Cyprus Today

Desly Mağusa are crowned champs


DESLY Mağusa were crowned the first ever champions of the Puma Women’s League by beating China Bazaar Gençlik Gücü 3-2 in a thrilling play-off final at the Lefkoşa Atatürk Stadium last Saturday night.

It was Gençlik Gücü who started the brighter, however, prompting and probing from the first minute, and barely allowing their opposition to breathe.

With nine minutes on the clock, Gençlik Gücü captain Sevim Okur played an inch-perfect ball in behind Desly Mağusa’s defence and into the path of Ayşe Çetinkaya, who found herself oneon-one with goalkeeper Şefika Evlat.

Evlat rushed out of her box to try to meet the pass but was beaten for pace by Çetinkaya, who struck the ball against the outstretch­ed arm of the goalkeeper.

Referee Olgun Canik awarded Gençlik Gücü a free kick, but Evlat will have likely been feeling lucky that he did not show her a potential red card.

The feeling of good fortune did not last, however, as Gençlik Gücü’s dead ball specialist Başak Ruso stepped up and bent the ball into the top left hand corner to give her side the lead.


A few minutes later, Ayşe Çetiknaya performed a Zidane-esque flick over the head of two defenders in the middle of the park, before running past two more and bearing down once more on goal.

She could and really should have doubled Gençlik Gücü’s lead, but took one touch too many and allowed a grateful Şefika Evlat to dive at her feet.

From this moment onwards, Desly Mağusa gradually got themselves a foothold in the game, venturing into the opposition half and creating a couple of half chances of their own.

They had been restricted to pot shots from outside the box until a fantastic mazy run from Nisanur Çalışkan managed to take the ball from the centre circle to the byline, from whence she cut the ball back across the box.

Ayşe Mullacuma was waiting at the back post and finished well into the top right-hand corner to restore parity in the game on the half-hour mark.

This goal seemed to rock Gençlik

Gücü’s confidence, and Desly Mağusa almost scored again just seconds later, Mullacuma’s shot this time being saved by Nazar Bayraktar.

Eight minutes after their first goal, Desly Mağusa were in front for the first time. A run down the right wing and cross from Zeynep Süngü had generated a goalmouth scramble, with Gençlik Gücü throwing their bodies in the way of multiple shots, before Desly Mağusa found themselves with Ayşe Mullacuma spare at the back post, who struck the ball back across the scrambling Nazar Bayraktar and into the net.

After the goal, Süngü carried on causing Gençlik Gücü all manner of problems down the right wing, as she unlocked their defence time and time again with her irresistib­le pace and skill.

At the other end, Gençlik Gücü were still able to get themselves into good areas, but their end product was often found lacking as they struggled to find a killer pass or get any threatenin­g shot away.

It looked to all intents and purposes like they would go in at half time a goal down, but that assumption failed to count on Başak Ruso.

Gençlik Gücü won a free kick around 25 yards out from goal on the righthand side of the pitch with just under two minutes to go before the whistle, and Ruso produced yet another goal of the season contender, arrowing the ball into the top left-hand corner, giving

the goalkeeper not a hope of getting anywhere near it.


The first major act of the second half was after 54 minutes, when Desly Mağusa won a penalty for a clear shirt pull in the box. Centre half Özlem Yılmaz stepped up to take it, and slotted it into the bottom right-hand corner, beyond the reach of Bayraktar.

They almost made it four shortly afterwards when Mullacuma found space to shoot, but on this occasion Bayraktar rose like a salmon to pluck the ball out of the top corner.

Having taken the lead for a second time and now looking to preserve it, Desly Mağusa dropped Özlem Yılmaz deep behind the rest of her side’s back four.

This unorthodox formation prevented Gençlik Gücü from getting in behind their defence, which up to that point had been their greatest threat, and this mostly reduced Gençlik Gücü to creating chances via set pieces.

They were mere inches from grabbing an equaliser late on when a looping header from Büşra Salk crashed against the crossbar late on, and their final chance of the game was a golden one.

Ayşe Çetinkaya beat three players down the right-hand side to set herself up one on one once more with Şefika Evlat, but the run did not get the finish it deserved, and Çetinkaya fired her shot high into the Lefkoşa sky and over the crossbar.

 ?? ?? Desly Mağusa players lifting the Puma Women’s League trophy Photo: Şükrü Buragan
Desly Mağusa players lifting the Puma Women’s League trophy Photo: Şükrü Buragan

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