February 6, 2023

By Richard Beale…………………….


Saturday 28 October : K-Pet League 1:@ Göçmenköy Stadı.

Esentepe travel to Lefkoşa on Saturday afternoon seeking early revenge on their opponents Göçmenköy. It doesn’t seem that long ago, only April, that the two teams met in the semi final of the League 1 promotion “play offs”.

It was Esentepe who returned home from the Atatürk Stadium broken hearted after suffering defeat in a penalty shoot out. Göçmenköy themselves would suffer heartache as well a week later, being beaten in the “play off” final by Yeni Boğazici.

Göçmenköy have got off to a slow start to the season, losing their first 3 matches 0-1. They have since had a mini revival winning their last home match against Mehmetçik 1-0, and last week drew 2-2 away to Doğancı. However this revival came too late for Coach Ermin Çelik as he was dismissed after Sunday’s match against Doğancı.

This is not the only change for Göçmenköy this week as the playing surface has undergone a drastic facelift.

Contractors have been working day and night to replace grass with a synthetic playing surface. Hopefully it will be ready for Saturday’s match.

Göçmenköy Stadı stand and contractors working on the pitch

Esentepe after being outplayed by Gönyeli last week, suffering their first League defeat of the season, must get back on track. Being overrun in midfield and failure to defend corners will probably result in a couple of changes by the Esentepe Coach. I am sure he will reinforce the midfield and hopefully give lone striker Hasan some assistance upfront.

Esentepe and Göçmenköy are old rivals, however both seem destined to play League 1 football and not in the Supa League as they have played each other many times.

Recent results have been :

Season 2013-14 : Göçmenköy 2 Esentepe 0.

                              (Rifat 41,)

                               Sabri (pen) 92)

Season 2014-15 : Göçmenköy 1 Esentepe 5

                             (Suat 88)          (Deniz 19, Emrah 26, Emek (pen) 40, Başak 84

                                                       İlyas 85)

Season 2015-16 : Göçmenköy 2 Esentepe 1

                              (Mehmet 50,) (Eser 58)

                              (Arda 55)


Season 2016-17 : Göçmenköy 0 Esentepe 0 (League 1 play off semi final)

                              (Göçmenköy won 5-4 on penalties)

Don’t really want to re-live it, but last season’s promotion “play off” semi final is the match chosen this week. The match was played on April 8 at the Atatürk Stadium. Both Clubs brought large contingents with them. Shame that the match plus extra time could not provide any goals for them. There was no lack of effort from Esentepe who dominated the match, hitting both bar, post and forcing Göçmenköy keeper Okan into making many fine saves. Midfielder İlyas had an outstanding match coming close on a number of occasions.

No score after 90 minutes, extra time was disappointing with both sets of players seeming to run out of steam on a warmish afternoon.

Then the dreaded penalty shoot out and an Esentepe blank as Mahmut missed his penalty. Heartache for Esentepe and wild celebrations for Göçmenköy.

Mahmut was inconsolable and Sport photographer Cemil Garip, superbly captured an iconic photo of Mahmut being consoled by his teammate Mustafa and Göçmenköy player Arda Sözcü. Football can be cruel at times but Arda’s reaction to Mahmut is what is important in football. Winning is good but respect, comradeship and compassion to your opponents speak more than words can say.

Penalty miss and an inconsolable Mahmut.

GÖÇMENKÖY TEAM : Orhan (gk) : Mehmet, Kemal, Umut, Engin, Mustafa, Ender (Cem 53), Arda, Selhim, Mehmet Gezer ( Arda Özkan 55), Sabri.

ESENTEPE TEAM : Ali (gk) : Emre, Şahin, Nersin, Mahmut : Uğurcan, İlyas, Hüseyin, Umar : Başak (Burak 88), Tacettin.

PREDICTION : Matches have generally been tight between the two teams. I predict a 1-1 draw.


Easy get to Lefkoşa, at the big roundabout turn left and go along the dual carriageway. First set of lights signposted University/ Hospital turn left and then first right. Ground is in front of you plenty of car parking space. It’s in the shadow of the giant Atatürk Stadium.


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