March 25, 2023

By Richard Beale …….

Karşıyaka laid their cards on the table as if to say we are the team to watch in League 1, we mean business this season.


Sunday, 3rd October 2021: AKSA League 1: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

After watching earlier the Esentepe youngsters having a convincing win over Karşıyaka counterparts, could the senior team make it a “double” for the village?  The answer was “no” it was not to be as the first team performance was a mirrored image of the Under 21 game, but this time it was Karşıyaka who dominated the match.

During the summer months Karşıyaka have had an injection of cash invested in them and they have brought very astutely in the transfer market bringing in a number of classy players. They mean business this season, the Super League is their goal and aim.

On this showing they will have no trouble in steam rolling over other teams in this division.

Esentepe v Karşıyaka – Esentepe in white

Their tactics and system were spot on, they attacked and broke quickly in numbers and at speed putting extreme pressure on Esentepe’s midfield and defence. In contrast Esentepe seemed to be on the back foot all the time, with the predictable long ball being easily dealt with by the Karşıyaka defenders.

Esentepe continued to give youth a fling this season with 18 year old Semih Arslan making his first senior start which proved to be a tough baptism for the youngster.

A warm sunny afternoon attracted a largish crowd including quite a few from the visitors.

Karşıyaka supporters had something to cheer about as they created a chance in the 1st minute. From a Mehmet corner on the right, Ertu fastened onto a loose ball and brought the Esentepe goalkeeper Onur into action diving to his left to push the ball away.

3 minutes later Onur was in action again springing to his left , pushing the ball away for a corner following a shot from Saydam.

Karşıyaka had started strongly forcing Esentepe deep into their own half, however the home side missed a glorious chance to take the lead in the 17th minute with what would turn out to be their only chance of the match. Nersin did brilliantly to win the ball from Arola in a midfield clash before sending Hüseyin Deynekli away on the right, the youngster sped on into the area, with only goalkeeper Mustafa to beat, but screwed his shot across the goal, a great scoring opportunity lost.

Karşıyaka with Güvenç and their Nigerian player Arola in midfield were holding all the aces, up front the tall experienced striker Esin was proving to be a handful.

Karşıyaka missed a great chance to take the lead as they broke quickly following a Esentepe attack with a 3 on 1 situation, but Sezer shot horribly wide.

The goal that was threatening came in the 35th minute, when Esin left unmarked, was forced wide but managed to drag the ball across the area to GÜVENÇ SAKALLIOĞLU to shoot home.


Esentepe Coach Kılıç Ali made two changes during the interval replacing Semih and Tuğra with Deniz and Kemal.

However, before Esentepe could reorganise they found themselves 2 down in the 48th minute conceding a soft goal. There seemed to be no danger as AROLA OLAGOKE well outside the box, was on the ball and somehow he burst through two weak challenges went on, drew Onur out of the goal and shot pass him. 0-2.

To Esentepe’s credit they tried to force themselves back into the match with a couple of shots outside the box that were comfortably dealt with by goalkeeper Mustfafa Dağman.

It was the Esentepe keeper Onur who was the busier of the two keepers as Karşıyaka continued to look dangerous on breakaways. In the 80th minute the big goalkeeper dived to his left to push away a Güvenç shot. FULL TIME SCORE: 0-2

SUMMING UP : Sometimes in football you have to hold your hands up, applaud the opposition to acknowledge you were beaten by the better team on the day. As well as a number of good performances from many of the Karşıyaka players, they had in midfielders GÜVENÇ and AROLA  the games outstanding performers completely dominating the midfield.

Karşıyaka are a very experienced team and maybe Esentepe with a mix of youth and some older hands this proved to be a game too far, too many were off the pace today. I thought ONUR in goal made some good saves to keep the score down and defender GÜRKAN DEMIR did well marking the awkward Esin.


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