March 28, 2023

By Richard Beale……….

Esentepe suffered heartbreak again losing the match in the final 5 minutes after defending resolutely and stoutly for 85 minutes of this game.


Saturday October 23, 2021: AKSA League 1: Lefkoşa Ataturk Stadium.

Esentepe must have had a miserable journey back home on Saturday evening after suffering yet another heartbreak at their “bogey” ground the Ataturk Stadium. Many visits in the past have ended similarly and this match was no different.

The giant Atatürk Stadium (capacity 15,000) was its usual soulless self with around 100 spectators inside the ground, surrounded by empty terraces and stands, creating no atmosphere whatsoever.

Esentepe Coach Kılıç Ali Kaharman set his side up with a flat back 5, with Hüseyin Ermış and Emre in midfield supplemented with Şükrü helping out. Up front Eser ploughed a lone furrow with Hüseyin Deynekli wide on the left using his speed on breakaways.

They shall not pass!,   Esentepe (white) defend in numbers.

To a large extent the defensive plan worked for 85 minutes with Esentepe surrendering the midfield and the defence rock solid soaking up any Güçü attacks. Esentepe relied on quick breakaways mostly involving the impressive Şükrü who was a constant danger but also working back to help in midfield.

Esentepe restricted Güçü in the first half to a couple of long shots outside the box the best coming from Erin in the 29th minute that just went over Osmond’s crossbar.

Esentepe’s only chance was created in the final minute of the first half when Eser and Şükrü combined to set up a shooting chance for Emek who miss hit his shot wide.


The second half started in the same fashion with Gücü having plenty of the ball but rarely threatening Osmond in the Esentepe goal.

The 17 year old goalkeeper playing only his third senior League appearance continues to impress me, especially in dealing with crosses and has been a surprise success this season.

Esentepe had a half chance in the 65th minute from a short corner, Deniz put in a cross Şenol bending down sent a header straight into the arms of goalkeeper Emre.

They had a better chance following a quick breakaway in 75th minute led by Şükrü beating a couple of players before finding Deniz who shot past the diving Emre but also just past the left hand post.

It looked like Esentepe’s hard work and toil would be rewarded with a valuable point against the promotion favourites but as often is the case “football always bites you on the bum!”

In the 85th minute another cross from Ahmet Coşkun on the right to the far post was for once missed by the Esentepe defence and ÜMİTCAN BABAHAN rose to head past Osmond. 1-0.

Before Esentepe could re-organise themselves they were two down courtesy of a fine goal by substitute MUHAMMET HASAN ÇİRKİN picking the ball just outside the area he fired an unstoppable shot past Osmond. 2-0.

Heartbreak for Esentepe

To sum up a miserable last 5 minutes for Esentepe with the last kick of the game Deniz was put clean through with only the goalkeeper to beat but somehow scooped his shot over the bar. FULL TIME SCORE : 2-0.

SUMMİNG UP : Can’t fault the team for their commitment and effort, the defensive plan worked for 85 minutes but as we know football is played for 90 minutes. Unfortunately conceding late goals by Esentepe is becoming a bad habit and the team have slipped into the relegation places, far too early in the season to panic but next week’s home match against bottom side Görneç is a must win.


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