By Richard Beale ……
The Erdal Barut Memorial Trophy which is played annually in remembrance of the former Village President, who tragically died in 2013, was won by Esentepe for the first time since its inauguration.
Result: ESENTEPE KKSK 2 TÜRK OCAK LIMASOL 2 (Esentepe win 4-3 0 n penalties)
Saturday August 24: Erdal Barut Stadium.
Super League giants Türk Ocak Limasol kindly accepted Esentepe’s invitation to participate in this annual match which drew a good crowd on a boiling August evening.
A jubilant Esentepe Football team
Esentepe matched their big spending opponents and turned in their best performance so far in the pre-season warm up matches.
Despite being outclassed by their technically superior opponents, Esentepe rolled up their sleeves and with a dogged determination competed well in this very entertaining match.
After an even opening period where both teams were restricted to long shots that either went wide or over the bar, Esentepe brought the Türk Ocak goalkeeper Cenk into action with two good efforts.
Esentepe Captain VURKAN receives the Erdal Barut Memorial Trophy from the late village President’s son CELAL.
In the 25th minute a short corner from Burak was pulled back into the path of Mahmut who hit a screamer of a shot that saw Cenk brilliantly dive to his left to parry the effort.
Five minutes later he was brought to his knees following a shot from Furkan outside the area.
Against the run of play Türk Ocak took the lead right on the stroke of half time following a break and cross from the left finding their recent foreign signing INSA SYLLA who beat Onur with a shot from outside the box. 0-1
Esentepe were unlucky to go into the break especially as they had competed so well, with Captain Vurkan and his fellow midfielder Furkan being outstanding. HALF TIME SCORE: 0-1
It didn’t take long for Esentepe to equalise in the 46th minute when Hürkan was bundled over in the box. Up stepped his elder brother KAAN who scored from the resulting penalty. 1-1
Esentepe continued to press forward. Emre Soytürk who was becoming more of an influence set up Furkan following a corner which saw the midfielder’s low shot go just wide of Cenk’s left hand post.
Esentepe pressure was rewarded in the 64th minute with a fine individual goal from the impressive EMRE SOYTÜRK. The youngster using his excessive pace went on a solo run on the right before cutting inside and beating Cenk with a low shot. 2-1
The pace continued to be relentless despite both teams making numerous changes, with Türk Ocak’s three recent African signings, Isa Sylla, Elogie Oha and Sahid Turay becoming more influential.
Türk Ocak’s superior fitness was starting to tell, with Esentepe defending as if their lives depended on it.
Photo l-r: ” Man of the Match” EMRE SOYTÜRK and right Esentepe MAHMUT who also had a good game in action.
Eventually in the 85th minute Esentepe defence finally cracked under pressure when following a lightning break on the right Elogie’s effort rebounded off the Esentepe post into the path of INSA SYLLA to score his second goal. 2-2.
Türk Ocak should have won it in the last 5 minutes when they squandered two golden opportunities with both Elogie and Insa shooting wide from good positions. FULL TIME SCORE: 2-2
Thankfully in the heat extra time was not an option, so the match was decided with a penalty shootout which was won 4-3 by Esentepe (Kaan, Hüseyin, Hürkan and Emre Mutlu successfully converted their penalties)
Thanks to both teams for providing such a good match on what is a sad day for the village of Esentepe.