By Richard Beale…..
Esentepe pre-season is up and running, the first of 9 matches friendly matches before the 2023-24 season begins at the end of September.
Nice to get the first match under your belt which ended in an impressive win over fellow League rivals Girne Halk Evi (GHE).
Result: ESENTEPE KKSK 5 GIRNE HALK EVİ SK 2
Wednesday, August 9: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.
Ask any footballer what do you prefer training ground routines or a competitive match. – most would say the latter.
This match was a good workout for both teams, who were able to give their squads and some of their youth players a good run out.
A very entertaining match, though a friendly, it had that competitive edge to it.
Esentepe could and should have scored at least 5 goals in the first 10 minutes, their speed of attacks cut through a flat-back GHE defence like a knife going through butter. Salih, Gökdeniz, and Emre all had good chances as GHE seemed to be upset with the officials regarding offside decisions.
GHE played their part in the first half passing the ball around confidently, 1-2’s here and there but were unable to cause too much trouble to Osman in the Esentepe goal.
Esentepe were 3 up at the break maybe a couple of them were borderline offside decisions, but the home side thoroughly deserved their lead.
During the break, both sides made numerous changes but the second half was just as entertaining.
GHE probably shaded the second half but all in all a good match to be a spectator.
Nice to see Esentepe Coach Davut Kansu giving play time to members of the Under 21 team Atakan Kar, Mahmut Şen, Gökdeniz Köl, Dinçer Karal, and Ibrahim Halil. The youngsters never let the team down, the future is certainly bright for Esentepe as they continue to produce and promote homegrown players.
It was an “old stager” the veteran defender NERSIN OSMAN who I thought was Esentepe’s best player, didn’t put a foot wrong in defence, was strong in the tackle, and quick to read situations, back to his old form after a disappointing last season.
Out of the youngsters ATAKAN KAR his first time at senior level had a strong match at left-back, and even found time to overlap as well.
EGE CAN AÇIKPORTALI also stood out, looking very fit, lean, and hungry, he seemed to have added a yard of pace as well, competition up front among the forwards will be good this season.
ESENTEPE GOALS: EGE CAN AÇIKPORTALI (25, 68), GÖKDENIZ KÖL (30), DENİZ KIBAR (40), ALI AVCISOYU (86)
GIRNE HALK EVİ GOALS: KAYRA (74), AYDEN (84)
ESENTEPE TEAM (First half): Osman (gk) ; Mahmut, Semih (Ege Can 25), Nersin, Emek ; Salih, Hüseyin : Emre ; Gökdeniz, Deniz, Şahin (Atakan 34).
ESENTEPE TEAM (second half): Ahmet (gk) (Ulaş 80) ; Mahmut Şen, Devran, Nersin, Atakan : Salih, Ilyas, Mahmut Izoğlu (Dinçer 57): Ali, Ege Can, Gökdeniz (Ibrahim Halil 60).
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