By Richard Beale …….
Esentepe won easily, this second “Play Off” match against Baf Ülkü Yurdu who approached this game in “holiday mood” with their Super League place assured.
Result: ESENTEPE KKSK 4 BAF ÜLKÜ YURDU 0
Sunday May 19, 2019: K-Pet Super League Second Match Play Off ; Lefkoşa Atatürk Stadium.
With Binatlı enjoying another relatively easy match against Küçü Kaymakı (whose Super League place was also guaranteed) then it all comes down the final play off match to be played on Thursday at Lefkoşa Şht Hüseyin Ruso Stadium, kick off 5-00pm.
So after 30 League games and 2 Play off matches Esentepe and Binatlı are both in the last chance saloon. It’s the Final Countdown, both teams have been dealt their final hand of cards, the winner takes it all – who will it be?
It was a strange match, their opponents Baf Ülkü Yurdu (BUY) were in a relaxed mood, half their players were already on the beach and maybe their African players were looking forward to returning home. Saying that, Esentepe had a job to do, namely to win this match, they did so with ease, they came through unscathed, no red cards, no bookings.
The match was played at the giant Atatürk Stadium (capacity 28,000) in front of a crowd of just around 80, there was no atmosphere, an eerie silence in this soulless Stadium. Canny supporters were keeping their money in their pockets in readiness for Thursday’s encounter. The match at times resembled a Testimonial match, a friendly match certainly BUY players were not busting a gut or risking injury on a warm afternoon.
At last, after watching Esentepe now for 10 seasons, I have witnessed a win at the Atatürk Stadium, the “bogey” ground excuse can be put to rest, the monkey is off our back.
With Goalkeeper Onur unable to play because of injury, Esentepe had no choice but to ask Ali Karal to come out of his semi retirement. Ali had to give up football in December because of work commitments he hasn’t trained since then. He was asked by the Club to help them out, which he did, he didn’t let them down he had a good game, very sound very assured and for once Esentepe kept a clean sheet.
BUY striker HAFIZ gets in a shot and right Esentepe Goalkeeper ALI KARAL saves from Hafiz
The whole team performed well on a warmish, sunny afternoon. Junior made a welcome scoring return and it was great to have his presence up front again.
EFOSA FRANCIS for me was outstanding, he tormented the BUY defence, could have and should have scored a hat trick, but had to be content with a penalty goal plus 2 goal assists.
15 mins : Efosa on the left, sped into the area and shot which BUY goalkeeper Erdoğan dived to left to push away the winger’s shot for a corner.
21 mins : It was that man JUNIOR again (13 goals in 15 matches), how we have missed him during the last 3 games. This time the Cameroon International started and executed the move himself with a low drive past the goalkeeper from outside the area. 1-0.
38 mins : A well worked goal from Esentepe started by Efosa putting through YAKUP, who finished expertly for his 4th goal of the season. 2-0.
43 mins : Efosa on the left beat his marker and let fly from 25 yards only to see his effort hit the left hand post and rebound to safety.
67 mins : Junior put in Yakup with only replacement goalkeeper Hüseyin to beat, but the goalkeeper brilliantly dived to his left to push away Yakup’s shot. The ball rebounded to the young midfielder but he screwed his second shot across the goal.
82 mins : Efosa was again the provider this time putting through Hüseyin (Raul), only for his namesake the BUY goalkeeper Hüseyin to bring him down in the area. EFOSA sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with his kick. 3-0.
88 mins : A first ever senior goal for 16 year old ŞÜKRÜ who on as a late replacement finished coolly after being put through on the right. FULL TIME SCORE : 4-0.
Esentepe defence clears the ball and right Goalkeeper HÜSEYİN brings down Esentepe HÜSEYİN for Esentepe’s third goal.