By Richard Beale ……
A crucial match between two struggling teams, played on a mud bath of a pitch, ended with Esentepe taking the 3 points, enabling them to swap places with Karşıyaka, sending them into a relegation “play off” place.
Result: ESENTEPE KKSK 2 KARŞIYAKA SK 0
Sunday December 15, 2019: K-Pet League 1: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium
As you can expect with both teams finding it hard to score goals this season, chances in this match were at a premium as two strong defences held the upper hand. Realistically Esentepe had two chances and scored from both, whereas Karşıyaka squandered their only chance.
The heavy rain this week had taken its toll on the Esentepe pitch, resulting in the cancellation of the Under 21 match. In some places there was overlying water, the pitch was boggy and muddy, but surprisingly it held up well in this match.
A very disappointing crowd of around barely 100 were present on a cloudy afternoon, heavy rain clouds were all around, but the rain held off until the final whistle.
Match action with Karşıyaka in green
The best action of the first half was confined to the final minutes, firstly Esentepe took the lead in the 42nd minute with a well worked goal. The move started on the left and ended up on the right where Şükrü did well to cut inside and beat his man before squaring the ball back to the Esentepe Captain VURKAN, on the edge of the box who sent a powerful shot past the diving Şiho. 1-0
Karşıyaka immediately replied with a quick breakaway resulting in a weak shot straight at the Esentepe goalkeeper Onur from Edip who was in oceans of space.
Just before the break Mahmut had a powerful shot for Esentepe that was deflected for a corner. HALF TIME SCORE: 1-0
With that Esentepe goal, Karşıyaka were forced to open up and go in search for the equaliser, resulting in more space for Esentepe to exploit.
There wasn’t really any goal threats really until the 72nd minute when the speedy Uğur sent a long cross from the left to the right which Tahir did well to retrieve the ball and send a cross in where the unmarked Edip headed wide with only goalkeeper Onur to beat.
Karşıyaka would live to regret missing their only chance as Esentepe made the game safe in the 90th minute. Emre Mutlu who had impressed coming on as a 57th minute replacement for Kaan, did well to win the ball just outside the Karşıyaka box, and spotted the overlapping UĞURCAN, passing to him where the full back sent a low shot pass the diving Şiho. FULL TIME SCORE: 2-0
SUMMING UP: This is what Coaches would describe as an “ugly win”, but it was an essential win, with Esentepe having to face in form and second place Dumlupınar away next weekend. That will be the final League match this year, before the mid season winter’s break.
Karşıyaka were poor, lacking in ideals, and like Esentepe need to enter the transfer market in January. Bayram and Hüseyin, both similar built, stocky had good games at the heart of their defence. Winger Uğur despite the heavy conditions, has a good turn of speed and kept Esentepe’s Mahmut occupied.
Again a hardworking Esentepe team performance, everybody did their bit. Nersin, restored to the centre of defence alongside Muhammed, kept close ties on Karşıyaka experienced forward Muhammet. Uğurcan capped a fine performance with a goal. For me midfielder FURKAN, back in midfield had an outstanding match, he kept going in the heavy conditions, and was at the heart of any Esentepe moves.