North Cyprus Football : Late Explosion at Esentepe

By Richard Beale……………..

No nothing too serious, the “explosion” came in the form of a late goal by Hasan Özçelik to give Esentepe a narrow victory over near neighbours Görneç.


Sunday 5 November 2017 : K-Pet League 1 : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

Despite the rain, first day of the big hunting season, English Sunday roasts, and Manchester City v Arsenal on the telly a good crowd came to watch this local “derby match”

The surface was waterlogged in places which did not help the players, who at times were unsure of their footing or sometimes the ball got stuck in the water. All in all the pitch handled well and both sets of players should be commended for their efforts in trying conditions. An explosive bonfire day derby it was not, nor was it a damp squib, it was a thoroughly absorbing match to watch.

Görneç promoted this season from the amateur summer league, can count themselves unlucky not to go back over the mountains with least a point. They look a tidy outfit, putting together some slick moves and Mustafa Arnauut was the game’s outstanding player.

Görneç dominated the opening stages, straight from the kick off, Levent forcing a save from Esentepe goalkeeper Kemal. He was in action again in the 4th minute, brilliantly turning over the bar a fierce kick from Mustafa.

Esentepe goalkeeper KEMAL MOLLA in action

The dangerous Mustafa in the early stages had the beating of Esentepe teenage fullback Emre, but full marks to the youngster who got to terms with his tricky opponent later on and was able to go on a number of “sorties” upfield himself..

Esentepe looked disjointed with a number of players taking on new roles in the team and took time to settle.

At last they came to life in the 23rd minute, following a Yakup cross, which eluded the defence fell to Başak, who probably not expecting the ball, scooped a chance over the bar. A minute later Hasan found himself clear on the left put in a shot, which got held up in a puddle to enable Görneç keeper Hasan Bilal to save.

Görneç had a good opportunity in the 39th minute following a corner from Mustafa, Yaşar got in a near post header which Kemal in the Esentepe goal did well to parry, and the rebound was hacked away for another corner.

Ismail forced Hasan to tip over his header from a Yakup corner in the 40th minute.

It was certainly Görneç’s half, they broke quickly, with some incisive moves where Esentepe were slow and ponderous in their build ups.. HALF TIME Score: 0-0.

Emre made one of his trademark overlapping runs, putting in a cross to the far post where Yakup got in a shot that was fielded by Hasan.

Görneç’s Doğan was strong and powerful in midfield and was getting through a lot of work as he drove his team forward, but he blasted over the bar when he was presented with a chance by substitute Hüseyin Yıldrım.

Mustafa Arnauut looked certain to score when put through on the left, but Kemal in the home goal came out quickly to block the winger’s shot.

Action photos from the match.

With the game seemingly drifting to a goalless draw, Esentepe scored the winner in the 87th minute, when substitute Muhammed sent over a teasing cross, where HASAN ÖZÇELIK was all alone, got in a header at the near post which was parried by goalkeeper Hasan Bilal, the ball fell back to the Esentepe striker to prod home. Esentepe managed to see out the remaining time and additional injury time with no further scares. FULL TIME Score: 1-0.

SUMMING UP : This what managers call an “ugly win”, but at the moment Esentepe will accept anything and 3 valuable and priceless points are in the bag. League 1 this season is a very tough League with some outstanding teams in it. Görneç can feel very aggrieved not to come away with a point, but I am sure they will upset a few teams this season. They have some fine players. Doğus (a Jon Jo Shelvy look alike) gave Hasan, Esentepe’s only striker, little room, lucky for Esentepe he went missing for Esentepe’s goal. Doğan was strong and powerful in midfield and Mustafa Arnauut as I said before was the game’s outstanding player.

L-R: Esentepe matchwinner HASAN ÖZÇELIK : Esentepe “man of the match” KEMAL MOLLA : Görneç ” man of the match” MUSTAFA ARNAUUT.

For Esentepe they still look disjointed, though the positional changes made by the Coach were a success. Young Onur settled well at left back, and Ismail pushed up into midfield from left back had a useful game. The burly Hasan Sungür, making his first appearance for a long time was strong in defence. Esentepe once again were indebted to goalkeeper KEMAL MOLLA, who made two outstanding saves and looked secure in his handling.

ESENTEPE TEAM : (replacements in brackets, merit marks out of 10)

KEMAL (gk) 8 : Emre 6, Nersin 6, Hasan Sungür 7, Onur 7 (Muhammed 80): Ahmet 6, İsmail 7 (Hüseyin 70), Mahmut 6, Yakup 5 (Turan 60) : Başak 6, Hasan Özçelik 6.

Replacements not used : Hüseyin Ikinci (gk), Burak, Asil Arif,.


Hasan Bilal (gk) : Doğus, Mehmet, Besim, Rifat, Celal, Doğan, Yaşar (Firat 66), MUSTAFA, Abdullah (Hüseyin Yıldrım 60), Levent.

Referee : Turgay Misk – Patchy.

Yellow cards : ESENTEPE : Emre : GÖRNEÇ : Rifat, Celal, Doğus.


Sunday 12 November : ko 2-00pm : Away : Gazimağusa Dr Fazil Küçük Stadı.


Video highlights of Esentepe KKSK v Görneç KSK match by Graham Procter-Brown