By Richard Beale….
Esentepe Under 21 team numbers may be stretched to the limit mainly due to suspensions but they still managed and despite playing the last 25 minutes with 10 men to grind out a deserved win.
Details: ESENTEPE KKSK U21 3 ÇETİNKAYA TSK U21 1
Sunday December 12 ; AKSA U21 League 1: Erdal Barut Stadium.
With this victory, Esentepe have climbed to 2nd place in the U21 League 6 points behind leaders Gençlik Gücü. Though not at their best today due to the disruption caused by having so many suspensions Esentepe team spirit, hard work and resilience saw them overcome tricky opposition. Included in the Esentepe team was first team player Ege Can Açıkportalı who picked 4 yellow cards for the senior team and is suspended for one match but that does not apply to the U21 league and he was allowed to play and his experience proved invaluable.
Match Action Esentepe are in the black strip.
The first half was mainly uneventful with play mostly in the middle of the park with little goal opportunities with Çetinkaya just about shading the half. Esentepe went into the interval a goal to the good after breaking the deadlock in the 35th minute. A close range shot was pushed away by the Çetinkaya goalkeeper Ali Riza but the ball was returned into the area where centre forward BOĞACHAN AYAR got in a low shot to beat the goalkeeper. HALF TIME SCORE: 1-0.
If the first half was largely uneventful the second half started with a brilliant equalising goal for Çetinkaya. MUSTAFA GENÇASLAN fastening onto the ball from just outside the box let fly and his powerful shot gave the Esentepe goalkeeper Ulaş no chance as it dipped just below the angle of the crossbar and right hand post. 1-1.
Esentepe red card woes continued in the 67th minute when they lost their influential Captain Halit Çulçu for a second yellow card following a foul.
Instead of feeling deflated, Esentepe rolled up their sleeves and started to win the battle in midfield where Gökdeniz Soytürk and Dinçer Karal started to have some influence. Long balls to Ege Can and to Dursun Ali Karal started having the Çetinkaya defence under pressure.
In the 73rd minute Esentepe took the lead following a handball by a Çetinkaya defender. DURSUN ALI KARAL converting the penalty sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. 2-1.
Çetinkaya had their moments following a quick attack Dinçer Ali managed to clear the ball off the line with Ulaş beaten.
Then in the 85th minute following a corner from the left Çetinkaya’s Metehan Yavuz in a great scoring position sliced his shot horribly wide of Esentepe’s right post.
From a goal kick that was headed on by Ege Can, Dursun Ali went on a run down the left before sending over a cross that was just volleyed over the bar by Muhammed.
Esentepe were finishing strongly and sealed the match in the 88th minute with a strange goal, Ege Can on the right went on into the box drawing out goalkeeper Ali Riza before crossing to an unmarked Dursun Ali who only had to tap the ball home. However the winger somehow managed to scoop his shot onto the top of the crossbar where it bounced back into play for EGE CAN AÇIKPORTALI to produce a brilliant overhead kick to score 3-1.
In injury time Çetinkaya’s Umutcan Tuna was booked for a foul and then booked again for sarcastically clapping the referee.
Full marks to Esentepe against a team that probably were more skilful and physically stronger but this Esentepe team has guts and togetherness as shown in the after match celebrations. FULL TIME SCORE 3-1