June 5, 2023

By Richard Beale….

Esentepe first “friendly” match of the season ended in defeat, but it was what you call “an honourable defeat” against Super League team Mesarya.


Saturday August 6: Friendly Match: Paşaköy 100 Yıl Stadium.

Weather: humid and warm.

This was Esentepe’s first of 9 friendly matches that have been arranged for the coming season which starts at the end of September.

Esentepe were at a disadvantage before the match began, having only a squad of 16 players available to select from. Two of those players, have not made a senior appearance, 2 others have only had about 20 minutes first team experience, with only 1 goalkeeper and 1 forward, Coach David Kansu options were very limited. Injuries, holidays, work commitments and transfers breaking down have resulted in the limited options.

Of course Mesarya, big rich Super League team had no such problems with a squad of around 25-30 players to choose from.

To lose 1-0 was a great achievement for Esentepe, they worked hard, packed the midfield, defended gamely. Onur the Esentepe goalkeeper made a couple of good saves, but he wasn’t overworked most of the Mesarya efforts, went wide, went over the bar, or were blocked or deflected by Esentepe defenders.

Mesarya are a big physical team with 3 defenders 6 foot plus, plus there new signing from Girne Halk Evi Chibuzar is a tall powerful striker.

The Mesarya keeper saw little or no action, in fact, he managed to watch the last series of a “Game of Thrones”.

Esentepe made 5 changes at halftime, using all of their players, likewise, Mesarya constantly made substitutions giving all of their players a run-out as well.

The only goal came after 53 minutes, when Mustafa Soytürk was alleged to have brought down a Mesarya player just inside the box on the left hand side, CHIBUZAR sent Onur the wrong way with the resultant penalty.

I thought Salih Karal, had a good match, showing off his undoubted skills, Kaan in a first half cameo showed what a class player he is. Sahin Erdoğan played his first 90 minutes at senior level, and was full of running. Tuğra also played the entire match and had a useful match Second half replacement Ahmet Gök making his first senior appearance also showed up well, especially as he was playing in an unaccustomed central defence marking the dangerous Chibuzar.

All in all both Coaches would agree it was a good workout and run out for the players.

ESENTEPE TEAM FIRST HALF —Onur (gk), Mahmut, Senol, Devran, İsmet, Salıh, Tuğra, Mahmut Şen, Kaan, Şahın, Semih.

ESENTEPE TEAM SECOND HALF —Onur (gk), Mustafa, Devran, Ahmet, Emek, Emre, Tuğra, Salah, Dursun Ali, Hürkan, Şahın.

ESENTEPE NEXT FRIENDLY MATCH – Saturday, August 13th, kick-off 5-45pm, Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.


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