By Richard Beale….
A Saturday evening trip to central Lefkoşa, where the pitchside temperature was 39 degrees!, saw Esentepe wilt eventually against Super League team Küçük Kaymaklı.
Result: KÜÇUK KAYMAKLI TSK 2 ESENTEPE KKSK 0
Saturday August 21 — Friendly — Lefkoşa Hüseyin Ruso Stadium.
Maybe it was the high temperatures that kept people away but a disappointing crowd were present in the large stadium sheltering under cover of the main stand. Full marks to the few hardy souls who made the trip from Esentepe over the mountains to the capital city.
A young Esentepe side lined up for the first half of the match, including two trialists, striker FURKAN ZENGİN who made a big impression at Dörtyol in season 2019-20 and midfield player TUĞRA KİLİÇ who I know nothing about. They both took some part in the match but will need more matches to be assessed.
My match reports for these friendly matches are becoming repetitive as once again Esentepe had the upper hand in the first half, spraying the ball around on the large playing area. They failed to capitalise however on the scoring chances they had and were penalised in the second half as the home side wrestled control and made the most of their scoring opportunities.
Esentepe’s best chance of the match came as early in the 8th minute, Salih did well to win a tackle in midfield sending Ege away down the right who crossed to the far post where Eser in a good scoring position fired wildly over the bar.
Two minutes later another chance was created, a header was headed off the line and in the melee that followed Kaymaklı eventually scrambled the ball away. That was it for Esentepe’s chances until the final 10 minutes of the match.
Esentepe goalkeeper Tuğrul had very little to do but he was soundly beaten in the 31st minute when İ think it was Muhamet who cut inside and let fly with a ferocious shot that struck Tuğrul’s right hand post.
In the first half, I thought Gürkan Demir was outstanding, Hürkan in midfield also was impressive as well youngster Devram at right back who for being so young and inexperienced was very strong. Up front Ege Can held the ball up well and was always willing to run with the ball.
HALF TIME SCORE: 0-0.
When I saw that in the K. Kaymaklı line up there was a certain Özgür Ongun, a nomad of many clubs, a player that always has a liking for Esentepe defence I just knew that he would be on the goal sheet today.
As so it proved to be in the 49th minute when K.Kaymaklı was awarded a free kick to the left just outside the Esentepe box. ÖZGÜR ONGUN took the kick himself his shot hit the defensive wall bounced down behind it where Esentepe replacement goalkeeper Görkan raised his hand to claim the ball but hesitated as he saw the 35 year old veteran ÖZGÜR who carried on running retrieved the ball and slotted it into the net scoring once again against Esentepe 1-0.
The prolific striker almost scored again minutes later just beating Görkan to a through ball he shot just wide of the net.
Both sides continued to make numerous changes in the second half. No doubt about it the hot weather of the first half had taken effect with the tempo and the intensity dropping.
72 minutes Görkan did well to parry a fierce shot from the right and reclaim the rebound as K. Kaymaklı were in complete control with Esentepe offering zero goal threat.
A second Kaymaklı goal came in the 79th minute that killed the game off was scored by MUHAMMET NAZIK who scored a simple goal with Esentepe defence not putting in a challenge he lobbed the ball over Görkan’s head and into the net. 2-0
Esentepe did threaten in the final 10 minutes when Semih burst through the middle only to finish disappointingly shooting high over the bar.
Deniz Kibar came on for the final 15 minutes, his first appearance in an Esentepe shirt for 7 seasons, the 25 year old gave a glimpse of his old magic cutting inside and shooting just over the bar.
FULL TIME SCORE: 2-0.
SUMMING UP: A good work out for the entire squad, all were given a run out. Coach Kılıç Ali must have been pleased with the first half performance, results don’t matter but it would be nice to win the odd friendly game.
ESENTEPE MAN OF THE MATCH: EGE CAN AÇIKPORTALI – never stopped running, always wanting the ball, and so difficult to knock off the ball.
KUCUK KAYMAKLI – MAN OF THE MATCH – BARKIN ÖZAŞİK – very skilful midfield player.
ESENTEPE TEAM: Tuğrul (Görkem 45 GK) : Devram (Açil 75), Gürkan (Nersin 45), Şenol (Burack 75), Asıf (Mustafa 60): Salıh (Semih 70), Tugra (T) ( Emre 60), Hürkan (Hüseyin 55) : EGE CAN AÇIK PORTALI, Furkan (T) (Emrah 75), Eser (Deniz 70).
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ESENTEPE NEXT FRIENDLY MATCH –— Tuesday 24th August —HOME —
ESENTEPE v YENİCAMI SK kick off 5-45pm