"her yer ruşvet, yer yer yolsuzluk," shouted both the genclerbirligi and besiktas fans. all brotherly love ... until kick-off that is and then it was back to normal service. during the first half there were worrying reports of gas and water cannons being used in kizilay but by the time we passed through at about 10:30 pm the police had cleared the place. don't worry about all that though...
genclerbirligi 1 - 0 besiktas
after the massive turnout two weeks ago for the gencler-galatasaray match this week it was just me, flying dutchman and little oz for tonight. cider kanka at least joined us for a beer before hand... but hey, where were you all?
the inability of any of us to ever remember that friday night kick-offs means that there will be lots of traffic is something that amazes me every time i'm sitting in a taxi stuck in traffic 15 minutes before kick-off on a friday night.
we got in okay with a minute or two to spare, just in time to join in the with the political love-in stuff and then to see gencler come out with one of those weird banners, you know the type that say "donate to the anti-cancer fund", or "help a disabled child", or "give peace a chance". this week we had "make sure you are registered to vote". a reminder? a warning? i don't know.
kick-off and wooo... gencler are on the attack. nice attacking football and some great one-twos. the team was the same as usual and it seems as if they are beginning to gel nicely. my guess is that means we will probably sell half of them off in the next transfer window.
but back to the game this evening and i was liking what i saw.
the first chance though fell to besiktas but in the end they didn't even manage to get a shot on the target. it sort of summed up the night in the way that the besiktas forwards seemed extremely lackadaisical in their attitude and ability to strike the ball. so often they seemed to give ramazan the softest of saves to make.
also early on came something i've rarely seen in football. jimmy took a shot at goal, a bloody hard shot, and it whacked the besiktas no. 22 (search internet time) and it whacked ersun gullum in the head. most of the gencler fans thought he was wasting time and the medical staff who came on clearly didn't realise what was happening but this bloke had just had the equivalent of a king hit. he got up and came back on but it was very clear he was concussed, even if none of the besiktas staff could see it. a few minutes later and even the blindest could see that this bloke was off with the fairies. off he went.
we continued to play nicely and then almost out of nothing gosso stole the ball, sort of weirdly passed it to zec who from the corner of the box swiveled and scored. bloody hell.
having gone one-nil up our coach switched things around, sending zec to the left-wing, jimmy to the right, put gosso into a sort of left midfield position and completely buggered up my understanding of the play. i think it was a crap decision but somehow or other we were still managing to get into good attacking positions. a big part of the reason why we were doing well was that besiktas were playing well below their best... but still.
not long before half-time we had one hell of a chance that really should have been converted. tosic had been set free on the left with a defender in front of him and the keeper behind that defender. to his right was stancu running full pelt and in the perfect position but tosic mistimed his pass, stancu had to stop and on the wrong foot sent a cross in when what we wanted to see was a good pass that he could have whacked at full pace at goal. mmmm..
anyway, second-half and i was feeling confident that we would go another goal ahead especially when jimmy played a nice ball to zec who was by this time playing on the left, zec sent the perfect ball across the goal, past the keeper and to stancu who was all of two metres away from goal, kicked it into the ground and over the bloody goal! aaaaarrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh
we continued attacking and petkovic forced the besiktas keeper to make one brilliant save... but as the clock began to run down it was besiktas who got desperate for a goal. it seemed at times the referee was desperate as well.
we all had a good laugh after the ref gave besiktas a free kick just outside the box for what had actually been a besiktas hand ball. the laughing bit came a bit later. all the players were crowded around the ball and ramazan was at the far post about to organise the wall when a besiktas player took the free kick and scored. immediately the referee called it back much to the disgust of the besiktas players and their supporters. it sort of summed up their night really. when the free kick was taken again ramazan made a good diving save.
ramazan made a number of good saves yet again tonight but he really does have to practice kicking the ball to an area within sight of one of our players and not directly to the feet of an opposing player. on at least one occasion tonight a well placed lob would have caught him out.
on we go and besiktas continued to attack but they didn't really scare us and so at the final whistle we got to sing.
edit: i've just watched the highlights and will now admit that the free kick awarded against us was in fact the correct decision. i would like to apologise for any negative comments that i may have made concerning how the the referee should restore his honour by selling simits. still doesn't explain how all the other 50/50 decisions went besiktas' way.