September 30, 2023

Number 5 MAHMUT POLAT opens the scoring for Kozanköy

By Richard Beale….

Serdarlı was hit by a quick 1-2 as Kozanköy stormed into a two-goal first half lead in this 1st leg semi encounter played at a packed Üç Şehitler Stadium. Serdarlı pulled their socks up after the break and gave themselves a lifeline by pulling a goal back, so it’s all to play for in the second leg next weekend.


Sunday July 30 : Iktisatbank BTM League 2, Semi Final Play Off, 1st Leg. Görneç Üç Şehitler Stadium.

Weather: Very hot.

This season we have been following the fortunes of Group 8 teams, we have lost Tatlısu, Alanıçı, and Bahçeli, Serdarli are our last hopes of glory, though they go into the second leg behind but they still have a fighting chance.

The little stadium on the mountainside in Görneç was packed, I estimated a crowd of around 400. The atmosphere was noisy, electric, full of colour with flags and banners. Drums, drums, and more drums (let there be drums !).

The weather was boiling as well, normally there is a cooling breeze that is most welcome like the atmosphere it was hot.

The cafe was doing a roaring trade selling small bottles of water at 20 TL!

Never heard of Kozanköy, which I discovered is a small village on the other side of the mountains Lapta, Karşıyaka way, not far from the tourist attraction of the disabled Turkish tank.

Kozanköy supporters

I also knew nothing about the Kozanköy team but I do now, was very impressed by some of their players.

Both teams wore red and black strips to the neutral observer it was at times hard to distinguish the two teams.

Kozanköy settled the better team forcing a number of corners and eventually hit Serdarlı with a quick 1-2, scoring 2 goals in 3 minutes.

17 minutes a corner on the right taken by Salih was flicked on at the near post by Ali Sayalan to the far post where it was swept home by MAHMUT POLAT. 0-1

20 minutes Serdarlı was rocked again when Izder won possession and set up a quick breakaway passing to ALI SAYALAN to hit a stunning volley past goalkeeper Ethan. 0-2

Kozanköy fans were going wild, and Serdarlı fans and players looked shell-shocked.

Kozanköy were dominant in midfield with Ahmet Aydoğ Kdu and Salih pulling the strings. Right winger Kadir Cin was causing havoc, nippy and quick. Striker Ali Sayalan looked like a class act, keeping Serdarlı defenders on the back foot. Man, mountain central defender Fırtına was easily dominating the defence.

Serdarlı looked disjointed and frustrated not causing any threat to the visitor’s defence.


Thankfully Serdarlı changed into their red and white checked tops and it was easier to see the teams more clearly now, they also took off striker Mehmet Öztürk and brought on defender Barın. Tactical changes involved putting Turgay upfront from right back and giving winger Ali Küçükoğlu a more central role.

It had an immediate effect as Serdarlı started the half strongly and after 56th minutes they at last offered a goal threat. Turgay was put through on the left but he hit his shot against the foot of the advancing goalkeeper Behayi.

OGÜN shoots and pulls one back for Serdarlı. 1-2

61 minutes Serdarlı pulled a goal back a lifeline courtesy of Kozanköy defender Fırtına losing control of the ball which fell obligingly to OGÜN DURSUN to shoot past Behayi 1-2.

This goal brought Serdarlı fans to their feet as they now urged their team on.

Serdarlı continue to look the better team but never created any real chances and Goalkeeper Behayi was in commanding form dealing with crosses and corners.

Serdarlı supporters.

Kozanköy were intent on time wasting, players going down with alleged cramp regularly, it seemed the medics were on off on off all the time.

This incensed the home crowd and also the players with referee Abdullah Genç finding it difficult to control the match. He ended up booking 11 players and both Coaches as the night started to close in with dusk falling in.

At last, the floodlights came on but they are basic and used mainly for training.

Kozanköy suddenly found their second wind and finished strongly, in the 85th minute Ali Sayalan created space for himself putting in a low drive that had Erhan diving to his right to save.

In very poor light which was fading fast following a free kick deep into injury time Mustafa Yorgancı blasted a close range shot against the Kozanköy left-hand post.

The visitors take a narrow one-goal lead into the second leg, Serdarlı is down but not out.


SERDARLI “Man of the Match”: OGÜN DURSUN – never stopped running, never stopped trying.

 KOZANKÖY “Man of the Match” —-SALİH TALHAĞOLU – classy, silky midfield maestro.

To see more pictures please go to my Facebook page

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