North Cyprus Football : Bruised, Battered but Victorious.
By Richard Beale……………………………..
Remember those films, The Alamo, Zulu and the Thin Red Line sometimes at this match you seemed to be watching all those films rolled into one. In this pulsating ‘Derby Match” Esentepe Promotion credentials were given a severe examination by a battling Akova side.
Result : AKOVA VURDU TCB 1 ESENTEPE KKSK 3
Saturday January 27, 2018 : K-Pet League 1 : Akova Eray Vudali Stadi
AKOVA VURDU TCB v ESENTEPE KKSK
On a glorious, sunny January afternoon, the compact Eray Vudalı Stadı was packed for this first ever visit of Esentepe to Akova for a League match.
The match did not disappoint, we are privileged to live in this beautiful island, the same with football, some matches are easily forgotten, this match it was a privileged to be there.
Esentepe were backs to wall for most of the match, defending in numbers, throwing their bodies on the line on numerous occasions, shots were charged down or when the defensive wall was breached they found Esentepe Goalkeeper Kemal Molla in top form.
Injured in a heavy challenge early on, the goalkeeper bravely dealt with everything that was thrown at him. Kemal handling of crosses either high or low was immaculate.
It was not all one way traffic, Esentepe had their chances, breaking quickly using the pace of Ahmet on the right. Ahmet had an outstanding game on the right, scoring twice and could easily have had a hat trick, missing two clear chances.
The Officials and Captains and right Esentepe Goalkeeper Kemal Molla “Man of the Match”
Esentepe threatened first in the 10th minute when a Muhammed free kick from around 25 yards, was brilliantly turned over the bar by Akova’s keeper Dervis.
Esentepe took the lead in the 15th minute when Captain BAŞAK cleverly flicked home a Mahmut corner from the left. 0-1
The lead did not last long with Akova equalising in the 28th minute and probably for the only time in the match, poor defending from Esentepe. A Çemil free kick from the left was met by burly defender SÜLEYMAN who headed home unchallenged. 1-1.
Akova were denied the lead shortly after, from another Çemil corner. Kemal diving to his right to brilliantly push away an Irfan header.
Esentepe took advantage of this, regaining the lead in the 25th minute, when a superb through ball from Mahmut found AHMET running into the area and he finished expertly with a low shot from an acute angle. HALF TIME SCORE : 1-2.
It was all Akova in the second half, their efforts either finding the safe hands of Kemal or shooting over the bar.
Irfan was narrowly wide with a shooting chance that went inches wide, with Kemal at full stretch. Minutes later Osman had a ferocious shot beaten away by Kemal.
Esentepe Coach Davut Kansu, made a tactical change in the 65th minute bringing on experienced defender Nersin to reinforce the defence, in place of the hardworking Yakup in midfield.
With Akova pushing forward this left gaps at the back in their defence and Esentepe had 2 glorious chances to increase their lead. Firstly in the 71st minute Başak brilliantly headed onto Ahmet but with only the goalkeeper to beat he tamely shot at Dervis. A minute later Esentepe’s new signing Ilkay, on as a substitute, crossed from the left, where an unmarked Başak headed straight at Dervis.
Akova were throwing everything at Esentepe including the kitchen sink, but the defence held firm. With 6 minutes of injury time being played, Esentepe broke quickly with a 3 on 1 situation, Hüseyin put in from the left a perfect low cross to AHMET to score again with a low shot from an acute angle. FULL TIME SCORE : 1-3
AKOVA TEAM : Dervis (GK, C), Berhane (Hüseyin Özbilen 75), Olgun (Eray 70), Salih, Osman, Süleyman, Aşkin, Jeffrey ( Koray 55), ALI IMAM, Irfan, Çemil,
ESENTEPE TEAM :
KEMAL (gk) 8.5 : Muhammed 7, Hasan 7, Şahin 7, Onur 8 : Ahmet 8, Yakup 7 (Nersin 65),
Mahmut 7, Ismail 7 : Eser 7 ( Ilkay 68) : Başak 7 (Hüseyin Ermış 82),
Video highlights of the Akova Vurdu TCB v Esentepe KKSK match by Graham Procter-Brown