North Cyprus Football : At Last An Esentepe Win In Crucial Match.
By Richard Beale…………..
Finally after a run of 6 matches without a win Esentepe overcame a dogged Denizli team to record a very important win. Esentepe are now in 4th place in the League and still have hopes of clinching a promotion “play off” place. For Denizli their position now seems hopeless with only 2 matches left they will need a miracle to avoid automatic relegation.
RESULT : ESENTEPE KKSK 2 DENIZLI SK 1.
Sunday March 12, 2017 : K-Pet League 1, White Group : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.
A little rain before the kick off !
The conditions were very inclement during the teams warm up’s with horizontal driving rain, making the pitch waterlogged in places. However thankfully, the rain had let up when the match started, Denizli won the toss and had the benefit of a strong wind behind them.
Denizli shocked Esentepe in the 3rd minute, when they took the lead following a corner. Mustafa took the kick from the right, Esentepe goalkeeper Alı only succeeded in palming the ball to SALIH ÖZDOGANOĞLU to shoot home from close range. 0-1.
This unsettled Esentepe as they took a while to adapt to the heavy and greasy surface but they threatened in the 21st minute following a good move. Umar initially then Tacettin set up a shooting opportunity for Ugurcan to get in a shot which needed 2 attempts by goalkeeper Salih to save.
Esentepe were pressing, Captain Nersin with a free kick forced goalkeeper Salih to push his effort over the bar with a fine diving save. From that corner Firat got in a header which the diving Salih saved at his far post.
Esentepe equalised in the 35th minute from a free kick following a hand ball. Eser took the kick and Salih could not hold onto the ball, and HÜSEYIN following up at the far post tapped it in to score a rare goal for himself. 1-1.
Straight from the kick off Denizli almost took the lead, following a lightning break involving Ahmet who put through Kemal. Ali in the Esentepe goal reacting quickly, forcing the striker wide as he came out, the Denizli striker got a shot in that hit the outside of the near post and behind for a goal kick.
Full marks to Esentepe despite the heavy conditions they were trying to get their passing game going, though with the wind maybe the long ball was the right tactics. HALF TIME : 1-1.
With the wind behind them, Esentepe wasted no time, Ilyas sent in a powerful shot which took a deflection and went just past the post.
Esentepe took the lead in the 62nd minute following another free kick just outside the area. ESER again took the kick which went straight through a bunch of players and into the net past Salih. The Denizli keeper may have been distracted by Tacettin’s presence. 2-1
In the 74th minute Mert wasted an opportunity blasting a shot high over the bar.
With their League 1 status in jeopardy Denizli threw caution to the wind, but the Esentepe defence were in no mood to let 3 points slip. FULL TIME : 2-1.
SUMMING UP : A confidence boosting win, as this has been missing from previous matches. A ‘ugly” win, but 3 vital points. With 3 matches left to play (2 away to fellow promotion hopefuls) Esentepe will be looking to the minimum of obtaining 7 out of 9 points, from those matches, a tall order. The conditions were never going to be helpful to both teams, but it was an entertaining match. There were a number of useful contributions by all members of the team. Emre and Nersin noticeably so. But FIRAT I thought, back to partnering Nersin at the heart of the defence was strong and powerful and was my “man of the Match”.
ESENTEPE TEAM : (4-4-2, replacements in brackets, merit marks out of 10)
Ali (g) 6 : Emre 7, Nersin 7, FIRAT 8, Mahmut 6 : Umar 6, İlyas 6, Hüseyin 6, Uğurcan 6 ( Burak 90 ): Eser 6, ( Başak 89 ) Tacettin 5 :
Replacements not used :
Tuğrul (gk), Muhammed, Şahin, Emrah, Derman.
ESENTEPE NEXT MATCH :
Saturday March 18th : Away DOĞANCI SK : ko 3-00pm : Aydinköy Stadium, Nr Guzelyürt.
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