North Cyprus Football : Vital Win For Bahçeli


By Richard Beale ……

The clash of the bottom two teams saw a vital win for Bahçeli to keep them in touch with the leading two Clubs. Defeat would have meant that their season would probably be a battle to avoid the wooden spoon.


Sunday 20 May : BTM League 2, Group 1 : Boğaziçi Ibrahim Gadır Stadi.


Boğaziçi and Bahçeli supporters made us both welcome when we visited this village on the Gecitkale and Iskele road last Sunday. Boğaziçi have a well run Sports Club and on a boiling hot afternoon an ice cold Efes was essential pre match preparation! Since my last visit here 2 years ago the Club have added a synthetic 5-a-side pitch and a tennis/handball court. But the pitch I am afraid as you can see from my photos is still what you may call a cinder track. I understand that a synthetic pitch is their next project when funds allow.

The pitch for Boğaziçi is definitely advantage, a few years ago this was the norm in this standard of football, but many Clubs have had artificial pitches installed. If you are a defender you definitely can’t slide tackle and you must be crazy to be a goalkeeper to dive on this surface.

In the opening 20 minutes it was all Boğaziçi as Bahçeli were very tentative in coming to terms with the playing surface. In the 7th minute a long free kick into the Bahçeli goal area saw the nippy Ümit clear on goal, but Bahçeli goalkeeper Murat reacted quickly to beat away his shot.

Then from a Tahsin corner Boğaziçi Captain and striker Halil Ibrahim got in a powerful header that went straight into Murat’s arms.

Boğaziçi didn’t have to wait long when they took the lead in the 14th minute following poor play by Bahçeli. They lost possession of the ball in midfield, and defender Eşref sliced his clearance which went to HALIL IBRAHIM who fastened onto the loose ball and scored with a low shot that went in off the post. 1-0

Against the run of play in a rare breakaway attack Bahçeli equalised in the 31st minute when a centre from the left by Cemre was sliced into his own net by defender Ercan Kaya. 1-1.

This gave Bahçeli new hope and striker Halil forced the Boğaziçi keeper Murat into a smart diving save. Right on the stroke of half time Boğaziçi should have increased their lead when Halil Ibrahim weaved his way past defenders to shoot which Murat did well to beat away his shot. HALF TIME : 1-1

Bahçeli had now come to terms with the playing surface and were coming more and more into the game and they took the lead in the 67th minute. An Umar corner was only partially cleared to HALIL NEBİLOĞLU waiting at the far post who volleyed past Murat. 1-2.

HALIL (in middle) celebrating with Bahçeli supporters

Bahçeli should have sewn the game up in the 77th minute when a long punt upfield broke kindly for Cemre to run onto, but with only the keeper to beat he shot wide of the goal.

Boğaziçi pushed men forward in the latter stages as the pressure increased on the Bahçeli defence. But the back four so crumbly of late held firm to take all 3 points. FULL TIME SCORE : 1-2

SUMMING UP : A much improved performance that keeps their season alive. On this awkward surface you have to adapt to the conditions and after the opening 30 minutes they did. A good hard working team performance with good contributions from new signing Uğurcan in midfield and defenders Cafer and Kazim Gül.

Man of the Match : KAZIM GÜL very steady and assured at the back.