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