By Richard Beale …..
Despite a brave battling performance by Esentepe, they came away from Lefkoşa with nothing to show for it. For long periods of the second half the “Scorpions” had the Champions reeling on the ropes but they could not deliver that fatal “sting” in the end.
Result : YENİCAMİ AK 3 ESENTEPE KKSK 1
Sunday 14 October 2018: K-Pet Super League : Lefkoşa Atatürk Stadium.
On paper and in the record books it will show that Yenicamı won 3-1 a comfortable victory you would have thought. What it does not show is a fighting determined performance from Esentepe. It wasn’t until injury time that the Champions and current League leaders could at least breathe more easily as they were given the fright of their lives. The match was broadcast live on local TV Esentepe, they were meant to be the “sacrificial lambs’, but they came out of this contest with their heads held high and pride intact.
Yenicamı AK v Esentepe KKSK
The Atatürk Stadium has never been a happy hunting ground for Esentepe and again in the end it lived up to its reputation.
On a very warm afternoon a rather disappointing crowd were seeking what shelter there was from the hot sun.
The Champions took the lead in the 16th minute through a simple goal scored by MEHMET ALTIN, who was put through on the left, he ran on unchallenged to beat goalkeeper Ali at his near post with a low shot. 1-0.
26 minutes and it was 2-0 and another goal given away by Esentepe that should have been prevented. Centre defender Moses instead of clearing the ball tried to pass to fellow defender Salih, JOHN EBUKA OKOYE nipped in to intercept the pass carried on to beat Alı. 2-0.
Okoye nearly scored again in the 31st minute holding off challenges from Uğurcan and Moses only to fire just over the Esentepe bar
I must admit I was fearing the worst for Esentepe that heads would drop and the floodgates would open?.
Out of the blue skies Esentepe pulled a goal back in the 32nd minute with a first goal for his club scored by ODI HENRY CHIBUEZE. Esentepe forced a corner on the left which was taken by Kaan met at the far post by Yakup whose shot which was deflected onto the Yenicamı crossbar by goalkeeper Ercan the ball rebounded down to ODI who managed to prod the ball in. Odi celebrated his goal in “Lua Lua” style with two triple back somersaults! 2-1.
This goal gave Esentepe heart and the Champions were clearly rattled, though Esentepe lost midfielder Mahmut with a hamstring injury and he was replaced just before the interval by Edis.
Esentepe finished the half well on top, could they reproduce this in the second half? HALF TIME SCORE : 2-1.
The answer was YES! as they seemed to be re-energized as they took the game to their opponents. By doing so they were susceptible to the quick breakaways and within a space of a minute Esentepe were thankful to goalkeeper Ali for keeping in the game.
57th minute Yenicamı Captain Ünal went straight through the Esentepe defence, but Ali coming out quickly managed to block his shot, the ball rebounded to Okoye who looked certain to score before a great saving tackle from Moses robbed him of the ball.
58th minute: Ünal was through again and once more Ali came out quickly to save the Yenicamı Captain’s shot with his foot.
Esentepe were having a great deal of possession and should have equalised in the 72nd minute when they spurned a golden opportunity. Yakup set winger Ahmet away on the right and he put over a perfect low cross to substitute Mahmut Amasyalı, unmarked only a few yards out, but the Esentepe player skied the ball high over the bar.
Esentepe were unlucky again in the 77th minute, when Odi did well to retrieve the ball near the left corner flag, he pulled the ball back to Moses who squared the ball to Edis whose shot hit Yenicamı right hand post and rebounded to safety.
Urged on by their vociferous supporters Esentepe were pouring forwards and the Champions were left reeling and punch drunk by Esentepe attacks.
It wasn’t until four minutes of injury time that Yenicamı made the game safe when from a Hüseyin cross from the left it was deflected to the unmarked JOHN EBUKA OKOYE to score easily. FULL TIME SCORE : 3-1.
SUMMING UP: A brilliant team performance and I know I am a little biased but a draw would have been a fairer result. Yenicamı can breath a huge sigh of relief they knew they have been put through the mincer, but at the end of the day Esentepe have 0 points to show for their efforts and Yenicamı have 3 points. Esentepe really gave away two soft goals.
With 4 matches played this season I see nothing to frighten Esentepe, providing we show the same effort and commitment in every match, only for a 10 minute spell against Gençlik Gücü have we looked out of our depth.
Man of the match for Esentepe for me was young YAKUP SEN who had another magnificent game in midfield, closely followed by striker Odi who chased everything and again was a handful to the Yenicamı defence. Everybody contributed in their own way to a good team performance.