June 10, 2023

Another heartbreak for Esentepe.

By Richard Beale….

For the second season in succession, Esentepe failed in the Play-Offs, the fat lady has stopped singing and the final curtain has come down. Once again Esentepe has suffered heartache in the Play-Offs and they are becoming perennial bridesmaids.


Wednesday, May 17, 2023: AKSA League 1, Play Offs second match. Paşaköy Hasan Onat Stadium.

Weather: Warm with a slight breeze.

Esentepe has had a tremendous season, finishing in the League in 3rd place and ending the campaign with a magnificent 17-match unbeaten run. Unfortunately, in the Play-Offs’ they could not re-create their League form, something was missing, the spark, it seemed they just ran out of steam they didn’t do themselves justice. Maybe part of the reason was they were missing one of their best players midfielder Emre Mutlu who had been called up for his Nation Service. One man doesn’t make a team but we definitely missed his combativeness and his energy, he empathises what Esentepe is all about.

Once again Esentepe brought good support with them they crammed into the small stand at the Hasan Onalt Stadium, easily outnumbering the LGB support.

The playing surface was outstanding like a snooker table, LGB kicked off with a slight breeze behind them.

Esentepe settled better of the two teams and might have taken an early lead, with leading goal scorer Deniz Kıbar might have helped himself to a hat trick in the opening 20 minutes.

In the 6th minute, İlyas won a tackle in midfield, spotting Deniz forward run he found the Esentepe striker, as LGB goalkeeper Ali advanced out of his goal Deniz sent in a deft lob that just went over the bar.

In the 16th minute Salih on the right crossed to the far post where İlyas sent the ball back across the area, Melih cleverly dummied over the ball leaving Deniz with an opportunity but he shot weakly and goalkeeper Ali easily saved.

LGB took the lead in the 24th minute, as an Esentepe attack failed with Deniz getting easily dispossessed the ball was transferred to up field where it was fastened onto by MEHMET ALİ AYLANC, who spotted Esentepe goalkeeper Osman coming out early and lobbed the ball over his head and into the net. 0-1

It wasn’t long before Esentepe equalised in the 31st minute following a long throw-in by Tuğra on the left, the ball went to the far post where Salih miss hit his shot but MELİH NİSANCI reacted quickly touched the ball home.


Esentepe started the second half well, Melih in the 48th minute hit a hard shot, that just tipped the LGB crossbar.

Mustafa Soytürk, who was always willing to join the attack found Melih, who hit a shot from outside the box that LGB keeper Ali diving to his left saved.

Esentepe continued to look like the team most likely to score, substitute Semih crossed from the right where Deniz sent in a glancing header in the 67th minute that saw Ali leap to his right to touch the ball away.

Once again and it’s been Esentepe’s story of the Play Outs, awful defending let in LGB to score what would be the winning goal in the 81st minute.

Emek first of all gave away an unnecessary free kick that Esentepe only partially cleared. The ball was sent back across the Esentepe goal where Osman raced out to claim it, but failed as Emir crossed the ball back in, Sertan Kurukafa tried an overhead kick, the ball going across the goal again where KADİR EROL touched it in. 1-2.

As in the previous playoff match, Esentepe conceded a goal in the final 10 minutes, they could not summon the energy to come back into the match. With news circulating around that in the other playoff match Düzkaya had scored two late goals against Yalova, it all became academic as the match petered out.


LGB will meet Düzkaya in the Final 3rd playoff match, but it seems an impossible task needing to win by at least 3 goals because of Düzkaya’s superior goal difference.

SUMMING UP: Of course, I am gutted for the team, especially the youngsters who have now suffered two successive heartbreaks in the Play-Offs.

We didn’t do ourselves justice we know we can do much better. Our defence in the League season was the best conceding only 29 goals it was one of our strengths. Unfortunately, in the two Play Off matches we defended poorly letting in 5 goals that we definitely wouldn’t let in if they were League matches.

When the dust has settled we still have had a tremendous season, many teams in League 1 would gladly swap places.

The questions which will be answered over the summer will Coach Davut Kansu return for a 3rd term in charge? Can we hang onto our exciting youngsters with Super League clubs sure to be nosing and hanging around?

ESENTEPE TEAM: Osman (gk) ; Mustafa (Hüseyin 85), Devran, Okan, Emek (c) ; Tuğra, MAHMUT IZOĞLU : Salih (Semih 64) İlyas (Ege Can 70) : Deniz , Melih.

Esentepe replacements not used: Ulaş (gk), Nersin, Şahin, Mahmut Şen, Gökdeniz, Mehmet Ada.

GENÇLER BİRLİĞİ TEAM: Ali (gk) ; Ertan (c), EMİR, Berk, Olgun, Abdulaziz (Erhan 90), İsmet Osman, Sertan Kurukafa, Sertan Bulut, (Sinan 58), Mehmet Ali (Ahmet 90), Kadir.

Yellow cards: İlyas, Semih (Esentepe)

 Referee: Emre Öztaşlı – excellent.

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