots on target and Gencler had ............ zero   !


Gencler only had one shot on target in the match and it almost produced a goal in the 60th minute when a goal bound shot from the centre of the box was heading into the top left, but the Tuzla goalkeeper pulled off a great save to tip the ball over the bar for a corner.


15 minutes later and Tuzla swept down the right in a fluid move and when the goal bound shot was made, Nurullah made a great save for a corner.


From the resulting corner on the right, the ball was sent in to the near post which was met by the tallest player on the field, Awuku, who wasn’t marked properly, and he powered in a great header inside the right post.     Gencler will not want to see a replay of this goal   !       With Nurullah on his line in the centre there wasn’t a defender guarding the right post   !!!


There was no further action of note and Gencler can’t complain about returning to Ankara without any points.    On the balance of play, Tuzla fully deserved to take the spoils   !


Gencler remain stuck in the relegation zone, but only 3 points separate the bottom 6 Clubs, so it looks like being a messy scrap towards the end of the season.


Another hurdle for Gencler to negotiate arises on Wednesday 8 March when they host fellow relegation strugglers Denizli.     All matches at this crucial stage of the season fall into the ‘must win’ category with every point vital to survival   !!


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim