North Cyprus Football : Heartache For Esentepe As Gönyeli Score Injury Time Winner


By Richard Beale………..

A 92 minute winner from Gönyeli’s top goalscorer Akın Topal broke Esentepe’s hearts in a match where they should have won or at the very least deserved a draw.


Sunday 26 February 2017 : K-Pet League 1 White Group : Gönyeli Stadium.



Esentepe’s promotion “play off” dreams turned into a nightmare as Gönyeli stole all 3 points to go above their rivals into 3rd place. With Girne Halk Evi also winning, Esentepe slipped to 5th spot and to make it worse they are without a game next weekend, so other teams can take advantage of that. The only bright note of the day was that Lapta lost 1-0 to Champions elect Ozanköy.

Esentepe have only themselves to blame missing a penalty and missing 2 glorious gilt edged chances, sadly missed by out of sorts striker Tacettin.

On a warm sunny afternoon a match of this importance attracted a large crowd from both teams. Esentepe should have taken the lead in the 7th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Gönyeli’s Yusuf Palaz was put under pressure from Tacettin who handled an Eser cross in the area and was also booked for the incident.

Up stepped top scorer Tacettin, but the striker blasted his kick wide of the Gönyeli goal.

It turned into a “tale of two penalties” in the 13th minute, when Gönyeli were awarded a penalty after Esentepe’s Firat clearly handed the ball. Erdogan made no mistake with his penalty sending goalkeeper Ali the wrong way. 1-0.


A  “TALE OF TWO PENALTIES- Esentepe miss and Gönyeli success

This goal came against the run of play as Esentepe were stroking the ball around with some confidence and a good move involving İlyas and Uğurcan led to Eser cutting inside and letting fly with a shot that Kemal in the Gönyeli goal dived to push away for a corner.

Esentepe continued to impress and got their due rewards with a goal in injury time of the first half following a breathtaking move started by Umar who made progress down the right played a one/two with Eser sending the overlapping Emre away who continued down the right flank before sent over a mouth watering cross which was seized upon by ESER who finished clinically. This move was reminiscent of Esentepe’s early form in the season and was well worth the admission fee just to see it: HALF TIME : 1-1.


Esentepe missed a great chance to take the lead in the 55th minute following a long goal kick from Ali which chased down by Tacettin who forced an error among the Gönyeli defenders to give up possession. Uğurcan and Eser combined to give a clear shooting opportunity to Tacettin but the striker shot tamely and the ball deflected off a defender for a corner.

Gonyeli came close following a Raif corner in the 63rd minute, which was missed by Ali and Reşat powered a strong header against the Esentepe crossbar, the ball rebounded outside the area to Tuğrul who sent a fierce shot back just over the Esentepe bar.

73 minutes, Tacettin missed another golden opportunity following an Eser cross, falling perfectly to him but even being a few yards out he shot well wide of the goal.

It was now quite an open game, in the 77th minute Esentepe switched off from a corner allowing İlksen to send in a strong shot that goalkeeper Ali managed to parry and Emre to complete the clearance in front of his goal.

Emre sped down the right when overlapping caused Gönyeli problems and he was twice body checked by Reşat, the second offence led to him being dismissed in the 82nd minute.

Then with three minutes of injury time being played, Esentepe’s İlyas gave the ball away in midfield where the ball was whipped in over Emre’s head and into the path of Akın to bury a first time shot past Ali. With that goal Esentepe players sunk to their knees in disbelief and Esentepe supporters were left stunned and shell shocked. By contrast Gönyeli players were dancing in jubilation on the pitch and being mobbed by their admiring supporters. FULL TIME : 2-1.



Action Pictures with dejected Esentepe players (top right), scorer of winning goal Akın Topal (bottom right).


A stab in the heart for everyone connected with the Football Club to lose in injury time, but what goes around comes around. Esentepe have done enough to other teams in the past.

At least this was a marked improvement from previous matches, Gönyeli’s synthetic pitch held no fears for Esentepe. It fact maybe the smooth, true surface helped to find Esentepe’s passing game which appears to have gone missing in previous matches. They still gave the ball away too often and the final ball and crosses need improving on, but it was a heartening performance. In form Gonyeli who are a big and powerful team were made to look ordinary, by a hard working Esentepe team. Sadly golden goalscoring opportunities were squandered, mostly by Tacettin. At the moment the striker cannot buy a goal, or hit a “ barn door” as the ball appears to him like a hot potato. His work rate you cannot fault and maybe with no match next weekend, a rest away from football will do him good. With 4 matches left some team will pay the penalty for those missed chances.

I thought it was a good all round team performance, with EMRE SOYTÜRK outstanding. Still only 17 years of age he is improving in every match, his speed is frightening opponents into committing errors and fouls. With maturity and more experience he will develop into a fine footballer.

correct-celebrationsHAPPY GÖNYELİ TEAM 

ESENTEPE TEAM (4-4-2 ), replacements in brackets, marks out of 10 )

Ali (gk) 6 : EMRE SOYTÜRK 8, Şahin 7 ( Burak 85), Firat 6, Nersin 6 : Umar 5 ( Hüseyin 75), Mahmut 7, İlyas 6, Uğurcan 7 : Eser 7, Tacettin 4.

Replacements not used : Tuğrul (gk), Muhammed, Emrah, Derman, Tuğrulsan.




A useful point for the young team who lead the League Table by 6 points with 5 matches left.

In a hard fought match in blazing sunshine, Gönyeli took the lead in the 16th minute through Şenol. Top goalscorer for Esentepe HÜRKAN netted his 11th goal of the season from a header.


Weekend March 4/5 : No match.

Sunday March 12 : HOME v DENIZLI SK : ko 3-00pm : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

Sat March 18 : Away v DOĞANCI SK:ko 3-00pm : Aydinköy Sahasi, near Lefke.


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