SUPER LEAGUE IN ESENTEPE SIGHTS AS UNBEATEN RUN CONTINUES
By Richard Beale….
Esentepe won the 3 points to help secure their promotion “play off place” but it wasn’t plain sailing against relegation-threatened Dortyöl who fought “hammer and tong” to avoid automatic relegation.
Results: ESENTEPE KKSK 4 DORTYÖL SK 2
Saturday, April 16, 2023: AKSA League 1: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium
Weather: Humid, cloudy occasional sun.
Esentepe made it unbeaten in 14 matches now to keep them securely in third place with second place Yeniboğaziçi surprisingly losing 4-0 to Maraş, Esentepe are breathing down their necks only 2 points behind. Three matches left to play, and there will be more surprises and shocks before the season is done with, Esentepe’s next match is a real toughie away to League leaders Karsıyaka who only need 1 point to gain promotion to the Super League.
This defeat for Dortyöl means that if they wish to avoid relegation then they must do it through the relegation playoffs. They fought valiantly and gave it their best shot, Esentepe only made the game safe in the 88th minute when they scored their fourth goal and could relax for the remainder of the match.
Dortyoıl were without their regular goalkeeper Ahmet Vatanseven who was red-carded last week when they caused a shock winning against leaders Karşıyaka 3-2. Having no replacement keeper, they used defender MURAT YİĞEN between the sticks and he was their best player, making a number of great saves and keeping his team in the match.
Against the run of play the relegation visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute when a great left-wing cross from winger Mert was brilliantly headed in by SÜLEYMAN BAYIR. 0-1
Esentepe should have equalised when in the 26th minute Melih headed straight at the keeper after a good cross from Emek.
Esentepe didn’t have to wait long to equaliser and it came again from the penalty spot after Deniz was brought down with a wild challenge from Sergen in the box. Mr dependable EMEK KIRILMAZ put away his 8th spot kick of the season. 1-1
Esentepe took the lead in the 42nd minute after Deniz created space for EGE CAN AÇIKPORTALI to unleash a 20 yard screamer that hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing over the line. 2-1
In injury time of the first half, Esentepe scored again when DENİZ KIBAR out on the left hit a shot from a tight angle that beat “makeshift “ keeper Murat at his near post, the ball going under his body. 3-1
The first half was very entertaining both sides played good football, Esentepe shading the half especially down the left flank with Emek and Ege Can working well in tandem.
HALF-TIME SCORE : 3-1
Esentepe replaced Tuğra at the break with Semih reverting to a 4-4-2 formation.
50 minutes and a good Esentepe move Melih sets up Deniz and Murat tips the ball over the bar for a corner.
52 minutes and Emek’s free kick from just outside the box just clears Dortyöl’s right-hand post.
54 minutes Salih Karal still looking for his first senior goal hit a rasping 25-yard shot that goalkeeper Murat flung himself to his right to push the ball away.
Dortyöl refused to buckle and pulled a goal back in the 55th minute when from a rehearsed free kick taken by Selkan, poor sloppy, slack defending by Esentepe allowed ÖMER GÜNER to head past Osman from close range. 3-2
This goal gave Dortyöl hope and they started giving Esentepe some anxious moments in search of the equaliser. They pushed men forward and of course, were suspect to fast Esentepe breakaways
Osman the Esentepe goalkeeper pushed over a direct free kick from Batuhan as Dortyöl was gaining in confidence in the 65th minute.
Ege Can after having a couple of below-par performances was having a fine match with his direct running and passing.
Esentepe’s trio of Melih, Deniz, and Ege Can were linking up well in attack, well fed by Salih Karal who was having a good match as well.
Esentepe was desperately seeking to find that killer fourth goal but Dortyöl was fighting as well.
75 minutes another good run down the left-hand side from Salih ended with Melih shooting over the bar.
80 minutes Ege Can should have sealed the match for Esentepe after Melih set him up but lobbed his shot over the bar.
Dortyöl was still in the match Süleyman headed over the bar in the 83rd minute, then 2 minutes later fires over the bar, Esentepe was looking nervous as the clock slowly ticks down.
Okan Esentepe veteran defender was needing all his experience to keep Dortyöl at bay.
Finally, in the 88th minute, Esentepe get their fourth and killer goal a long ball from Mustafa was fed upon by DENİZ KIBAR to shoot past Murat and break Dortyöl’s brave resistance. 4-2
Esentepe Coach Davut Kansu now with the game won rang the changes bringing on players from the bench including a brief appearance by one of their future stars 15-year-old MEHMET ADA ARIKAN. The youngsters probably only had one touch but almost set up a 5th goal for Esentepe giving Emek a shooting chance that brought another fine save from Murat.
FULL-TIME SCORE : 4-2
SUMMING UP: A deserved Esentepe win in the end both Deniz and Ege Can have scored hat tricks foiled by poor finishing or good saves from Murat. Melih in the attack had another fine match, leading the line well and deserving a goal for his hard work. SALIH KARAL was my Esentepe Man of the Match like an annoying bee or wasp he was everywhere robbing Dortyöl of the ball and setting up Esentepe attacks. The unbeaten run continues now we face the League leaders Karşıyaka next Saturday.
ESENTEPE TEAM: Osman (gk) ; Mustafa, Okan, Nersin ©, Emek : Tuğra (Semih 46) ; Emre, SALİH (Hüseyin 90) : Ege Can (Dursun Ali 88) ; Deniz (Mehmet Ada 90), Melih (Şahin 90)
Replacements not used: Ulaş (gk), Mahmut Şen
DORTYÖL TEAM: MURAT (gk) ; Selkan, Serven (Oktay 90), Ömer Güner, Berat (Kerem 60), Ömer Kotbaş, Batuhan, Mustafa Ali, Süleyman, Öner, Mert
Yellow cards: Deniz, Emek (Esentepe) Berat (Dortyöl)
Referee: Hakan Ünal – very good, kept the game going, and explained his decisions to the players.