By Richard Beale…..
Esentepe Youngsters got last Sunday off to a cracking start beating 4th place Larnaka Gençler Birliği to record their 8th successive victory which keeps them second in the U21 League 1 table.
Results: ESENTEPE KKSK U21 4 LARNAKA GENÇLER BİRLİĞİ SK U21 0
Sunday April 3: AKSA U21 League 1: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.
Though Esentepe are unlikely to overtake League leaders Gençlik Gücü who are 11 points ahead with 5 games remaining, this still represents a fantastic season the team has enjoyed.
Bearing in mind the first team have taken six 17 and 18 year olds from the squad, to be second in the table at this stage of the season is a remarkable achievement. Under the leadership of Coach EMEK KIRLIMAZ and his assistant GÖKHAN KİM, they have installed a team spirit, never say die attitude in the squad and the rewards have been shown in the results.
Sunday’s match was not a classic played in warmish sunshine, very competitive, the ball mainly being played in the middle of the park. This is where Esentepe had the slight advantage with MAHMUT ŞEN, MEHMET ADA ARIKAN and DINCE KARAL (incidentally all 3 scored) just edging out LGB midfield.
Once again Esentepe defence, the meanest in the league conceding only 19 goals all season, kept a clean sheet, though LGB struck the crossbar twice from free kicks.
At this in the season it’s about grinding out a result just in case the leaders slip up, it wasn’t their best performance of the season but taking the 3 points was the more important.
ESENTEPE GOALS :
21 MINS: A Dursun Karal free kick from the right I thought looked like it had gone directly in but MAHMUT ŞEN got a head to it the ball beating goalkeeper Hasan Hüseyin at the far post just underneath the bar.
42 MINS : A cracking goal scored by DINCER KARAL, the ball was partially cleared to outside the box to the Esentepe player who scored with an unstoppable first time volley.
79 MINS : Another superb goal scored by MEHMET ADA ARIKAN, a corner from the left by Dursun Ali was headed back into the box by Gökdeniz çİl to Mehmet Ada who swivelled round to crack in a first tine volley.
90 MINS; In injury time EGE CAN AÇIKPORTALI ran onto a through ball to crack a shot past Hasan Hüseyin.