Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunk in the last minute

This was a six-pointer and Gencler managed to give it away in the last few minutes. A disappointing end to a fairly disappointing match.

Antalyaspor 1 - 1 Genclerbirligi

Just a few fans down at the Alerta on Sunday afternoon... probably as many as made the trip down to Antalya. The pre-match talk in the pub was that this was one for the taking with Antalya being rubbish at the moment and their coach had quit on the night before the match.

The general views seemed correct once the game got underway. The only thing was that Gencler were just as bad as the home side. First half finished 0-0 with bugger all chances for either side.

Second half though and we started to attack and it paid off when Elvis Manu broke free and made a short cross to Jailton who knocked it in. Nice goal.

At about 85 minutes I had to leave and it wasn't until I was in the bus on my way home when I saw a whole heap of messages on whatsap. We had clearly conceded.

Then late last night another stream of messages. This time from Mehmet Soylu, the Gencler fan who has filed a criminal complaint against Umit Ozat for insulting him on Instagram. According to Soylu, Ozat confronted him in the bus on the way to the plane at Antalya airport. Ozat was swearing away at him.

Soylu's 15 year-old son was recording the incident when his phone was taken out out of his hand by fullback Zeki Yavru and the recording deleted.     

The arguments continued on the plane and the cabin crew were forced to intervene.

Oh dear, oh dear.

Onto next week and our last home game of the first half of the season. It is also the last match on our season tickets... There has been no announcement on where we will be playing for the second half of the season.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Gazisehir 2-2 Ankaragucu match report!

Ankaragucu had to settle for a share of the points today at Gazisehir after a spirited comeback from 2-0 down. The team now extends its unbeaten record to 11 games with 9 wins and 2 draws. Ankaragucu remain top of the league after Umraniyespor drew 2-2 at home with Balikesirspor in the early kick off.

Team - Korcan, Erdem, Alihan, Lukasz, Ferhat, Abdulkadir, Arif, Putsila, Ilhan, Kenan, Kehinde

Subs - Altay, Yusuf, Mahmut, Dieng, Mert, Mehmet, Doka, Enes, Umut Nayir

İsmail Kartal was forced into some changes with Gencer and Sedat both missing out, while Korcan returned to the starting line up. Umut Nayir had to make do with a place on the bench as he returns from injury.

Ankaragucu started the match well with some nice passing and almost took the lead after 4 minutes. A lovely move involving Kenan and Putsila who set up Ilhan Parlak, he then chipped Stachowiak in the Gazisehir goal but the ball was cleared off the line. A great chance and Ilhan should have done better. Four minutes later Erdem saw his free kick turned round the post by Stachowiak.

From then on, it was all Gazisehir who looked pretty impressive especially Del Valle who was causing all sorts of problems for the Ankaragucu defence. Their first chance came for Pierre Webo but for an outstanding block by Abdulkadir who unfortunately injured himself in the proceedings and was replaced with Mehmet Sak.

Pierre Webo although coming to the later part of his career, showed his class at times in the match and almost gave Gazisehir the lead with a curling shotthat went inches wide after skipping easily past Alihan.

In the next 10 minutes Gazisehir would have another 4 chances. First through Gokhan whose shot was easily saved from Korcan, then Reis saw his shot deflected just wide of the post with Korcan beaten and then Gokhan and Del Valle saw their efforts go over.

Gazisehir saw a penalty appeal turned away in what looked like a decent shout but BeIN never showed the replay so difficult to tell. A minute later they would get their penalty though after Mehmet got tangled with the Gazisehir player in the box. Up stepped Pierre Webo to make it 1-0.

Ankaragucu had a chance just before the break after a great cross into the box for Kenan who saw his header brilliantly saved by Stachowiak.

Halt Time - Gazisehir 1-0 Ankaragucu

It only took 5 minutes for Gazisehir to double their lead. This time though the impressive Gokhan Alsan as he beat a couple of players before firing his shot which was deflected past Korcan to make it  2-0.

İsmail Kartal brought Doka on for Mehmet to try and salvage something from the game. Ankaragucu started to come into the game and Putsila was driving the side forward with some of his mazy runs. He went close on the 65th minute beating his man beautifully before shooting from just outside the box but Stachowiak made another good save.

A minute later Ankaragucu were awarded a penalty after Arif Morkaya was brought down inside the area. Up stepped Ilhan to fire the ball past Stachowiak to make it 2-1. The travelling Ankaragucu fans could sense the team could get something from the game.

Pierre Webo and Gokhan both had chances for Gazisehir before Ankaragucu got the equaliser. This time Erdem put in a low cross into the box which was deflected into the back of the net to make it 2-2.

Ankaragucu pushed forward as they looked for the winner and Doka went close after he was set up by Putsila but Stachowiak made a good save. Substitute Cheikhou Dieng set up Kenan in the last minute but he was his shot go high and wide.

Full Time ended 2-2 in which is a good result for Ankaragucu considering they were 2-0 down. The team again showed great team spirit and why you should never write them off. Next Sunday the team host Manisaspor in Ankara and as usual we will have all the news and views midweek.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Yonetim Istifa

Well... That was bloody amazing. Some great football, some great goals and some great laughs

Genclerbirligi 4 - 0 Sivasspor

What a beautiful December day. A little bit chilly but bright sunshine, wispy white clouds - all up perfect conditions for a game of footy. Kanka-wise, just Bernard and me in the stands but the lovely weather got quite a few fans out of the woodwork.

Just like last week the fan groups tied their banners upside down in protest at the club hiring Umit Ozat as coach and they organised a five minute silence from the fans... Then on five minutes they started the chants for Ozat and the management to resign.

It was all going along as usual with no real penetrating footy from either team when  on the 12th minute Skuletic scored a screamer. The last time the ball touched the ground before it was in the back of the net was when it was launched forward by N'diaye from before the halfway line to Dialo (I think) who headed the ball forwards in a flat trajectory, then Skuletic managed to tap into into the air with his toe, he then knocked it up a touch with his knee and then took the shot 30 yards out. Nothing but net. Do check out the video in the tweet below, it is brilliant.

Once the cheers had died down a bit.... the entire Maraton resumed "Yonetim Istifa"

The rest of the half was more than ordinary from Gencler and if there was any justice in the world Sivas should have at least got an equaliser... or even to have gone into the lead. We were playing awfully and without purpose.

Second half though and Ozat took off Khallili and moved Zeki into his normal back position, away from the wing where he had been rubbish for most of the first half. It was an inspired change and Gencler stepped up.

Diallo made hard work of what should have been a simple goal ... but still it went in. Up went the cheers and then up went the whole of Maraton again... `Yonetim Istifa`.

Then Elvis Manu decided that he was going to score. With excellent passing opportunities he decided to go it alone and somehow managed to score. If this was an Under 12s match the coach would have taken off the player for extreme selfishness and showboating. For us though it was just a laugh. 3-0 and the fans shouted out once more "Yonetim Istifa".

Again take a look at the goal in the tweet below.

Sivas had there chances in the second half with Hopf having to make one brilliant save a couple of easy ones... the post also save us at one stage... but the post had saved Sivas as well with Jailton playing some great breakaway stuff.

Elvis scored again towards the end and well it was a party mood at the 19 Mayis.

The final whistle couldn't come quick enough for Sivas and up went our cheers. Then we all sang out in unison.

"Yonetim Istifa."

EDIT: The club has issued a statement saying they were "surprised and upset" by the fans jeers and they are completely behind coach Umit Ozat...

EDIT 2: At the press conference after the match Ozat talked about the criticism he received for his statements last week that accused Ankaragucu fans of wearing Gencler jerseys and swearing at him. At the presser he said that he would never criticise a former club of his "even if it was a Jewish club"

EDIT 3: On Monday evening the club issued a statement in Ozat's name saying that he was sorry to Jewish people. 

Saturday, December 02, 2017


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu move 2 points clear at the top of the league after a great 2nd half performance to snuff out the challenge of Umraniye.

ANKARAGUCU   2                        Umraniye    1

Unusually for December, it was a perfect day in Ankara with blue skies and sunshine.    The kankas met-up at the Stadium - Horseman Kanka Osman, Nurer Kanka and Kaleci Kanka Tansu.   A great turn-out in all the tribunes, except of course, the away end, where I counted 8 and about 10,000 stewards and police !!!

A photo from last night when we both predicted an Ankaragucu win, after devouring quite a few 'refreshments' !!!

With Umut injured, there was a place for Kehinde in the starting line-up, but in the final analysis I don’t think he did enough to displace Umut when he if fit again.   However, having said that, he put in a good shift and perhaps he needs a few games under his belt to get up to speed.

Umraniye took control of the match from the off and their No30 looked dangerous with some speedy runs down the left wing.   From one of them in the 12th minute, he crossed the ball but fortunately the striker’s shot was weak and easily saved by Korcan.

Kehinde had a chance 2 minutes later in Ankaragucu’s first real attack, but his shot was weak and easily saved.

Then 5 minutes later Umraniye went ahead when a great cross from the right was met by the No30 whose angled header was enough to beat Korcan.

It was still mostly all Umraniye, but Ankaragucu did have two more chances before the half time whistle.   Firstly, Kenan crossed to Pulsila who’s volley was well saved, and secondly from a free kick on the right, Gencer’s bullet header was inches past the post.

So, to half time and I confess saying to Osman that I couldn’t see where the Ankaragucu goals were coming from in the 2nd half.    I should have remembered my favourite expression ........ a game of two halves !!!

Ankaragucu came out for the 2nd half all fired up and attacked Umraniye from the kick-off.   Only 2 minutes in and the equaliser came.   It was caused by a defensive cock-up with Kehinde distraction causing a defender to score an own-goal.   We’ll take it !!!

Ankaragucu continued to attack and 10 minutes later came the winning goal from man of the match Kenan who gave the Umraniye defence a torrid time during the match.   However, it was another cock-up from the Umraniye defence which allowed Pulsila to nick the ball from a weak pass.   Off he scampered and played a cut-back for Kenan to tap-in.    Up the volume and the Mexican Wave began !

Erdem also had a fine match and he saved a certain goal 8 minutes later with a timely interception when an attacker was about to shoot.   

With 20 minutes left it was almost the equaliser when the No30 was put through with only Korcan to beat, but his bullet of a shot went narrowly past the post.   Sighs of relief all round !

Ilhan came on for the final 15 minutes with Doka going off to loud applause for his midfield efforts.

Into the final 5 minutes and Umraniye laid siege to the Ankaragucu goalmouth with wave after wave of attacks, but the Ankaragucu defence withstood the pressure and were happy to hoof the ball anywhere out of the danger zone to run the clock down.

So, to the final whistle and a hard fought 2nd half display from Ankaragucu and it’s fair to say that the victory was well deserved after their 2nd half showing.

Next Saturday Ankaragucu is away to Gaziantepspor with a 3.30pm KO.    We will watch it either in The Yeni Sedir or Kara Simit.    Watch this space for details nearer the time.

Well done Ankaragucu !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim 

Friday, December 01, 2017

Ankaragucu vs Umraniyespor match preview!

Another huge match in the PTT Lig this weekend as the top two meet at the 19 Mayis Stadium in Ankara. Ankaragucu host leaders Umraniyespor in what will be another tough match as the team look to make it 9 games without defeat.

Ankaragucu won 1-0 at Giresunspor last weekend in what was a hard fought match but again Ankaragucu showed resilience and survived first half pressure from Giresun to go in level at half time. A stronger second half performance was rewarded when Lanre Kehinde was the hero again from the bench scoring th winning goal.

Umraniyespor who are also on an 8 match unbeaten run won 2-0 at home against Altinordu at the weekend and it was another match with a clean sheet. They have only conceded 7 goals in their 13 league matches this season and will provide Ankaragücü’s biggest test of the season.

Erdem Ozgenc and Alihan Kubalas should both be back for Ankaragucu, while we await the news on Ilhan Parlak as he fights a race against the clock to be fit. İsmail Kartal will need to decide if he wants to keep faith with young Altay Bayindir in goal or bring back Korcan Celikay who is also fit again after injury. Lanre Kehinde impressed again and must be in contention for a starting place in the team. He is a real handful for defenders and will have done himself no harm with the winning goal last week.

Umraniyespor are a well organised outfit and will be coming to Ankara looking for all 3 points. They have some talented players in Ibrahim Akdag, Dimitar Rangelov, Jean Armel Drole and Emircan Altintas who are having good starts to the season. Akdag is top scorer with 7 goals, Rangelov is a big physical presence up front and Drole is on loan from Antalyaspor and has a bright future ahead of him.

This is a match that could go any way, Umraniyespor are the leaders and have been outstanding at the back while still having talent in attack that can finish off games. Ankaragucu on the other hand have won every one of their big tests this season at Rizespor, Eskisehirspor and Giresunspor. At times they have rode their luck, but the hard work and team spirit has saw them through some tough matches. As mentioned in the match report some of the unsung hero’s are Sedat Acgay and Arif Morkaya who do all the dirty work covering every blade of grass while allowing the attacking players to go forward and create chances. They will be vital again in this match and we will be hoping for another 3 points. A draw wouldn’t be the worst result in the world but Ankaragucu must take something from the game.

As usual the Kanka Group will be in their usual place in th stadium and anyone wanting to join the group is more than welcome to come along.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Giresunspor 0-1 Ankaragucu match report!

Ankaragucu return to the capital with all 3 points after a fantastic 1-0 win at Giresunspor despite having to make 4 changes to the team. Erdem Ozgenc, Alihan Kubalas, Ilhan Parlak were all out due to injury and suspension, while Korcan still isn’t fit enough to start.

Team - Altay, Yusuf, Lukasz, Gencer, Mehmet, Arif, Sedat, Putsila, Ferhat, Kenan, Umut

Subs - Korcan, Enes, Cheikhou, Kehinde, Mahmut, Aydeniz, Doka, Abdulkadir

There was a first League start for Lukasz Szukala who is on loan from Osmanlispor and the big Pole didn’t put a foot wrong alongside Gencer at the heart of the Ankaragucu defence. İsmail Kartal decided to go with Ferhat Kiraz out on the left wing in place of the injured Kehinde with Mehmet Sak coming back in at left back.

It took only 30 seconds for Ankaragucu to nearly take the lead, a long ball found its way to Umut who set up Kenan whose shot from 25 yards went inches wide of the post.

Umut Nayir has the only other real chance for Ankaragucu in the first half after a great cross into the box, but the big striker headed wide.

Giresunspor had the better of the first half but couldn’t get any real shots on goal, and when they managed to create anything young Altay Bayindir made a couple of comfortable saves. Dimitriadis had the best chance for Giresunspor but his shot from the edge of the box went inches over.

Into the second half and midway through Ankaragucu brought on Kehinde for Umut and the big Nigerian made an instant impact. Firstly he knocked down a long ball for Kenan who was through on goal but his shot was well saved by the keeper.

With just under 10 minutes remaining Ankaragucu broke the deadlock. A corner into the box was nodded home by Kehinde who pulled his baby’s dummy out from his sock putting it in his mouth and celebrated with the fans who were absolutely delighted.

Ankaragucu would hang on to their 1-0 lead and secured the 3 points which takes them 2 points clear at the top with Umraniyespor playing tomorrow. A brilliant win for Ankaragucu and again credit must go to the full team but again Sedat Acgay and Arif Morkaya were the unsung hero’s covering every blade of grass.

Next Saturday see the top two face each other at the 19 Mayis Stadium in Ankara, as Ankaragucu host Umraniyespor. Promises to be another cracker.

The march towards relegation continues

Sir Eski: "There are more stewards than Osmanli fans"

Osmanlispor 2 - 0 Genclerbirligi

Spine, Sir Eski and myself made it down to the Red Lion to watch another woeful display from Gencler. I'm not even going to bother with an analysis of the match except to say that it was only fitting that one of the players we sold off at the beginning of the season, Serdar Guler, looked like he could have defeated us all on his own. He scored both goals.

All up around 12 Osmanli fans showed up. I ended up winning a beer off a bloke at the bar who insisted that there must have been a match ban on spectators.

Nope... the real reason is now that Melih Gokcek has resigned as mayor of Ankara there is no one to offer free chicken kebabs and 50 tl to municipal workers to show up.

And so the matched kicked off with zero atmosphere... except...

After Mesut Bakkal was sacked/resigned last week the club mysteriously signed Umit Ozat, the very same coach who we got rid of just a couple of months ago for having been a complete failure. After being sacked Ozat posted a picture on social media of him shaking friends with his "old friend" Sedat Peker, a convicted organised crime boss with some fairly extreme right-wing views, i.e. exactly the kind of person Genclerbirligi fans do not like very much.

So, the 50 or so Gencler fans who went off to the Osmanli stadium in the middle of nowhere on a cold Friday night ended up tying their banners upside down in protest. Within seconds of kick off they where shouting for Ozat to resign.

In a press conference afterwards Umit Ozat said it was wrong for the fans to swear at him and to be calling for his resignation just 5 minutes after taking over at the club. We had the sound off at the Red Lion so I can't confirm if the fans were swearing but there is certainly no doubt they were calling on him to resign. Ozat then bizarrely said that those at the match calling for the management to resign included Ankaragucu fans wearing Gencler shirts.

Ankaragucu on Saturday put out a statement condemning what they described as Ozat's "ugly behaivour" and then went on to give Ozat some information concerning the relationship between the two clubs ie... that they are actually friends.

The fact the Ozat had complained about fans swearing at him made news that came out on Saturday even funnier.

Klasspor reported that long-time fan, former junior player and current member of Genclerbirligi, Mehmet Soylu, had made an official complaint and a judicial investigation has been launched into Ozat swearing at him on social media a couple of months ago.

"You bastard. You come to the training facilities and you write here like a useless, stupid person," Ozat told Soylu via Instagram. (By the way, the "useless, stupid person" bit of the quote may not be exact... the Turkish word was sunepe... quite difficult to get the meaning across in a simple translation) 

It was just general sort of swearing but as we know words like "bastard" are a lot more forceful in Turkish than in English. Ozat has been asked to "help police in their investigations"* and has since deleted his Instagram account where the conversation took place.

What next for Genclerbirligi? Who knows. One thing that is certain is the club's management will be hoping that the new stadium to replace the 19 Mayis gets underway as scheduled during the winter break. That way Genclerbirligi will be forced to play the second half of the stadium a million miles away. With no fans at matches the calls for "Yonetim Istifa" will be silenced... at least in the stands.
* perhaps not the exact Turkish judicial procedure.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ankaragucu vs Giresunspor match preview!

It’s 2nd vs 3rd on Saturday afternoon as Ankaragucu travel to Giresunspor looking to make it 8 matches unbeaten after another win at the weekend against Denizlispor. Although the Ankaragucu management, players and fans will be delighted with the 2-1 win, the team will need to up their performance against a very good Giresunspor side.

The hosts drew 3-3 at Altinordu last weekend and have only lost 1 game all season. They have some good players in Boubacar Dialiba and Mehmet Akyuz who will be the dangermen, although they have quality in all areas of the pitch. Giresun showed real character coming back from 2-0 down against Altinordu to share the points and will have a good crowd behind them at the weekend. Ankaragucu sold out their allocation for the match and will also have the support behind them.

Last weekends 2-1 win over Denizlispor was as Jim said in the report a game of 2 halfs. Denizli had the edge in the first half, while Ankaragucu dominated in the second. One of the areas in the team that is a real concern is the left back position. Mehmet Sak has proved his value and quality going forward, while Ferhat Kiraz is capable going forward too. Both players struggle defensively though and Giresun will look to take advantage with quality wide players such as Sinan and Dialiba.

Ankaragucu have shown their quality in attack in the last 7 games with Umut Nayir being the focal point in attack. He leads the team in scoring with 6 goals, but it’s also his link up play and teamwork that are instrumental in the teams title bid. Ilhan Parlak came off last week with and injury and could miss out, with either Doka or Kehinde set to fill in. Kehinde looked lively again and is a real handful for defenders and deserves a place in the starting line up. Kenan Özer continues to impress and will also start the game.

The match will kick off at 15:30 Turkish time and will be shown live on BeIN Sports. The Kanka Group will again be watching the match somewhere in Ankara and Jim will post details of where and when to meet. Let’s hope for another 3 points for Ankaragucu and Umraniyespor to drop points which would see Ankaragucu move top!

Monday, November 20, 2017

It can't get worse can it? Oh...

Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Kayserispor

Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Kayserispor

It wasn't the best day to go to the football. Wet and cold and grey. That wouldn't have stopped me in the past though and so it shows just how depressed some of us Gencler fans are at the moment that I didn't even bother heading down to the stadium which must be the first time I've missed a home league match without a decent excuse for quite a few seasons.

I listened to part of it on the radio, in between the pazar shopping, and from what I could tell we started off okay but Kayserispor were playing the long game.

With their first shot of the match they went ahead in the 28th and then we came back a few minutes later.

I missed their second goal but it can probably be summed up in the following tweet from one of the Alkaralar supporters.

And that was that.

Little surprise that it was announced a few hours later that Gencler coach Mesut Bakkal had resigned.

Last place in the league. What a mess.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

This is a first !     No, not the first time I’ve seen Ankaragucu beat Denizli, but the first time I’ve been at the stadium gate when the National Anthem was playing !

I left my school at 5pm, boarded the train at 5.15 and made it to the Stadium 30 Kms away in time for the KO thanks to the efficiency of the Ankara Metro system.

There I met up with all the kankas – Maniac Kanka Harun, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Posh Kanka Ahmet, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Horseman Kanka Osman and Nurer Kanka.   Gecikondu and Kapali were full and Maraton almost full and the atmosphere was fantastic (as usual).    There were about 100 Horos in the away end, but we didn’t hear a sound from them apart from the opening goal !

Dare I use the olde cliché ........... ‘a game of two halves’ ?   Yes, I must, because it was !

It was mostly all Denizli in the first half with the Ankaragucu defence and midfield given the run-around.   However, Denizli’s firepower and Korcan restricted them to only one goal.   Ultimately, it was a happy ending with Ankaragucu showing more determination and skill in the 2nd half to send us all home ‘happy bunnies’.

ANKARAGUCU    2          Denizlispor     1

From the opening minutes of the match it was plain for all to see that Denizli were not here to defend.   They were spreading the ball around and giving Ankaragucu few chances to exert pressure on the solid Denizli defence.

It was little surprise therefore when Denizli made the breakthrough on the 25 minutes mark with a textbook goal.   From a throw-in on the left, the Denizli winger left everyone in his wake and crossed an inch perfect ball to the far post where it was met with an equally perfect header across Korcan and in at the near post.

Things were looking ominous at this stage and Ankaragucu had to withstand intense Denizli pressure, but thankfully the defence held firm as the half time whistle beckoned.

However, Ankaragucu’s only two serious efforts on goal in the first half then gave us hope.   Firstly, Pursila headed just past the post from an excellent cross from Kenan.

Then in time added on, Ankaragucu won a corner on the right.   Erdem swung it in and there was Alihan perfectly positioned to power in a superb header for the equaliser.

Phew !    What a let-off and happy faces all round with expectation still high.   The other downside of the first half was Ilhan limping off injured after 15 minutes to be replaced by Doka.   Let’s hope it’s not a serious injury.

Ankaragucu came out for the 2nd half with all cylinders firing and laid siege to the Denizli goal.   This was more like the Ankaragucu we have been accustomed to of late, and it was no surprise when the winner arrived in the 72nd minute.   A corner on the right was met by Umut who’s glancing angled header deceived the goalkeeper and we were all dancing and singing again in anticipation of 3 points.

Kehinde replaced Arif on 67 minutes and he almost scored a 3rd when he went on a mazy run, but as he was about to shoot it looked like he was brought down by the goalkeeper, but the referee had other ideas and gave him a yellow card for diving !   I think the referee got that one wrong, but fortunately it didn’t affect the final score !

Into extra time and the 3rd goal almost arrived again.   A neat head flick by Kehinde into Kenan’s path, but his final shot was weak and saved.

Sighs of relief all round at the final whistle as the players did their customary misket dance and then a lap of honour.   A misket performance by the kankas also drew applause from Sag Kapali supporters !

It was back to The Bira Park to celebrate and discuss next Saturday’s vital match away to 2nd top of the league, Giresun.   

Today, top of the league Umraniye are away at Erzurum and the final score is 0-0    Another confidence boost for Ankaragucu as if one was needed !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ankaragucu vs Denizlispor match preview!

Ankaragucu return to league action on Friday night after the International break as they host Denizlispor at the 19 Mayis Stadium in Ankara. The team will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to 7 games and keep up the pressure on Umraniyespor and Giresunspor.

Off the field President Erdogan spoke of his hopes to see Ankaragucu in the Super Lig and how important the club are to Turkish football. Melih Gokcek has also been replaced as mayor of Ankara with Dr Tuna who is the brother of Ankaragucu board member Tuna Yilmaz. Hopefully he can help influence the cities new mayor to show more support for the club than his predecessor.

Ankaragucu will go into the match without Mehmet Sak who is suspended which should mean a return to the starting line up for Ferhat Kiraz. Korcan Celikay will likely start in goal as he has regained training after a niggling injury. Tonia Tisdell returned to training this week and was joined by Mbamba Kibong. Both players will be back in contention for a place in the squad in January.

İsmail Kartal seems to have found his starting 11 which he has kept faith with and the results have reflected than on the pitch. The key to a winning team is consistency and this is something the team have worked on and İsmail Kartal is rightly starting to receive the praise and plaudits he deserves.

The last match against Eskisehirspor is the first and only time in the 8 years that I have supported Ankaragucu where I can remember a match that we came away with a convincing win despite the opposition having double the amount of chances and more possession. Again that shows the character in the team, that they can grind out wins even when not performing at their best.

Denizlispor sit just one place outside the relegation zone but have saw and improvement in their performances over the last month. Wins over Adana Demirspor and Altinordu have given them hope that they can stay up this season, relegation to Lig 2 would be catastrophic for the cash strapped club. The Denizli fans have boycotted their games this season which is disappointing as they have a fairly loyal fan base in general. Ziya Alkurt and Andre Moritz will be key if Denizli are to take anything from the game on Friday night and will be the players the Ankaragucu team need to stop.

Their should be a fairly decent Ankaragucu crowd their to cheer the team on, the club have sold over 14,000 Passolig cards and with it being a Friday night there should be a crowd of in the region of 10,000 at the game. Anyone wanting to join the Kankas going to the match please get in touch with Jim for full details.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Eskisehirspor 1-3 Ankaragucu match report!

How many times can you say Ankaragucu rode their luck and came away with 3 points? Not very many would be the answer from most Ankaragucu fans who have had to endure more lows than highs over the last 6 years. Fortunately luck was on our side today with a hard fought 3-1 victory at rivals Eskisehirspor as the team now makes it 6 games without defeat.

Team - Korcan, Erdem, Gencer, Alihan, Mehmet, Sedat, Arif, Putsila, Kenan, Ilhan, Umut

Subs - Altay, Yusuf, Lukasz, Cheikhou, Kehinde, Abdulkadir, Mahmut, Enes

Just as the game started, the Eskisehirspor fans changed in protest against the ban on Ankaragucu fans saying it’s their right to travel to the game. Even though there is no love lost between the two clubs, their is still a mutual respect.

There was a great atmosphere at the Yeni Eskisehir stadium as the home fans cheered their team on and it seemed to have a positive effect on the players as Eskisehirspor dominated the early stages of the match.

Only two minutes in and Erkan Zengin saw his headed effort brilliantly saved from Korcan from close range. A minute later and Korcan dropped the ball in the box, the ball found its way to Hasan Acar who fired well over.

The Ankaragucu defence were all over the place and on the 11th minute Eskisehirspor should have taken the lead. The ball found its way to the unmarked Ofoedu but Korcan made a great save to keep the score at 0-0. Erkan Zengin was causing the Ankaragucu defence problems and he cut inside Erdem but saw his shot go wide.

It took until the 17th minute for Ankaragucu to create their first chance of the game. A good ball into the box for Ilhan but the forwards header was well saved from Kayacan. Five minutes later Anton Putsila shot from distance but was easily saved.

Two minutes before half time Erkan had a chance at the back post but his volley was deflected behind for a corner.

Just as it looked like Ankaragucu were heading into half time lucky to be on level terms, Putsila put Kenan through on goal with a brilliant pass and the little winger kept his calm before slotting the ball into the back of the net. 1-0 Ankaragucu.

Half Time

Altay Bayindir came on at half time for Korcan who was struggling the full game with a leg injury. It was Eskisehirspor who came out looking for the equaliser as Hurriyet saw his shot deflected just over by his own player on the 50th minute.

Three minutes later and Ofoedu missed the chance of the game, he was left at the back post with the simple task of putting the ball into the net but couldn’t even hit the target with only the keeper to beat.

Erdem Ozgenc beat two players before firing straight at the keeper when he should have squared the ball to his teammates in the box. A couple of minutes later and a mistake from Mehmet Sak gifted the ball to Ofoedu who saw his shot well saved from Altay.

A minute later and brilliant play from Kenan who crossed the ball for Umut who misshit his shot but Ilhan was on hand to put the ball into the back of the net. 2-0. Eskisehirspor at this stage must have wondered how they found themselves 2 goals down.

Eskişehirspor continued to push forward and Bruno Mezenga almost got lucky as Altay scrambled his headed effort away.

Altay Bayindir has a big future ahead of him and he showed why with an excellent save from a thunderous Hasan Ayaroglu effort from 25 yards. At the other end Kenan put Umut through on goal but Kayacan made a good save to keep Eskisehirspor in the game.

With time also set up Hasan Acar pulled a goal back for Eskisehirspor in injury time. It gave the subdued home support a bit of a lift, but minutes later Arif broke free down the right hand side and squared for Umut Nayir who put the ball into the back of the net with a brilliant finish. 3-1 Ankaragucu.

An excellent win for Ankaragucu with Anton Putsila and Kenan instrumental while Alihan put in another commanding performance at the back. Mehmet Sak will need to improve his defensive side of the game and their is still room for improvement for Ankaragucu. That said 3rd in the league and only 3 points behind leaders Umraniyespor is a fantastic achievement so far from the team.

Eskisehirspor need to pick themselves up and take the positives from the game. They are better than what they are showing but forwards Bruno Mezenga and Ofoedu need to finish their chances and they need to be better at the back.

Next up is a home tie next Friday night with Denizlispor, we will have the preview here on the blog midweek.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Genclerbirligi get smashed in Istanbul

A person from the Alkaralar group suggests that during the winter transfer window we should get in some players who we can build upon for next season in the Lost Mail Lig. I sympathise but I think we should at least try to avoid relegation. Looking at the odds though... our friend may well be right.

Galatasaray 5 - 1 Genclerbirligi

It was a bustling Red Lion Club on Friday night of which about three of us were there for the footy. Why should I tell you that? Basically I missed quite a lot. By the time I'd managed to get myself out of one conversation we were already one down.

We had a few goes and could have scored a couple early on... but who am I kidding. Galatasaray ran rampant. Hopf had a very poor game and our defence looked very shoddy.

A late consolation goal for Scekic was nice but besides that...

Things are looking bleak.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Ankaragucu vs Eskisehirspor match preview!

Ankaragucu face rivals Eskisehirspor for the for the first time in 5 years with both sides striving to get back to where they belong in the Super Lig. Eskisehirspor ran out 5-2 winners that day at the 19 Mayis Stadium but both sides fortunes have changed since then with Ankaragucu on the ascendancy while Eskisehir are struggling financially and fighting against the unthinkable relegation to Lig 2.

Yet again, the TFF have banned Ankaragucu fans from travelling to the match which has raised complaints from both sets of supporters this week. No away fans have been allowed to travel to this match for the last 8 years after 2 Ankaragucu fans were stabbed in Eskisehir. The TFF have taken steps to avoid any violence between the two sets of fans, however the Eskisehirspor tribune leader this week spoke out against the ban and used the Istanbul clubs as an example of many clashes between both sets but no permanent ban has been placed on them.

Ankaragucu go into the match on a 5 match unbeaten run sitting in 3rd place only 3 points behind the leaders Umraniyespor. A 1-0 win over Istanbulspor last weekend will have pleased Ismail Kartal especially keeping a clean sheet and having created many chances.

Eskisehirspor are only 3 points outside the relegation zone, however they have only lost 1 of their last 5 matches and will have 25,000 passionate fans behind them at the Eskisehir Stadium. While both sets of fans may not like each other, their is a mutual respect in that both sets of fans are passionate, loyal and will make a fantastic atmosphere making it the game of the week in the Turkish Lig 1.

Ismail Kartal will likely go with the same starting line up again, with Lanre Kehinde set to take a place on the bench again with Ilhan Parlak getting the nod up top with Umut Nayir. A settled starting line up is key to any team challenging for a championship and the team is starting to come together and the fitness levels are also much better than they were a few weeks ago. Much credit has to go to the manager Ismail Kartal for Ankaragucu look a very solid and organised outfit, and if they can just sort out some of the issues in defence then they have every chance of winning 2 championships on the bounce.

Although Eskisehirspor linger towards the bottom of the table, they are a much more talented team than what they are showing. They have a few key players who the Ankaragucu team must pay attention to closely otherwise they will be punished. Former Ankaragucu player Hasan Ayaroglu has impressed this season after an excellent campaign on loan at Kastamonuspor last season. Erkan Zengin although 32 now is still one of the best players in the division, while Hasan Acar is a talented 22 year old midfielder who continues to catch the eye. Bruno Mezenga on his day is capable of the brilliant, but also misses to many chances and the reason why he finds himself playing in Lig 1.

The game kicks off at 14:30 Turkish Time on Sunday afternoon and will again be shown live on Bein Sports Max HD. For information on how to watch the match with the Kanka Group please contact Jim and he will let you know where they are watching the game.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

How about starting on a happy note with a photo to remind us of what it is like to win the league.   Can Ankaragucu do it again this season ??!!

Back to the present though, and on a cold autumn evening in Ankara, it was another close fought tussle with Ankaragucu scoring the only goal of the match in the 1st half to keep up the pressure on the top two in the league and move into 3rd position.

ANKARAGUCU    1         Istanbulspor       0

The 3 kankas met-up at The Bira Park, Maniac Kanka Harun, Horseman Kanka Osman and yours truly, and as you can see, the Maniac Kanka was doing his best to play-down his famous name of  ‘our maniac’.  

However, after much teasing from the Horseman and me, he thankfully reverted to type, so his ‘almost new name’ (Pussy Cat Kanka) has been withdrawn !!

There was a surprisingly good crowd for a Monday night match with Gecikondu, Maraton and Kapali almost full, and surprise ... surprise, the away end was only filled with stewards and police !

Both teams started on the front foot and we were pleased with the quality of Ankaragucu’s football with the ball being sprayed about seeking openings.   However, it took until the 20th minute for the first serious goal attempt when Umut’s overhead attempt went past the post.

6 minutes later and it was a close thing at the other end.   Korcan pushed an Istanbul free kick around the post for a corner.   Another good save resulted from the corner and we were able to breathe again !

Then, 10 minutes before the half time whistle the deciding goal arrived.   A free kick outside the box on the left wasn’t dealt with by the defence and centre back Alihan was on hand to slot the ball in.

Istanbul almost equalised before the break, but a ferocious shot was deflected for a corner.  

Going in 0-1 down was perhaps harsh on Istanbul, but the bottom line was that Ankaragucu took their chance and for long periods of the 1st half were playing the better football.  Although I have to single out the No77 of Istanbul who proved a real thorn in the side for the Ankaragucu defence, but we can thank Man of the Match Erdem for blunting his danger.

During the half time break we had a visit from Posh Kanka Ahmet, who was sitting with some of his friends in another part of Sag Kapali.   Always good to see him !

Ankaragucu should have put the game to bed in the 2nd half with the woodwork coming to Istanbul’s rescue on two occasions.

We were only one minute into the 2nd half when, from a corner, Alihan headed against the post.   3 minutes later a screamer of a shot from Doka went fizzing past the post.    More sustained pressure from Ankaragucu in the 52nd minute and it was Ilhan this time who’s header hit the post and bounced off the goalkeeper for a corner.

Kehinde came on with 20 minutes to go for Doka, Kenan replaced Umut and Yusuf replaced Pursila.

Into the last 10 minutes and Istanbul continued to search for the equaliser, but all credit to the Ankaragucu defence for thwarting the Istanbul sustained attacking.

Ankaragucu almost stole the 2nd goal in time added on when they broke out of defence and from a cross, Kehinde almost scored with a goal bound header which was well saved.

So, not the most emphatic of wins, but a win nevertheless, which moves Ankaragucu into 3rd position in the league.

Confidence is sky high with team and there is no doubting their efforts over the 90 plus minutes.   This attitude will be necessary in the weeks ahead as Ankaragucu press the top two to clinch top spot in the league.

Ankaragucu is away to Eskisehirspor next Sunday afternoon and there will probably be a ban on travelling supporters attending this match due to the problems there a few years ago when two Ankaragucu supporters were stabbed and almost killed.

So, the kankas will be watching this match in The Yeni Sedir

Bring it on !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Gencler stuff up at home

Oh dear. Just when we thought things were going well

Genclerbirligi 0 - 1 Yeni Malatyaspor

I wasn't able to get to the stadium yesterday and thank the gods for that. I did manage to get to the Alerta for the second half though.


This was a match on paper that Gencler should have won. Nah... we were rubbish. Zeki buggered up a brilliant chance and then in the second half rushed in to fight a Malatya player. Why?

In the end they scored and the fans again were shouting for the Gencler management to resign.

As I said... asdfghj

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Genclerbirligi throw away vital points in Manisa

Akhisar fans went home happy. Gencler fans slumped away in anger and frustration as our coach failed to make the right changes and the referee then punished us badly.

Akhisar 3 - 3 Genclerbirligi

What a lovely autumn day for a walk down to the Yeni Sedir (my first time there) to join a dozen other Gencler fans for what promised to be quite a match. Last week Akhisar beat Trabzon 6-1 and Gencler beat Besiktas 2-1. So all was set and it was no surprise when Gencler played a very "sit back" role for the first 15 minutes.

We had hardly touched the ball when Ahmet Oguz sent a brilliant cross field ball up field to Serdar Ozkan who controlled it well and goal. Five minutes later and we were 2-0 up when Ugur Ciftci was in the right place at the right time.

Flying high and for some stupid reason Scekic tackled an Akhisar player from behind. Yellow card. Not long after there was a stupid mix up and after he failed to clear the ball ended up taking down an Akhisar player in the box. No card... but a penalty.

Things were still okay though as Vedat Muric scored with a unmarked header just before the half-time whistle.

Here comes the rantie bit (as in rant, not Rantie - who for some reason wasn't playing today).

It was very clear that we were going to face an Akhisar who came out and attacked in the second half and it was also very clear to the Gencler fans at the Yeni Sedir and was also noted by others on Whatsapp chat groups that Scekic had to be replaced. It was just too dangerous. He was on a yellow and had brought down a player in the box. Just one little bit of stupidity and he would be off.

Messut Bakkal wasn't listening.

Akhisar came out fired up and had a free kick in the 59th. The ball went into the box and someone fell over. Referee pointed to the spot and handed Scekic a second yellow. Replays show that it was a very harsh penalty. In fact there was no way in the world that it was a penalty. the penalty was converted.

So we had two things to scream at now. The referee and our own coach.

It was little surprise when Akhisar got another not long after and despite some heroic efforts we weren't able to score again.

We should have had that one.

Gencler are now in 16th place in the league but if we keep up the efforts of the last two weeks we should be able to get quite a bit higher. So, silver linings and all that stuff.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Adanaspor 0-0 Ankaragucu match report!

Ankaragucu return to the capital with a share of the points in an evenly contested match at Adanaspor. Korcan Celikay was the hero of the day with a string of excellent saves which demonstrates why he is so highly regarded by the Ankaragucu fans.

Team - Korcan, Erdem, Alihan, Gencer, Mehmet, Arif, Sedat, Doka, Putsila, Ilhan, Umut

Subs - Altay, Ferhat, Kehinde, Cheikhou, Lukasz, Abdulkadir, Yusuf, Kenan, Mahmut, Enes

Ankaragucu made 1 change with Putsila coming in for Kenan which meant a 2nd successive start for Doka. There were a strong travelling contingent of Ankaragucu fans but yet again the Adanaspor fans have deserted their team with only a small handful bothering to make the effort to attend the game. Clubs like Adanaspor don’t deserve to be in the Super Lig, too many glory hunters.

Ankaragucu started very brightly and had two glorious chances in the first five minutes. Alihan somehow headed over from 2 yards out after a great cross into the box. Moments later Doka curled his effort towards goal but Irfan made a good save to keep the score level.

Adanaspor grew into the game and had a chance just before half time but Korcan made a great save from Tevfik.

Adanaspor were the better side in the second half with Korcan making a couple of excellent saves from Magaye Gueye while Doka saw his effort go sailing over the bar at the other end.

The game ended 0-0 which was a fair result on reflection. İsmail Kartal has received some praise over the last couple of weeks but the Ankaragucu support are starting to lose patience with his loyalty towards Ilhan and lack of game time for Lanre Kehinde.

Ilhan can’t be faulted for effort but he hasn’t produced the level of performance that merits a place in the team every week. Kehinde came on as a sub 3 weeks ago against Gaziantep and scored 2 goals while also hitting the bar and has only seen 6 minutes of action since.

Next up is a home match with Istanbulspor a week on Monday. Gecekondu block D has been banned by the TFF for 1 game due to swearing. Another example in a long lists of utter madness from the TFF.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ankaragucu vs Adanaspor match preview!

Ankaragucu travelled to Adana yesterday as they prepare for a tough encounter with Adanaspor tomorrow night. The team will be looking to make it 5 wins in a row after their latest 2-0 victory against Boluspor last weekend.

Adanaspor will be tough opposition as they close in on a playoff place after their 1-1 draw at Altinordu. Magaye Gueye the ex Everton forward will be their key man and has started the season with 5 goals in 5 games. His style is very much similar to Kehinde in that he is powerfull and is a handful for defenders who will be wary of his pace.

Ismail Kartal will have a headache while deciding if he will go with Anton Putsila who has recovered from a cold, or keep faith with Doka who started his first match last weekend and impressed. He is set to go with Umut Nayir and Ilhan Parlak again up front with Kehinde having to make do with a place on the bench.

The usual suspects such as Umut, Kenan, Putsila, Kehinde have all taken the plaudits in recent weeks but I think their are 4 players in the team who have done a lot of good work that doesn’t get the praise they deserve. Erdem and Mehmet have played a key part in all of Ankaragucu victories with their consistently excellent balls into the box for Umut and co. While Sedat and Arif do all the dirty work which allows the rest of the team to attack.

It’s important that Ankaragucu stay focused at the back and defend well as this has been the area of concern at the start of the season. The team managed to keep Rydell Poepon quiet last week against Boluspor but there was a 15 minute period where they allowed the visitors to many clear chances.

Eris Ceyhun was the last player from Ankaragucu to be named in the Turkish national team in 2009, and before that it was Zafer Ozgultekin back in 2002. Umut Nayir could be set for a sensational call up to the national team after it was reported Mircea Lucescu has asked for scouting reports on the striker and could offer him his first call up in upcoming friendlies. Umut has continued to shine with consistent performances for both Goztepe last season and Ankaragucu this season.

The Kanka Group will be meeting tomorrow at Yeni Sedir to watch the game, anyone who wants to join them will be made feel welcome, unless your an Osmanlispor fan of course,

Monday, October 16, 2017


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

On a cool but sunny morning, the kankas met-up at The Kara Simit Cafe for coffee and tea – Maniac Kanka Harun, Horseman Kanka Osman and yours truly.   We were later joined by Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and Nurer Kanka at the Stadium.

A  good turnout today with Gecikondu full (as usual), and Maraton and Sag Kapali were almost full.   There were about 150 in the away end, but when they tried to sing, they were shouted-down and drowned-out, so they gave-up which, after all, was the sensible thing to do !   There is no love lost by both sets of supporters since Ankaragucu defeated Bolu in the Turkish Cup Final in May 1981 and that still rankles with Bolu supporters, but ......this writer says ............ ha ha ha ho ho ho !!!

Sedat led the team out to a rousing welcome, but we were all disappointed that there was no place in the starting line-up for Kehinde.   It may not be appropriate for me to comment on Ismail Bey’s tactics, but .............. I will nevertheless !!

When we are playing at home, I think it’s essential that we play with a 4-4-2 formation and put pressure on the visiting team from the off.   Umut ploughed a lone furrow up front yesterday for the whole match, and fortunately it worked out in the end.   However, against stronger teams than Bolu we may not be so fortunate, especially if one or two goals are conceded early in the match !

Team – Korcan, Alihan, Gencer, Mehmet S, Erdem, Arif, Seda , Ilhan, Doka, Kenan  and Umut

ANKARAGUCU   2        Boluspor     0

Anyway, back to the match and it was Bolu who got off to a flyer putting Ankaragucu under pressure for the first 15 minutes.   Three good chances were scorned by Bolu, but bad finishing prevented them opening the scoring.

Ankaragucu’s first goal attempt on the quarter hour mark was a header from a cross sent over too high and the header went over the bar.

The Bursa song on 16 minutes almost heralded the opening goal by Bolu, when Korcan punched a goal bound shot out, but only to a Bolu player who’s shot went narrowly past.   Two minutes later Ankaragucu almost took the lead when Umut’s shot hit the bar, but the shot from the rebound was spectacularly saved.

Ankaragucu started to take control of the match at this point and were spraying the ball around to good effect.   Such a move almost brought the opening goal on the half hour mark but the cross was headed over.

8 minutes later some good work from Doka (who put in a good shift) when he won possession and crossed, only for the flicked header to go just past the post.

Then, as we were contemplating going in all square at half time, the breakthrough came.

A high ball was sent forward, but the bounce of the ball was misread by the Bolu defence which fell favourably for Umut.   Off he scampered down the left with the defenders in his wake.   His shot inside the left post left the goalkeeper helpless – he was probably anticipating a shot towards the right post !

So, this goal gave a more accurate reflection of the first half, which apart from the opening 15 minutes, was controlled by Ankaragucu.   On the few occasions when Bolu tried to attack, the Ankaragucu defence held firm and Korcan was not really tested.

With Ankaragucu attacking the Gecikondu end in the 2nd half, we all predicted 2 more goals.   However, Ankaragucu seemed to lose their impetus and although they had a few efforts on goal, they didn’t really put the Bolu goalkeeper under any serious pressure.   The same could be said for Bolu, with Korcan not called upon to save any serious goal bound shots.

Umut was still scurrying around and looking to put the match beyond Bolu, and his persistence finally paid off 3 minutes before the end.   Couldn’t see who it was who received a great pass and measured his ferocious shot well, but the ball rebounded off the post.   However, the predatory striker that Umut is, was lurking and fired in the rebound to send us all wild in the knowledge that it was the nail in the coffin for Bolu !    Umut received a yellow card for holding the match up as he celebrated at the Gecikondu end.    I did notice however that as the referee brandished the yellow card (as he had to) he also had a word in Umut’s ear and had a smile on his face !!!

So, it was off to The Yeni Sedir to celebrate 4 wins in a row and a leapfrog into the play-off zone.    However, for one of the kankas it was Ayran .......... shame shame shame .......... but we can forgive him just this once ....... can’t we ???!!!

Well done Ankaragucu.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Gencler pull off one hell of an upset

To give you an idea of how big an upset was the Friday night defeat of Besiktas you have to realise that this has been Gencler's worst start to the league --- ever, that it sacked its coach a few weeks ago, a bunch of directors resigned last week in protest at how the club is being run and to top it off, our squad has a combined value of 22.9 million pounds (5,500 trillion billion TL) compared to 102 million pounds for Besiktas. stats from

Genclerbirligi 2 - 1 Besiktas

A bunch of us met at the Alerta Pub pre kick but it was only myself and Little Oz Kanka who headed off to the stadium where we found BI John and Bernard who had brought along some Malaysian guests.

Lucky guests they were because they saw an immensely entertaining match.
Little Oz, Oz and BI John

Besiktas thought this must be an easy three points as they left two of their best players, Babel and Quaresma, on the bench.

Kick-off and bang... Gencler were the ones who went on the attack, playing much faster football and looking much more dangerous. Besiktas seemed to be handling it okay and then disaster struck them. A shot from Ahmet Oguz hit Ahmet Ilhan who had a shot which their keeper kept out with one hand and Vedat Muric sliding in put it in the back of the net.

We went wild but it was still very early days. Still, time to start time wasting.

What I expected was for us to sit back a bit and have to survive wave after wave of Besiktas attacks. My prediction for the score at this point: 1-3 to Besiktas.

How wrong I was.

Gencler did sit back a bit, but I can't really remember any good attacks from Besiktas. We seemed to be containing them easily and when we got the ball we were looking very dangerous in counter attacks.

1-0 at half time was more than deserved.

Besiktas brought on Babel and Quaresma and my fear now was that a very different Besiktas would come out.

No time for that as Babel was given a straight red two minutes after coming on. I think it was for a foot to the face of one of our players. It was on the other side of the park from us so I don't really know if it was fair or not. Let's just say that Besiktas didn't seem to complain much.

Besiktas down to 10 men and they went on the attack again but again we held them out well. There was one very much heart-in-mouth moment when Hopf made a rare mistake running out to get a ball which had just gone outside the box, he failed to clear it and a lobbed shot was sent in where Ousmane N'Diaye headed it out. phew.

We scored again... on a counter and things were looking great. We were controlling the match and Besiktas didn't have much time left. Then the referee called a penalty for Besiktas, which was converted and whilst we were wary it seemed like we had it. And we had it!

Celebrations. What a match. One of the best victories I've seen for a long time from Genclerbirligi.