April 1, 2023

By Richard Beale…..

What are the chances that in two consecutive matches, at the same time, the same player scores to give Esentepe a last gasp winner?


Saturday March 5, 2022: AKSA LEAGUE 1: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

As we know following Esentepe carries a “Government health warning”, once again they won the points in the end but made hard work of it. In another “stress” filled match, Esentepe somehow managed to lose a 2 goal lead, looked down and out, came back, and won it in the 95th minute.

Big spending Gençlik Gücü from Lefkoşa was a disappointment, with the talent in the side they should have done much better. The game was certainly not a classic from start to finish littered with fouls, the ball for both teams was like a “hot potato”, nobody gave time on the ball to create something.

In the opening 25 minutes Esentepe goalkeeper Onur was the busier of the 2 keepers, in the 14th minute diving to his right pushing an Özgür shot over the bar, from that corner he even made a better save diving this time to his left to beat away a Raif shot.

Esentepe came back forcing two consecutive corners from the second one in the 28th minute taken by Deniz EMRE MUTLU at the far post headed in. 1-0.

In the 38th minute Eser put in Hüseyin Deynekli on the right but the speedy Esentepe attackers shot was beaten away by goalkeeper Seyit. HALF TIME SCORE : 1-0.

Esentepe were forced into making a change at the break with Semih replacing the injured Deniz.

Esentepe shocked Güçü in the 48th minute increasing their lead again it was EMRE MUTLU getting in a glancing header from a Salih corner. 2-0.

At last this second goal aroused the Lefkoşa team and they pulled a goal back in the 64th minute with a fortuitous goal and who scored it ???- the player who always finds the net against Esentepe ÖZGÜR ONGUN. Raif Selden pass found Özgür in the box, his shot was deflected going wide for a corner but Esentepe goalkeeper Onur in trying to prevent that corner, lost grasp of the ball leaving Özgür to fire in from an acute angle. 2-1.

Esentepe had switched off and given away a sloppy goal in the 67th minute, tricky winger Hasan Akkuyu with Esentepe defenders around him should have been challenged he got to the left hand byline before sending in a low cross that was bundled in by that man ÖZGÜR ONGUN. 2-2.

This Esentepe team instead of feeling sorry for themselves are something special they took the game to Gücü and striker Eser Kan might have done better with headers, one in the 74th minute he headed straight into the arms of Seyit and secondly 5 minutes later he put in a downward header that the goalkeeper saved comfortably.

This was a bruising tough encounter with some strong challenges going in, veteran midfielders Ilyas for Esentepe and Gücü Raif were having a right tussle.

With the match entering into injury time I thought well we will settle for a point against the 3rd place team in the League – but I forgot this is “ESER TIME” in the 95th minute a long free kick from Mustafa Soytürk was swept home at the far post by ESER KAN and once again pandemonium erupted in the stadium. Referee Mehmet Sezener immediately blew up for full time and that was it players were climbing the fence to embrace their fans, the fans were climbing the fences to embrace the players. Chants of “La la La hey, hey Esentepe” were being sung around the Stadium. Once again an afternoon watching local football supporting your village team makes you feel part of the community. FULL TIME SCORE: 3-2

SUMMING UP: Lost for words again – Esentepe continues to blow “hot and cold” but when they are “hot” and in the groove, no team can live with them. This was a bonus win against one of the big clubs from Lefkoşa that have been sent packing with their tails between their legs. We must remember this basically this is a very young Esentepe team.

Really hard to pick a Man of the Match – goalkeeper Onur kept Esentepe on the match in the opening 20 minutes, teenager Salih Karal again showed his blossoming talents. It must go to midfielder EMRE MUTLU not only did he score 2 goals – he worked tirelessly put in some strong challenges.

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