By Richard Beale ……
A stunning 61st minute goal from Türk Ocak’s recent African signing Insa Sylla was enough for the Super League giants to overcome a hard working Esentepe team.
Result: TÜRK OCAK LIMASOL 1 ESENTEPE KKSK 0 (Friendly Match)
Thursday September 5 : Venue: Girne Pia Bella Sahası
This was Esentepe’s last “friendly” match before the League season starts on weekend 14/15 September. It has been a long “pre season”, this being Esentepe’s 9th friendly match, another defeat yes, but again it was a useful workout for the team.
In the small Pia Bella Sahası, there were varied supporters scattered around the pitch, a handful from each Club, supplemented by various walkers, joggers and a few Expats enjoying a “gin and tonic” from their hotel balcony in the Pia Bella Hotel.
The opening 25 minutes was pretty even, uneventful with any half chances created going either wide or over the bar.
Match action Esentepe in the red strip
Türk Ocak’s Ahmet in the 30th minute, led a quick breakaway on the left before prodding his shot just wide of the Esentepe near post.
There was a scare for Esentepe in the 36th minute when their Captain Vurkan was left on the floor in some discomfort following a challenge. The influential midfielder who has a history of serious knee problems, was helped off the field and replaced by his younger brother Hürkan. Thankfully. later it turned out to be a minor scare.
Both Goalkeepers had little to do, there was a lot of effort and endeavour but little end product. HALF TIME SCORE : 0-0.
In the opening 10 minutes Esentepe had a “purple patch” creating two chances, firstly following a Burak corner Hürkan from outside the box hit a shot straight at the Türk Ocak keeper Cenk. Another shot from Yakup again from just outside the box, caused Cenk troubles and he needed two attempts to save the midfielders shot.
Gradually Türk Ocak took control of the game with their star player Insa Sylla becoming more and more influential. The Super League team forced a number of corners which, from one, Esentepe’s Yakup was forced to hack the ball away off his own goal line.
Türk Ocak eventually took the lead and fittingly it was the game’s best player INSA SYLLA who scored it. Following another corner the ball was partially cleared to outside the box where the midfielder hit an unstoppable volley past an unsighted Hüseyin. The midfielder has a knack in scoring against Esentepe as in another friendly match a couple of weeks ago he scored twice. 1-0
Türk Ocak continued to dominate the game, but the Esentepe defence held firm, though Mustafa Günlü was forced to clear off the line again from a Türk Ocak attack in the 82nd minute.
Esentepe did not look like scoring and this has been a worry in the build up matches, nothing wrong with their defence or midfield, just that they have limited options up front. FULL TİME SCORE 1-0
Nersin Osman returning in defence for the first time since his transfer from Düzkaya had a sound match and combined well with stopper KAAN ARSLAN who I thought was Esentepe best player.
MAN OF THE MATCH: INSA SYLLA ( Türk Ocak) – was behind every Türk Ocak move, he will have a big influence on the Super League next season.