December 5, 2022

By Richard Beale…….



Wednesday June 8th 2016: KTFF U15 League, Group 3 : Iskele Cumhuriyet Stadi.

The top two teams clashed in this final group match and Gençler Birliği came out winners in this closely fought match that will see both teams qualify for the quarter finals of this competition.

Gençler Birliği Sk Under 15 ve Esentepe Kksk Under 15 picture 1

On a very hot evening in Iskele the home side were well supported by a partisan crowd, sadly for Esentepe our support numbered the Coach driver who drove the team bus and me!

In the opening exchanges both teams competed for superiority, and is was Esentepe who nearly took the lead in the 17th minute when Esentepe’s striker Ege Can brought a good diving save from G. Birliği’s keeper Mustafa.

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G.B. took the lead in the 31st minute following a poor Esentepe free kick that was cleared up field for a quick GB break lead by Arda and Taylan. Esentepe’s keeper Engin came off his line quickly to block Taylan’s shot with his legs. Unfortunately for Esentepe they conceded a free kick while clearing the ball which lead to GB taking the lead. From that free kick a GB player headed goal wards and Engin produced a brilliant save parrying the ball to his left, but the ball fell obliging for Arda to score. 1-0.

GB had taken control of the midfield leaving Esentepe’s star strikers Sükrü Hilmi and Ege Can very isolated. They both left their striking positions to come back and try to win possession Half Time Score 1-0.

GB started the second half well and were on top in the opening 10 minutes of the half, but they lost defender Ibrahim in the 52 minute following a bad foul on Sükrü, the defender had already been booked earlier giving the referee no option but to red card him. This gave Esentepe some hope as GB were forced to play with one upfront and Esentepe started to push players forward. In the 62 minute GB were indebted to their replacement keeper Hasan Hüseyin who produced a good diving save from Semih after the winger had been set up by Ege Can.

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GB relying on breakaways should have sealed the game in the 64th minute following a cross from the left by Bulent. Arda, unmarked with the goal at his mercy somehow side footed his shot wide from a few yards out.

GB defence continued to be strong and despite Esentepe “huffing and puffing” they couldn’t find a way to breach the defence to find a late equaliser. FULL TIME SCORE : 1-0.

Esentepe were not at their best and GB probably deserved the points. In previous matches Esentepe have dominated the midfield which had led to service and chances for the forwards, but this match the midfield had met their match. With GB on top, wide mid fielders Şahin and Semih were forced to help their defence out and were unable to help in attack as they normally do. Esentepe defence gave the ball away far too often with poor clearances and also any free kicks won were poorly executed giving more frustration to Esentepe’s Coach Emek. Still the team has done well to qualify to the quarter finals, but having finished 2nd in their group will probably face an away trip against tough “Supa League” opposition. But anything can happen in a one-off match, the draw will be made later this week.

ESENTEPE TEAM : (Replacements in brackets) :
GK : Engin (Kemal 41 mins) : Halit (Osman Erdoğan 41 mins),Osman Güneş, Fatih,
Gürkan (Gökdemir 68): Şahin Erdoğan, Hüseyin Bahçeci (Cpt), Izzet, Semih (Abdurahman 67) :
Ege Can, Sükrü Hilmi :
Esentepe “Man of the match” Şahin Erdoğan- forced deeper to help his defence out in this match, but still managed to get forward down the right. and worked really hard.

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