Wednesday, May 31, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


There can be no doubt that Galatasaray deserved to win the match last night, but in all fairness to the Ankaragucu players, they never gave up trying against the new League Champions.


The fact remains that the best team won and I’m sure that most of us who saw the match will accept that, albeit reluctantly   !


However, more important matters are at hand, ie, Ankaragucu’s attempt to confirm escaping relegation and that is still a real possibility, although not a certainty   !


Lots of variables are in play with two matches left to play this season, eg ......


Ankaragucu – 39 points

Antalya – 38 points

Istanbulspor – 35 points

Giresun - 34 points

Umraniye – 30 points


However, the bottom line is that Ankaragucu require one more point from their last 2 matches to breathe a sigh of relief.      One further important point is that Ankaragucu has a superior goal difference compared to Giresun and Istanbulspor   !!


Anyway, back to last night ...............


ANKARAGUCU             1                         Galatasaray             4


Team – Gokhan, Andrej, Mujakic, Arda, Kevin, Diack, Taylan, Hasan Ali, Zahid, Milson and Ali Sowe


Substitutes – Emre, Kitsiou, Matej, Beridze and Atakan


Those of you who know me are well aware that it doesn’t come easy for me to praise Istanbul teams, but Galatasaray started on the front foot last night and attacked Ankaragucu relentlessly from the off.      Also they attacked Ankaragucu players in possession like wolves, their passing was crisp and accurate and they generally looked the fittest and most dangerous team going forward.


It was all Galatasaray in the opening minutes and they went ahead after only 6 minutes when the dangerous Icardi ghosted in ahead of a defender to head in.


Ankaragucu’s response was to continue to attempt attacks on the Galatasaray goal and Zahil almost equalised in the 14th minute, but his goal bound shot was well saved.


However, the equaliser did arrive one minute later after a passing move on the right.     Taylan threaded a perfect pass on the right to the overlapping Milson who shot inside the near post.


A timely equaliser, but Galatasaray continued to attack and looked the likelier team to add to their score, and Gokhan saved 2 goal bound shots as half time approached.     Then Galatasaray made the crucial breakthrough, and again it was Icardi who did the damage.    A cross from the left to the near post and it was Icardi who reacted first to head inside the near post.


Ankaragucu almost grabbed another equaliser on the half time whistle when Zahid’s shot hit the bar and was cleared.


Into the 2nd half and Galatasaray ramped up the pressure as they searched for the 3rd goal to kill the match off and it almost arrived 10 minutes in after an abomination in the Ankaragucu defence.      A poor back pass to Gokhan by a defender was latched onto by a Galatasaray attacker, but the angle of his goal attempt was too acute and the ball drifted harmlessly across the area with no takers.


2 minutes later and it Gokhan to the rescue again with a save from another goal bound shot.


However, the 3rd goal eventually came in the 72nd minute after a very fast breakaway out of the Galatasaray defence.     Yilmaz sprinted ahead of the back-peddling Ankaragucu defenders, rounded Gokhan and shot into the empty net.


5 minutes later and Galatasaray put the match to bed when a corner on the right was sent to the far post and the unmarked Oliveira headed in for the 4th goal.


The Ankaragucu players heads didn’t go down as they searched for a 2nd goal to put some respectability on the score line, but it was not to be and Ankaragucu must re-group and prepare for their crucial last 2 matches.


First up is a trip to mid-table Kayseri on Saturday, and as I said earlier, they must take at least one point from this match to take the pressure off their final match at home to Adana Demirspor.


The motivation of securing another season in the Super League should be enough for the players to respond and also give us long suffering supporters a happy stress free summer break   !!


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, May 26, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Nobody can accuse the Ankaragucu players of a lack of effort when they lost their Cup Semi final last night on a 2-3 aggregate scoreline.


Ankaragucu made the perfect start by scoring the early opening goal to try and unsettle the opposition, but they were up against a slick and skilful Basaksehir team who looked in determined mood throughout the match.


Yes, it was a missed opportunity to compete in their first final for about 30 years, however, on the other hand, it will allow the team to fully focus on their remaining 3 league fixtures and to put fears of relegation to bed   !!


ANKARAGUCU           2                      Basaksehir                  2


Team – Gokhan, Kevin, Arda, Mujakic, Hasan Ali, Diack, Andrej, Kitsiou, Beridze, Milson and Ali Sowe


Substitutes – Emre, Zadid, Gokhan Tore and Tasos


The first goal was set-up by Kitsiou with a defence splitting pass in the centre just inside the box and was perfectly weighted for the incoming Ali on the right to sweep the ball inside the left post.


Basak’s response was to send in wave after wave of attacks, but the Ankaragucu defence held firm and Gokhan saved the goal bound shots that came his way.


Basak did score in time added on in the 1st half, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.


Into the 2nd half and Basak continued where they left off as they searched for the equaliser, which arrived after 15 minutes.


It was a classic goal with a patient build-up with the ball being sprayed from left to right, and after a 10-plus passing movement, the ball was crossed from the right touch line to the far post where Serdar had ghosted-in to head in for perhaps goal of the match.


Basak was back in front on aggregate and Ankaragucu stepped up the pace to attempt to even the aggregate score up.


Diack almost found the back of the net near the final whistle after a cock-up between the Basak goalkeeper and a defender had gifted him the ball, but his shot was just past the post.


However, the goal did come in the 88th minute after an Ankaragucu attack down the right.    The ball was crossed to the back post where it was headed back into the near post area and Tasos was on hand to stroke the ball in to even up the aggregate score and send the match into extra time.


Then, 5 minutes into extra time .......... and disaster   !!      Mujakic had a rush of blood to the head and received a second yellow and therefore a RED card   !!!        A needless display of petulance by Mujakic to protest the award of a throw-in near the centre line and he obviously used some ‘forbidden’ words which resulted in the referee reaching for the cards immediately   !!!     Unforgivable by Mujakic and it probably caused the match to sway back in Basak’s favour.


The result of the sending off was to bring on Atakan to bolster the defence at the expense of Ankaragucu’s main striker, Ali.     A tactic to obviously shut-up-shop and run the match down for the penalty shoot-out.


Unfortunately, the tactic backfired as Basak grabbed the all important goal near the end when Keny headed in from a cross on the right.


A sad end to a spirited performance by the Ankaragucu players and surely a lesson learned for the future concerning dissent towards the referee and the type of language used    !!!


It is now time for Ankaragucu to put this match into the history books and look to addressing more pressing matters, ie, Super League survival   !!!


As I said earlier, there are 3 matches left for Ankaragucu to salvage their season and that begins on Tuesday when Champions-in-waiting, Galatasaray, will be the visitors.   


Setting up in a defensive formation is out of the question, so I expect Ankaragucu to go all out in attacking mode to win points and keep the pressure firmly on the 5 other teams in the relegation zone.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, May 22, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler avoided the ignominy of dropping into the 2nd Division last night by finishing 3 points above Altinordu, and so the players can enjoy a well earned summer holiday   !


Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch Gencler’s last match due to a conflict of interest, ie, the Ankaragucu match had the same KO time   !!


Bandirma               1                   GENCLERBIRLIGI           1


Team – Nurullah, Ozgur, Yasin, Alperen, Ugur, Abdullah, Muhammed, enes, Bugra, Ivan and Souleymane


Soukou scored first for Bandirma in the 1st half and Abdullah bagged the equaliser for Gencler early in the 2nd half from the penalty spot.


As I said in my report last week, it would be a fait accompli for Gencler’s survival unless Altinordu could manage to beat Rize by 7 or 8 goals which, of course, they didn’t.     So, Denizlispor will join Altinordu in the 2nd Division next season.


Gencler is past masters of the escape act, and so it proved when their renowned fighting spirit saw them past the finishing line in the latter part of the season and so to safety.


There now has to be a rebuilding task for next season if they are not to suffer another relegation dog-fight at the end.


Final words ............ well done Gencler, and I’ll be back here next season with more updates.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Ankaragucu won the crucial ‘6 Pointer’ last night against fellow relegation candidates, Umraniye   !


With 3 matches left, Ankaragucu is well placed to avoid the dreaded drop   !        Of course, it is not a done deal yet, with Umraniye, Giresun and Istanbulspor still in a position to overtake Ankaragucu.   However, after last night’s crucial 3 points, the pressure is back on the others, including Sivas and Antalya who also feature in the mix.


It was a fighting never-say-die performance by the Ankaragucu players who gave their all to churn out a win for 3 valuable points, despite the attempt by the referee to give unfair advantages to Umraniye on two important occasions during the match.


The first being a terrible decision to award a penalty to Umraniye, and the second, an unexplained decision not to award a goal or a penalty to Ankaragucu despite checking the VAR on both occasions.


I’m sure (and I hope   !!!) that the referee will be hauled over the coals by the TFF for his poor performance   !!!


Umraniye            1                       ANKARAGUCU                  2


Team – Gokhan, Mujakic, Kitsiou, Arda, Matej, Taylan, Andrej, Kevin, Beridze, Milson and Ali Sowe


Substitutes – Diack, Zahid, Pedrinho, Atakan and Gokhan Tore


It was a tense opening as both teams searched for the all important first goal, and it came after 17 minutes.


Ankaragucu was awarded a free kick near the right touchline which was sent into the crowded box.    Kevin was first to it at the near post and his angled header was sent to the far post.


Ankaragucu’s tails were up but their lead lasted only 7 minutes when the referee awarded a penalty to Umraniye.


I know I keep saying this, but ........... as an ex-Class 1 referee ..................... it was NEVER a penalty   !!!


A high ball was sent into the box from the left to near the penalty spot.     Mujakic was watching the flight of the ball and an attacker came in behind him to intercept, but Mujakic missed his attempted clearance having been nudged by the attacker and in the process his foot made contact with the attacker who had arrived on Mujakic’s blind side.


The referee was directed to VAR and the penalty awarded.     This was definitely not a deliberate foul by Mujakic who’s eyes were on the ball in his attempt to clear, and NOT on the attacker.   


The referee obviously needs to be re-coursed and examined on The Laws of the Game of Football   !!!


Umut sent his penalty straight down the centre with Gokhan diving to his right.


More controversy followed 5 minutes later when the referee made another unbelievable decision    !!


Ankaragucu attacked down the right and the cross was made into the box, but the ball hit a defender’s arm and was deflected to an Ankaagucu attacker behind him who coolly stroked the ball in f or a goal ......... or so we thought   !!


The referee pointed to the spot for a penalty.    He was then directed to VAR and returned with his decision ........ a dropped ball   !!      Whaaaaaaat ???!!!       No explanation and another diabolical decision   !!!


Fortunately for the referee, Ankaragucu did manage to win the match, otherwise there could possibly have been a riot at the end   !!


Mılson almost scored just before the half time whistle when his shot from outside the box hit the post and was cleared.


Ankaragucu continued to press forward in the 2nd half and their attacks finally paid off in the 70th minute with a piece of pure skill by Milson.     He latched onto a loose ball just inside the box on the left, after Ali’s shot was saved, and sent a screamer of a shot to the top right   !


Umraniye searched for another equaliser into the last 10 minutes, but Gokhan saved all their efforts and Ankaragucu saw the match out for 3 well earned points   !


Ankaragucu’s next league match will be against the champions-in-waiting, Galatasaray, at home on Tuesday 30 May and Ankaragucu will surely feel that they can take something from this match.


In the meantime, there is unfinished Turkish Cup business wben Ankaragucu will play the 2nd Leg of their Semi Final against Basaksehir on Thursday 25 May at home.      Ankaragucu is a goal down from the 1st Leg but will still fancy their chances of reaching the Final.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, May 18, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Seemingly dead and buried going into time added on at the end of the match last night, Ankaragucu deservedly conjured up a piece of magic between Ali and Milson to share the spoils.


The Ankaragucu players gave everything, but I have to say that Antalya is a very fit team and their defence played well, especially my Man of the Match, the Antalya goalkeeper, Helton Leite, who thwarted Ankaragucu time after time throughout the match.


ANKARAGUCU          1                           Antalyaspor                1


Team – Gokhan, Arda, Atakan, Mujakic, Kevin, Andrej, Taylan, Matej, Emre, Zahid and Ali Sowe


Substitutes – Firatcan, Berizde, Milson Pedrinho and Oko


Antalya made it quite clear from the outset that they didn’t come to Ankara to make up the numbers and they almost went ahead after 10 minutes when a goal bound shot was heading inside the left post, but Gokhan was equal to it and made a great save.


One minute later at the other end and Ali had a great chance when he outpaced the defenders, but his shot went just past the right post.


Then approaching the half hour mark and that man Ali was back helping his defenders and headed a goal bound shot off the line on the left with Gokhan stranded on the right.


So, a fairly even 1st half with both teams having chances, and both goalkeepers in top form.


Into the 2nd half and in the 66th minute Leite made a double fantastic save to prevent Berizde and Firatcan putting Ankaragucu ahead.


2 minutes later and it was Antalya who opened the scoring when Leite made a quick throw-out to set-up a fast break.    The cross came in from the right, and with the Ankaragucu defence caught out of position, Vural shot in for an easy goal.


Heads didn’t go down as Ankaragucu laid siege to the Antalya goal and with only 5 minutes left Kevin had a great chance, but his shot was just past the left post.


Into time added on and Ankaragucu’s persistent attacking finally paid off after a great cross into the box from the left to Ali who’s shot was parried, but Milson was in the right place at the right time to flick the ball in with Leite unable to recover the situation.      Just reward for Ankaragucu’s never-say-die attitude   !!


So, all things considered, and to be honest, it was probably a fair result on the balance of play, and as I said earlier, the match might have had a different outcome if Leite hadn’t been in such inspired form  !!


With 4 matches to go until the end of the season Ankaragucu is still involved in the relegation struggle along with Umraniye, Giresun and Istanbul in particular, and Ankaragucu’s ‘Cup Final’ takes place on Sunday when they travel to Umraniye for what will be a huge ‘6 Pointer’   !!


It is fairly and squarely in Ankaragucu’s own hands now in the final stages of the run-in and Sunday most definitely falls into the category of MUST WIN match   !!


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, May 17, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Gencler took a giant step forward last night in their fight to avoid relegation, and it is looking likely that they will succeed.


With only one match left before the end of the season it is still mathematically possible to fail, but highly unlikely, eg,


Gencler – 37 points – last match away to Bandirma

Erzurum – 36 points – last match home to Bolu

Altinordu – 34 points – last match away to Rize, who require a win to secure 2nd top spot.


It all points to Altinordu joining Denizli for the drop with Altinordu’s goal difference 7 worse off than Gencler.


Gencler has made significant strides recently after a poor start to the season and once again their renowned fighting spirit prevailed.


GENCLERBIRLIGI              2                     Sakaryaspor               1


Team – Nurullah, Ugur, Alperen, Thomas, Yasin, Bugra, Enes, Mete Kaan, Sekou, Muhammed and Souleymane


Substitutes -  Abdullah, Erkan, Ivan, Ilker and Akabueze


The first shot on target by both teams arrived in the 22nd minute and it produced a goal. A long ball pass out of the Sakarya defence was played to Kabongo who beat 2 defenders to the ball and from just inside the box on the left sent an angled shot inside the right post to put Sakarya in the driving seat.


On the half hour mark Bugra had two chances in succession to equalise, but the first was saved and the second skied over the bar.


Then, with the clock on 45 minutes, Nurullah made an outstanding save, but in the goalmouth melee Isaac was alleged to have elbowed Yasin in the face when he was trying to clear a loose ball.     The referee immediately produced the yellow card, but was directed to the VAR and then produced the RED card.


This proved to be the turning point in the match with Sakarya seemingly in control, but ..........


2 minutes into time added on in the 1st half and Ugur hit the bar from a shot just inside the box and then Sekou missed a sitter after the Sakarya goalkeeper had parried a shot.


So, Gencler went in at half time behind, but looking as though they were up for the fight, and so it proved only 5 minutes into the 2nd half.


A cross from the right into a crowded box was attacked first by Yasin who poked the ball in over the goalkeeper’s head for the equaliser.


7 minutes later and Gencler were in front with the goal of the match.    A fast attack on the left, the ball crossed to the right and played into the centre for Bugra to shoot on the half volley inside the left post.     A goal worthy of winning any match   !!


It was all Gencler at this stage and they almost added a third but a goal bound shot by Enes was well saved, and near the end Erkan fought his way into the box but his shot was also well saved.


Gencler’s last match against Bandirma will take place next Sunday 21 May.


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, May 09, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Last night the referee did an excellent job of thwarting any chance Ankaragucu had of taking something from the match, and his bias towards Trabzon was so obvious with his decision making throughout the match all seemingly against Ankaragucu   !


Also, after Ankaragucu eliminated Trabzon from The Turkish Cup last month it was sweet revenge for Trabzon who took full advantage of playing most of the match against the 10 Ankaragucu men   !   


Trabzonspor              2                      ANKARAGUCU          0


Team – Gokhan, Mujakic, Atakan, Arda, Matej, Zahid, Andrej, Kitsiou, Emre, Taylan and Ali Sowe


Substitutes – Tasos, Pedrinho, Diack, Berizde and Firatcan


The match erupted into controversy in the 9th minute when Kitsiou tackled a Trabzon player near the half way touch line and in the process of following through at speed, stood on the players’s foot.     The referee immediately produced the RED card much to the consternation of Kitsiou, the Ankaragucu players and the Coaching staff.     The referee then produced a 2nd RED card which was directed at Coach, Tolunay Kafkas, after something was obviously said in the heat of the moment   !!      As Damon mentioned at the time, Kitsiou’s challenge on the player may have been in retribution for a previous tackle made on Kitsiou   ?!      Notwithstanding, the referee was obviously swayed in his decision which, as far as I was concerned, was obviously a yellow card offence   !!!


It was defensive strategy from this point and Ankaragucu looked to be going in at half time all square at 0-0, but disaster struck just before the half time whistle.  


A cross came in from the left and was punched clear by Gokhan to the right where a Trabzon player played the ball back into the centre to the unmarked Umut who slotted in for a goal which they hardly deserved, with that being their first shot on target.    


All credit to the Ankaragucu players for continuing to search for the equaliser in the 2nd half, but they were finally undone in the 60th minute when they conceded a goal similar to the one they conceded last week against Basaksehir.    


There were 2 corners in succession for Ankaragucu and once again the defence didn’t protect the fast break out of defence.    The Ankaragucu defence was left trailing as the ball was moved at speed down the right and crossed for the unmarked Umut to score easily with Gokhan unprotected   !!


Trabzon almost made it 3 near the end but a double save from 2 goal bound shots were well saved by Gokhan.


With 5 matches left to play, the favourites to take the drop are still Umraniye and Giresun, but Ankaragucu is still not in a safe position, and along with Kasimpasa, Istanbulspor, Antalya, Sivas and Alanya, and they could all still feature for relegation in the run-in.


So, a big ‘Six Pointer’ coming up next on Wednesday 17 May when Ankaragucu host Antalya who sit only one point above Ankaragucu.


Squeaky bum time approaches   !!!


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 07, 2023



Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Well, if they do pull it off, it will be a truly remarkable achievement after looking dead and buried a few weeks ago    !!


There can be no denying their well deserved victory in Erzurum today, admittedly against a poor Erzurumspor team.


So, with only 2 matches remaining it is all down to who is going down with Denizlispor.     Erzurum, Altinordu, Gencler, Altay and Tuzla are all in the mix with only 5 points separating 2nd bottom Erzurum and 6th bottom Tuzla.


Anyway, back to today, and .............


Erzurumspor            0               GENCLERBIRLIGI           1


Team – Nurullah, Yasin, Ugur, Alperen, Thomas, Bugra, Enes, Muhammed, Erkan, Mete Kaan and Souleymane


Substitutes – Abdullah, Akabueze, Jaime, Ilker and Bangoura


For some reason, unknown to me, the match was played in The Bursa Stadium, and on that subject, my Man of the Match award goes to the Groundsman who presented a perfect playing surface, but unfortunately the standard of football didn’t do it justice   !!!


Both teams having sized each other up, it took until the 15th minute for a serious goal attempt when Mete Kaan shot just post the right post.


Then, almost on the half time whistle, Muhammed was brought down in the box with a clumsy and blatant push in the back.     The referee pointed straight to the spot and did not consult VAR   !!    Bugra sent a ground shot to the left with the goalkeeper diving in the opposite direction


It was mostly all Gencler attacking in the 1st half with Mete Kaan in particular causing the Erzurum defence all sorts of problems with his trickery and speed, but nothing much to say about the final efforts in the final 3rd   !


Erzurum was having difficulty stringing passes together and losing possession easily.    They had only one shot on goal in the 1st half and it wasn’t on target   !


The 2nd half was similar with Erzurum unable to fashion an equaliser,     However, they did manage to put one shot on target in the 46th minute, but Nurullah made a great save when the ball seemed to be heading for the top right.


Erzurum’s cause wasn’t helped when Estrella had a rush of blood to the head.    Firstly, in the 55th minute he was shown a yellow for dissent, and then 5 minutes later he received a 2nd yellow ....... and RED .......... when he blatantly pulled back an attacker near the half way line.     Silly boy   !!!


Gencler had no problem running the match down, but there was a slight scare near the end when Erzurum scored, but there was a hand-ball before the player shot and scored which was spotted by the referee and the VAR Assistant.


So, as I said, there are only 2 matches remaining and next up for Gencler in a home match against 3rd top of the league Sakaryaspor on Tuesday 16 May.     It goes without saying that this has extra importance for both teams   !!!


As always, watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim