Last gasp Efosa equaliser saves it for Esentepe

By Richard Beale …….

Efosa Francis 94th minute equaliser, gave Esentepe a valuable point after Türk Ocak scored an 89th minute goal through Tonbara Trongoli which looked to have secured all 3 points for the Girne club.


Saturday April 20, 2019: K-Pet Super League : Erdal Barut Esentepe Stadium.

Esentepe turned in a real “Dr Jekyll and Dr Hyde” performance, for most of the first half they were sluggish and laborious with the visitors taking a 2 goal lead into the interval.

When passing the home team changing room during the break Coach Hüseyin Çağlar raised voice could be clearly heard, this must have had the desired effect as a Dr Hyde second half performance took on an appearance. Esentepe battled back to 2-2, only to have their hearts broken when Tonbara’s late goal seemed to have secured the game, but Esentepe came back again in injury time to save the match.

Girne Halk Evi the bottom club lost again and are now relegated back to League 1 after just one season in the top league. The other club below Esentepe, Gençler Birliği drew so the status quo remains for an escape to Super League safety via the relegation “play offs”.

Next week Esentepe travel to Guzelyurt to face Binatlı who are one place and 2 points ahead of them. This will be Esentepe’s most important match of the season they cannot afford to lose it.

Concerns for Esentepe are a defence that resembles a string bag that has leaked 13 goals in 3 matches. In the first half of this match Türk Ocak forwards Tonbara and Remzi sliced through the defence like a knife cutting into butter. With the experienced Ahmet Coşkun and Ahmet Saygı controlling the midfield it was not surprising that Türk Ocak raced into a 2 goal lead.

Türk Ocak (yellow./black) on the attack and right Esentepe’s Efosa on the attack


9 mins: Türk Ocak took the lead with a simple goal, Ahmet Can crossed the ball into the area where Hasan Songur under pressure from Remzi put through his own goal, the ball glancing off his head and into the net.. 0-1

15 mins: Esentepe came close to equalising twice within a minute, Kaan finding Efosa who cut into the box beating a couple of players before squaring the ball across to Junior. Esentepe’s leading scorer got in a shot that hit the outside of the post. Sükrü retrieved the ball and returned it to Junior who put in a header that was brilliantly palmed away at point blank range by goalkeeper Hüseyin, with defender Ilker completing the clearance.

19 mins : Esentepe defence was caught again down the left when Ahmet Saygı ran on unchallenged passed to TONBARA just outside the box he turned and hit a low drive past Onur who might have done better. 0-2

31 mins : Esentepe made a tactician substitution bringing on Mahmut in place of 16 year old Sükrü. Not surprisingly for one so young he has looked jaded recently, a short spell on the bench will work wonders for him.

45 mins : Esentepe should have pulled a goal back in injury time when Kaan put in Junior with only the goalkeeper to beat, but Hüseyin came out quickly to block Juniors effort.

It was a disgruntled “Dr Jekyll” side that left the field. HALF TIME SCORE: 0-2

The turning point of the game came in the 55th minute after Türk Ocak started the half brightly Remzi again sliced the Esentepe defence in half with Tonbara running onto the ball he looked certain to score with only Onur to beat. The young goalkeeper saved Esentepe, diving to his right to save Tonbara’s effort. At this moment Dr Hyde made an appearance.

60 mins : Esentepe pulled a goal back, Ahmet took a short corner back to Mahmut who crossed into the box to HASAN SONGUR to flick the ball into the right of the goal to cancel out his own goal. 1-2

70 mins : Esentepe equalised when Ahmet on the left found Efosa who cut inside before finding JUNIOR to control the ball, turn and shoot past Hüseyin. 2-2

It was no more than Esentepe deserved as Türk Ocak had lost their early sparkle and were being pressurised by an energetic Esentepe who went in search of the winner.

However they were caught by a sucker punch in the 89th minute as Esentepe defence again “parted like the Red Sea” a through ball again caught them wide open Ahmet Coşkun provided the ammunition TONBARA ran onto it and shot past Onur. 2-3

Left: Turning point of the game Esentepe keeper Onur makes a great save from Tonbara and right Efosa about to score Esentepe’s 94th minute equaliser.

Esentepe players slumped to the floor in disbelief, were they to be robbed again. They managed to summon up energy and strength to find an equaliser.

94 mins : Esentepe won a corner on the left, and their tall goalkeeper Onur was summoned up for the corner. Mahmut’s kick was partially cleared to EFOSA standing just outside the box. His low shot did not possess any real power but the giant Onur jumped over the ball and that must have distracted goalkeeper Hüseyin who was late getting down to Efosa’s shot that went into the net at the far post. BEDLAM FOLLOWED!  FULL TIME SCORE : 3-3

Video highlights courtesy of Graham Procter-Brown