North Cyprus Football : Injury Time Equalise For Esentepe In “X“ Rated Derby Match


By Richard Beale….


Sunday 29 January 2017 : K-Pet League 1 White Group : Venue : Ozanköy Mustafa Özkayım Stadı


Ozanköy SK -v- Esentepe KKSK

A 95th minute injury time penalty converted by leading goalscorer Tacettin gave Esentepe the share of the points in this fiery and often feisty top of the table clash.

I am supposed to be firstly an observer, a reporter, a correspondent and a writer. (which I know I am not), to give an account of this match. I cannot describe in words the passion and the fury which this game between the leaders and second place teams generated as the action was end to end I would need a thick book to record it in. Watch Graham’s video to make up your on mind.

This match had every thing, 3 penalties, controversial incidents, a sending off and sadly once again crowd disturbances. I am also supposed to be a neutral, but as I live in Esentepe, I maybe a little biased but Esentepe with 10 men throughly deserved their point and to be brutally honest they deserved all 3 points. Esentepe were on the wrong end of some horrendous and baffling decision from the officials, but in the end justice was served in the 95th minute when Esentepe equalised from the penalty spot.

Being a local “Derby” involving the “top two teams” the crowd was a little disappointing, in the end thank goodness it was not bigger. Esentepe supporters easily outnumbered the home support. Esentepe were without Burak who was missing with a groin strain and Hüseyin with suspension so on the bench we were down literally to what Harry Rednapp describes “the bare bones” with very inexperienced replacements.

Esentepe started and settled really well and from the start looked the most dangerous team. Following a long ball from İlyas, Esentepe’s top scorer Tacettin managed to get in a shot which was comfortably saved by Ozanköy goalkeeper Mehmedemin. Another Esentepe well and tested move involving “route 1” kick from goalkeeper Ali saw Tacettin fasten onto his kick and despite the close attentions of 2 defenders he managed to get in an effort which went wide. Esentepe were dominating the game and putting in some good moves but frustratedly being let down by the final ball.

Against the run of play Ozanköy took the lead in the 34 minute following a harsh penalty decision. A long high bouncing ball was contested between Esentepe’s Emre and Ozankoy’s Bekir which resulted in the two players colliding and ended up with Bekir going to ground and clutching his face. Referee Hüseyin Özken adjudged a foul and a penalty was awarded and top scorer Bekir sent Ali the wrong way with his kick. 1-0.

Esentepe were unlucky not to equalise following a corner which was cleared to Mahmut just outside the box who returned a high bouncing ball into the Ozanköy area which was fastened onto by Tacettin who got in a shot only to see it hit the post and rebound to safety.

Immediately the ball was dispatched upfield, where Emre managed to clear the ball off Bekir only to see the ball be returned back into the Esentepe area where 2 Ozanköy players looking suspiciously offside were unmarked, one of those were Burak who shot past Ali. 2-0.(42 mins)

Esentepe players and coaches protested to no avail and unsurprisingly the Esentepe supporters were none too happy either. As the whistle blew for half time the referee was surrounded by players and Club Officials enquiring about his health! HALF TIME : 2-0.


Esentepe didn’t deserve to be in arrears at the break, they were the more prominent team but would need a mountain to climb if they were going to save this match.

Esentepe again started the match in a positive mood and after 59 minutes reduced the deficit. Uğurcan up with the attack passed to Eser on the left who sent in a low cross that picked out TACETTIN who slotted home. 2-1.

Now inspired by this goal Esentepe had the initiative and Ozanköy did not look like league leaders.

The match would erupt in the 69th minute, following another poor decision from the officials when the ball clearly came off an Ozanköy player, a corner was awarded to the home team. Esentepe goalkeeper Ali kicked the ball away in utter frustration but referee Hüseyin on seeing this and to everyone amazement red carded Ali. Yes ,definitely a yellow card but never a red and as you can imagine the mayhem following this with Esentepe players jostling and surrounding the referee. Başak, Esentepe Captain was booked and lucky not to have escaped a red card himself as the game was held up for at least 5 minutes. Eventually Ali departed to be replaced by substitute keeper Tuğrul and the unfortunate Umar was the player sacrificed by Tuğrul’s introduction.

Bravely Esentepe with 10 men took the game to Ozanköy, with Eser in the 79th minute stinging Mehmedemın hands with a strong shot.

81 minutes Ozanköy were awarded another penalty when Nersin allegedly hauled down Burak who too easily went to ground. This was a bridge too far for Esentepe Assistant Coach Baris, just back from a 3 match band, he accosted the referee and was red carded again and I fear he will have to serve a longer sentence. Justice was done as replacement keeper Tuğrul brilliantly saved Bekir’s spot kick beating the ball away to his left. This was the inspiration Esentepe needed as they again piled forward in search of the equaliser.

Sadly there were now crowd disturbances as the Police struggled to form a wedge between rival supporters. Tempers and emotions ran high in this tinder box atmosphere.

84 minutes Ozanköy’s record signing Burak should have sewn the game up when put through on the left, but with only Tuğrul to beat, shot wide with a clear gilt edged opportunity.

Esentepe though continued to press on and seemed to have 20 players on the field instead of 10. In the 90th minute Ozanköy keeper Mehmedemin pulled off two “world class” saves in quick succession thwarting firstly Uğurcan and then somehow deflecting İlyas effort over the bar. You thought that this was never going to be Esentepe’s day until deep in injury time an Esentepe attack was partially cleared to the edge of the goal area to Nersin who shot what appeared to strike an Ozankoy hand and a penalty was awarded. This time referee Hüseyin was surrounded by angry Ozanköy players who pushed and jostled him. In the end Mehmet Gül was red carded and again crowd trouble on the terraces resumed. It was left to Esentepe’s top scorer TACETTIN to keep his cool and slot home Esentepe’s first penalty of the season and more importantly a deserved equaliser. Immediately the referee blew for the final time as the battles off the field continued. FULL TIME : 2-2.


Replacement Goalkeeper Tuğrul penalty save/Esentepe Man of the Match Tacettin

SUMMING UP : I am lost for words. This game had everything. I even thought I saw the “kitchen sink” come sailing onto the pitch. A top of the table clash spoilt by poor referee decisions which resulted in trouble on and off the field. Ozanköy were made not to look like a top of a table team by a never say die, never throw in the towel attitude of an Esentepe team. Too many heroes to pick out for Esentepe, replacement Goalkeeper Tuğrul who spends most of the season on the bench, had his 15 minutes of fame with that penalty save which was the turning point of the match. TACETTIN chased everything on his own, scored 2 goals and was Esentepe’s man of the match but their were others too numerous to mention.

ESENTEPE TEAM : (4-4-1-1 replacement in brackets, marks out of 10)
Ali 6 (gk) : Emre 7, Firat 8, Nersin 7, Uğurcan 7 : Umar 6 (Tuğrul gk 71), Mahmut 7 (Şahin 82), Iİyas 7, Eser 6 : Başak 7 (Muhammed 75) : TACETTIN 9.

Esentepe replacements not used : Derman, Reşat, Mustafa, Hürken.



A great win for the youngsters who are now second place in the League only 1 point behind leaders Doganci. Esentepe scored 3 first half goals from ALI SOYTÜRK (14), MEHMET AŞIKZADELER (34) and EMRE MUTLU (42)


Thursday 2 Feb : Away : v GAÜ ÇETİNKAYA TSK : k.o 2-00pm: Atatürk Stadium, Lefkoşa : Koopbank Kibris Kupası……………………tough 1st round draw for Esentepe against Supa League opposition.

Sunday 5 Feb : HOME v Girne Halk Evi : ko 2-30pm : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium…………..4th place Girne Halk Evi are the visitors in a match switched from Saturday.

ESENTEPE TEAM : (4-4-1-1 replacement in brackets, marks out of 10)
Ali 6 (gk) : Emre 7, Firat 8, Nersin 7, Uğurcan 7 : Umar 6 (Tuğrul gk 69), Mahmut 7 (Şahin ), Iİyas 7, Eser 6 : Başak 7 : TACETTIN 9.

Esentepe replacements not used : Derman, Reşat, Mustafa, Hürken.


Please watch a match highlights video by Graham Brown below and to read more of his news on Esentepe Community please click here

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