North Cyprus Football : Stalemate at Denizli
Result : DENİZLİ SK 0 ESENTEPE KKSK 0.
Sunday December 11, 2016: K-Pet League 1- White Group : Venue : Denizli Stadium.
Denizli SK -v- Esentepe KKSK
By Richard Beale……
A 1.5 hour journey from Esentepe to Lefke to watch a goalless 0-0 game, you would have thought was it worth it. This game was not boring, not good either, just OK and yes it was worth it. Goalmouth incidents were few and far between, but it was a very absorbing match to watch. The match was played with great energy, tempo and commitment as both teams went at it hammer and tong. No quarter was given and no quarter was asked for by the teams. Two strong defences nullified any forward threat and the battle was in the midfield, where Esentepe just shaded it in the end.
On another beautiful sunny winter afternoon, Esentepe support was limited as opposed to the home team, who were packed into their stand. The surface was dry with a stiff breeze blowing across the pitch.
Denizli made a bright opening with Esentepe goalkeeper Ali brought into action twice in the first 10 minutes. Firstly he easily dealt with a free kick just outside the area taken by Denizli Captain Firat Ömür. Then what turned out to be Denizli’s best chance of the match after 7 minutes following a long ball from Mustafa, Mert produced a stunning first time angle volley, which Ali magnificently managed to push over the bar. Unknown to Ali then, apart from dealing with a couple of crosses his work was done for the afternoon.
Denizli continued to press with the dry pitch and uneven bounce causing trouble to the visitors.
Esentepe threatened in the 16th minute when an İlyas free kick was deflected goalwards by a Denizli defender, Hüseyin and pushed over the bar by keeper Salih Beyoğlu. From the resulting corner again there was anxiety in the home goal before the ball was scrambled away.
Denizli lost striker Ali Sayalan in the 41st minute with a facial injury, after coming off worse with Esentepe’s defender Firat’s boot. Firat was booked for dangerous play and Ali was substituted by Salih Oyal.
In injury time of the first half Esentepe had their best chance of the match. Umar’s free kick from the left was glanced at the near post to the far post by Tacettin, where Eser was waiting to pounce. Unfortunately the Esentepe player could not get any power to his header and somehow goalkeeper Salih managed to push the ball round the post. HALF TIME : 0-0.
The second half became scrappy with both teams making errors and giving possession away.
In the 56th minute Esentepe’s Eser, from a free kick on the edge of the box, provided a shot which produced a good save from Salih pushing the ball over the bar. Denizli midfield general Firat who was very industrious and creative in the first half started to tire and was replaced by Ahmet after 65 minutes. With his departure, Esentepe’s midfielders Hüseyin and İlyas started to take a grip on the midfield and Esentepe pressed forward without really creating any worthwhile chance. Denizli were now a spent force, but try as they could Esentepe couldn’t break down the Denizli defence. FULL TIME : 0-0.
SUMMING UP :
I said before in my Prematch that this would be a hard game and I would be happy to come away with a draw (I predicted 1-1). Denizli are a difficult team to play against, they might not score many goals but they rarely concede goals. Many teams will be happy to come away here with a point. On the positive side the Esentepe defence was formidable again apart from the first 10 minutes forming an impregnable barrier in front of Ali. NERSIN, my man of the match, marshalled and organised his defenders superbly. I feel I must mention 17 year old Emre Soytürk deputising for the injured Muhamed. Right back is not his normal position, but he was full of energy and running and had his best game for Esentepe since breaking into the squad last season. On the negative side of things, we are getting too predictable up front. Tacettin was often isolated on his own against 2 defenders and got little change out of them. Maybe time to play another striker alongside him to help him.
ESENTEPE TEAM : (4-4-1-1, replacements in brackets, merit marks out of 10)
Ali (gk) 7 : Emre 7, Firat 7, NERSIN 8, Mahmut 6 : Umar 6 (Mehmet Bebek 87), Hüseyin 6, İlyas 6, Eser 6 (Burak 60) : Başak 5: Tacettin 5 :
Esentepe replacements not used : Tuğrul (gk), Uğurcan, Derman, Tuğrulsan, Emre Mutlu.
Esentepe Man of the Match, Nersin
ESENTEPE YOUNG A2 TEAM:
Result : DENİZLİ SK 2 ESENTEPE KKSK 1.
Denizli scored 2 goals from the penalty spot in the 27th and 29th minute. EGE CAN AÇIKPORTAKALI scored Esentepe’s goal in the 74 minute.
DATES FOR THE DIARY : Future fixtures :
Sunday December 18 : HOME : v Doğanci SK : kick off 2-30pm : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.
CHRISTMAS DAY! : AWAY: v Serdarli GB (I am sure all Ex- pats are interested in this one!, I will see if I can book a Coach!, maybe struggling myself to go to this match.
Friday December 30 : HOME : v Lapta TBSK : kick off 2-30pm : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.