January 30, 2023

SALİH free kick just before Half Time rebounds off the crossbar

By Richard Beale….

4th place Esentepe and 6th place Pera L. Gençler Birliği shared the points which on reflection was the correct result between two evenly matched teams.


Sunday November 13, 2022: AKSA League 1: İskele Cumhuriyet Stadium.

Weather: Dry, sunny occasional cloud.

A good size crowd, including a good number of supporters from Esentepe who made the short journey, saw an entertaining match between two in-form teams.

Esentepe was forced to make 2 changes from the team that demolished Yeniboğaziçi last weekend. Goalkeeper Onur who is suffering from a knee injury that looks like to keep him out for at least a month, was replaced by the “evergreen perennial “ Tuğrul Denkler, the 35 year old keeper has retired more times than the UK has prime Ministers in recent years. He has been forced to don the gloves again and had a fine match making a couple of good saves. On Friday at training forward Semih Arslan was injured suffering an ankle injury, the tall gangly striker was replaced with a midfield player İlyas Niyazi making his first full appearance of the season after recovering from an abdominal injury.

Esentepe took a while to settle and seemed off the pace and it was the home team that created some early chances.

In the 17th minute, an Oğuzhan cross from the left found Bülent who shot wide from a good position.

Then an error by defender Şenol let in Sertan but the LGB forward was denied by Tuğrul who came out of his goal quickly and bravely dived at his feet.

LGB were the better team in the opening 30 minutes but Esentepe finished the half strongly and could have gone into the break a goal up.

In the 33rd minute, a long Kaan cross from the left into the box found Ege Can who chested the ball to Emre who managed to get in a shot that was saved by the diving Ali Aydemir.

In the 42nd minute a great run on the right by Deniz Kibar, took him past a number of players before he fired in a dangerous cross that was missed at the near post by Kaan and just in front of İlyas at the far post.

Just before the break, Esentepe Salih took an in-swinging free kick on the left that was assisted by the slight breeze and ended up hitting the LGB crossbar before being cleared. HALF TIME SCORE: 0-0

Esentepe made a tactical substitution at the break bringing on the vastly experienced Emek in place of Ege Can.

LGB were first to have a chance when Abulaziz received the ball turned and fired over the Esentepe bar.

Esentepe took the lead in the 49th minute following good work by Dursun on the left who found DENİZ KİBAR, such is the form of the Esentepe striker that he shrugged off defenders and went on to score his 7th goal of the season. Deniz who in season 2020-21 played for LGB was respectful with his goal celebrations which were muted. 0-1

LGB equalised in the 59th minute when a cross from the left found BÜLENT TUR who sent in a fierce shot that Tuğrul got a hand to it but good not prevent the ball from going into the net 1-1.

Tuğrul saved Esentepe in the 62nd minute denying Bülent who again hit a fierce shot that the goalkeeper diving to his left pushed the ball around for a corner.

LGB were now exerting pressure on Esentepe having plenty of possession without really threatening whereas the visitors were relying on sporadic breakaways.

The game meandered to a finish with the game being played in good spirits and both sides seemed happy with a point. FULL TIME SCORE: 1-1

SUMMING UP: A hard battling performance was put in the team, missing key players through injuries. This was a valuable point against a team that has been only beaten once this season. Everyone did their bit for the team but I thought 18 year central defender DEVRAN ALİ GÜNEŞ was outstanding in the heart of the Esentepe defence. He has switched to central defence this season and continues to impress there, he is strong, good in the air, and reads the game well.

ESENTEPE TEAM: Tuğrul (gk): Salih, DEVRAN, Şenol ©, Dursun: Ege Can (Emek 46), Tuğra, Emre (Mahmut 89), İlyas (Okan 56), Kaan (Eser 70): Deniz.

Esentepe replacements not used: Burak (gk), Nersin, Mahmut Şen, Şahin, Ismet.

GENCLER BIRLIGI: Ali Aydemir (gk) ; Ertan ©, Emir, SELKAN, Sertan, (Ahmet 72), Abdülaziz, Olgun, Mehmet Ali, Bülent (Yekta 82), Kadir, Oğuzhan (Ismet Osman 46)

Yellow cards: Dursun, Deniz.

Referee: Serhan Şimşek – excellent.

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