March 21, 2023

By Richard Beale..

As predicted Esentepe Kıbris Cup hopes were extinguished in monsoon conditions to a hotly disputed penalty and once again the Atatürk Stadium “hoodoo” continues to haunt them.


Thursday 30 December 2021: Nicosia Group Kıbrıs Cup 1st Round: Atatürk Stadium.

The match was played in appalling conditions from start to finish – heavy driving rain, lightning, thunder, waterlogged pitch it was a lottery a farce no doubt about it if this game was played in the UK the match would be abandoned. Full marks to both sets of players who should be applauded in getting this match finished in these conditions.

Once again Esentepe went away from the Atatürk Stadium winless, this venue is certainly their “monkey on the shoulder, in truth they never looked like scoring, Göçmenköy goalkeeper Ali Duvarcı beaten eight times last Sunday could have sat in his goalmouth with an umbrella for protection such was how many times he touched the ball.

The Atatürk Stadium (capacity 28000) was host to around 50 hardy souls who braved the inclement weather.

Both defences dominated the match, close passing was impossible, the ball getting stuck in the many pools of water with players slipping and sliding everywhere.

Esentepe squad was stretched through injuries and Covid played virtually a full strength team but gave a first senior debut to 17 year old Ismet Güneş at left back and he had a sound match.

Göçmenköy in the 5th minute attacked when a long cross from the left that was laid back by Cemal to Ali Uçtaş to crack in a shot that was deflected for a corner.

Göçmenköy put together a good short passing move surprisingly in the conditions resulted in Mehmet Göçben getting in a low shot outside the box that skidded along the wet surface that Esentepe goalkeeper Tuğrul diving to his left managed to get his fingertips to to deflect it for a corner.

Göçmenköy took the lead in the 38th minute through a hotly disputed penalty. A Cemil corner from the right to the far post was headed onto the crossbar where it rebounded as referee Zeki Torre was convinced onto the arm of the Esentepe defender Okan Kıbar. Esentepe players protested strongly that the ball had struck Okan’s thigh but the referee was unmoved. Göçmenköy top scorer BEKİR YILDIZ sent Tuğrul the wrong way with the penalty kick. HALF TIME SCORE; 1-0

.The match continued in torrential rain with Esentepe defending doggedly but rarely threatening the Göçmenköy goal.

On the 48th minute, Ali Üçtaş tried a shot outside the Esentepe area but the ball cleared the bar.

Both sets of players battled manfully in the treacherous conditions as the farce continued.

In the 78th minute following a free kick just outside the Esentepe box, Firket brought goalkeeper Tuğrul into action, the goalkeeper flinging himself to his left pushing the ball away for a corner. 0-1.

For once we were thankful that the match would not go into extra time or a penalty shootout as we were cold and wet! .FULL TIME SCORE; 1-0

SUMMING UP; A hard battling performance by Esentepe who defended stoutly but in truth created virtually nothing upfront. Veteran defender OKAN KIBAR had a strong match at the back his experience and leadership qualities keeping Göçmenköy chances to a minimum. He was unlucky to be penalized for the penalty his fellow defender Şenol Hacıoğlu also had a good match. The short winters break gives Coach Davut Kansu a chance to re-access his squad, if any money is available a central defender and a creative midfield player are a must.

Esentepe Team: Tuğrul (gk); Devran (Mustafa 75), Şenol. OKAN, Ismet: Ilyas (Ege Can 79), Tuğra, Semih ( Salih 28) ; Deniz (Hüseyin Ermiış 79), Hüseyin Deynekli, Eser (Hüseyin Türcan 75).

Esentepe replacements not used – Uluş

Göçmenköy Team ; Ali Duvarcı (gk, C); Reşit, Cemal Yaşinses (Cemal Terkan 90), Hüseyin, Mevlüt, Mehmet (Firket 56), Koray, Mahmut, Hassan, Bekir, Ali (Umut 82)

Yellow cards : Koray (Göçmenköy) ; Devran, ilyas, Hüseyin Deynekli.

Referee : Zeki Torre – apart from the penalty decision he got most things right in difficult conditions.

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