December 5, 2022

SEMİH ARSLAN about to score Esentepe 3rd goal

By Richard Beale….

The season’s curtain raiser ended happy for Esentepe with all 3 points, Girne Halk Evi scored first but the “Scorpions” (nickname} came fighting back to deliver 3 deadly stings.


Friday, September 23, 2022: AKSA League 1: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

Weather: Mild and sunny.

Esentepe were given the privilege of kicking off the AKSA League 1 season, the only match to be played on a Friday. In the crowd the President of Kıbrıs Turkish Football Federation Mr Hasan Sertoğlu was a guest, the match attracted a large crowd and always pleasing to see a number of ex – pats.

Girne Halk Evi (GHE) was relegated from the Super League last time out after spending only one solitary season among the elite teams. They are old rivals with Esentepe both teams have enjoyed many a battle in the past.

The first half was a disappointment, both teams having “set up” in identical fashion, employing a lone striker and packing the midfield. The game was frantic with numerous free kicks given by referee Mr Fehmi who I thought had an excellent match.

What chances there were in the first half fell to Esentepe within 5 minutes of each other. In the 31st minute an Emek free kick from outside the box, went narrowly wide of the GHE left hand post past a sprawling dive from goalkeeper Feyyaz.

4 minutes later a long drop kick from the Esentepe keeper Onur caught out the GHE defence, with Kaan and Deniz in hot pursuit of the bouncing ball along with a GHE defender. As Goalkeeper Feyyaz came out the ball hit Kann’s upper leg and bounced wide of the right hand post.


Both Coaches could see the need for an extra forward as defences dominated, Esentepe brought on Semih Arslan and GHE Hüseyin Köle.

Semih who had an excellent second half, soon made his presence felt, putting himself about and never giving up chasing apparently lost causes.

It was the GHE replacement Hüseyin who made the first impact, being brought down in the box by a clumsy challenge from Okan in the 59th minute. Tahir penalty kick was brilliantly saved by Onur diving to his left to get a strong hand to the kick, diverting the ball away from danger.

Esentepe defenders were too busy congratulating Onur and themselves when they were caught napping all at sea, when GHE did take the lead in the 60 minute. A long ball went over the head of Devran to a GHE player on the touchline; he pulled the ball across goal, where a GHE player firstly scuffed his shot that went to KAYRA CEVREK to shoot home. 0-1

Esentepe replied immediately Devran up with the attack was unlucky to see his header from a Salih cross hit the top of the GHE crossbar.

Salih again was involved again in Esentepe equaliser in the 67th minute setting off on a run past defenders into the box where he was brought down by Tunahan. The vastly experienced EMEK KIRILMAZ made no mistake with the resultant penalty. 1-1

It was all Esentepe and they deservedly took the lead with a great opportunist goal from DENİZ KIBAR in the 71st minute. A long ball from the defence saw Deniz in a tussle with defender Mahmut the Esentepe striker could have easily gone down but he outstripped his marker and finished with a shot that went into the net from the underside of the crossbar. 2-1

The Esentepe supporters had found their voices now encouraging their team and in the 85th minute SEMIH ARSLAN sealed the match getting his reward for a hard working performance. GHE defence made a hash of clearing a right wing cross, defender Ali and goalkeeper Feyyaz left it to each other, Eser nipped and saw his shot rebound to Semih who had the easy task to shoot into an unguarded goal.


SUMMING UP: A deserved 3 points, a stirring second half performance, great to start to kick the season off with 3 points, they can now make the long trip to Güzelyurt on Sunday week in good spirits.

There were some good performances, notably Semih for making his presence felt. Okan and young Devran had steady performances. For me it was the “old hand” EMEK KIRILMAZ (who is getting married today, Saturday) was their best player. Always reliable as a penalty taker, he was strong in the tackle and that magical left foot is still working perfectly.

For GHE they have had a clear out of players, they have signed some very good footballers virtually a whole team, it will take time for them to gel, but they will be with the promotion challengers at the end of the season.


ESENTEPE: Onur (gk) : Mustafa, Okan, Devran, EMEK (c): Mahmut Izoğlu (Eser 60) : Salih, Emre, : Kaan (Tuğra 75) : Deniz ( Ilyas 79), Dursun (Semih 46).

Replacements not used : Tuğrul (gk), Ismet , Nersin, Şenol, Ege Can, Şahın.

GIRNE HALK EVI: Feyyaz (gk) : Ali Nazlioğlu ©, Mehmet Korkmaz, Yaşar (Cenkay 78), Mahmut (Kayra 46), Tunahan, ARDA, Tahir, Mehmet Erfinike, Ahmet Coşkun (Sabri 70), Ayden (Hüseyin Köle).

YELLOW CARDS – İlyas (Esentepe)

 REFEREE —-Fehmi Dayı – excellent match kept the game flowing, correct with both penalties.

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