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Tur - Ita (1-2)
Swe - Tur (0-0)
Bel - Swe (2-1)
Ita - Bel (2-0)
Turkey need to beat
Belgium by more goals than Sweden beat Italy,
in order to make the quarter-finals for a game against Portugal. A draw between Belgium
and Turkey would be enough for the co-hosts to move on to Amsterdam, as Group B runner-up.
Belgium have been accused of
not taking the Turks too seriously and may do so at their peril. Luc Nilis is expected to
start up front instead of Derby County's Branko Strupar as the home side search for at
least a point.
Emile Mpenza was not very effective against
the Italian defence and Belgium fans will be hoping to see more from him today.
Turkey have gone one better
than they did in Euro96; by getting a point against Sweden, in the tournament's least
inspiring match to date, and a goal against Italy. Nothing from the Sweden game indicates
that Turkey would manage to pull off a victory against Belgium, in Brussels.
There's a massive Turkish immigrant population
in Brussels and nearby Germany, but they will only have something to shout about if Turkey
do more than pack the midfield and strikers Hakan Sukur and Erdem Arif manage to get away
from the Belgians.
3-Ogun Temizkanoglu, 8-Tugay Kerimoglu, 4-Fatih Akyel, 5-Fehmi Alpay Ozalan
6-Arif Erdem, 7-Okan Buruk, 9-Hakan Sukur, 14-Suat Kaya
19-Abdullah Ercan, 11-Tayfun Korkut
1-Filip De Wilde
2-Eric Deflandre, 3-Joos Valgaeren, 4-Lorenzo Staelens, 18-Nico Van Kerkhoven
6-Yves Vanderhaeghe, 7-Marc Wilmots, 8-Bart Goor, 11-Gert Verheyen
9-Emile Mpenza, 16-Luc Nilis
Referee: Kim Milton Nielsen
Belgium attacked the Turkey goal from the start, Mpenza looking lively with two shots just
wide of the goal in the first three minutes. In the fifth minute Nilis sprinted up the
right and forced Recber into a save at the near post.
For the first quarter of an hour, the Turkish
forwards hardly saw the ball.
Then they came back into the game to give the
Belgians a few scares. The Danish referee suffered thigh cramp in the 40th minute and had
to be replaced by Gunter Benko of Austria.
Just before the half-time whistle, the
Belgians went quiet. The ball was chipped into the Belgium area, bounced high and Hakan Sukur jumped above de Wilde to head through
the Belgium goalkeeper's outstretched arms.
Mpenza had a goal disallowed for offside, but
it was Turkey who went into the break with a one goal advantage.
Belgium came out for the second half needing to score at least one goal, or they'd be out.
Rustu, in goal for Turkey, kept his team in the game making save after save from Mpenza
and getting down well to a drive from Vanderhaege, ten minutes from time.
Belgium started to get frustrated. They packed
the Turkish area, but still couldn't score. Despite the Belgian pressure, the Turks still
made plenty of attacks themselves.
Twenty minutes from time, Suat ran down the
Turkish right and passed into the middle of the Belgian area. De Wilde had the angle
covered for the shot but Hakan Sukur into
the middle to claim his second goal. No Belgian defenders in sight.
After that, Filip de Wilde was the only
Belgian player not in the Turkish half. Again Rustu kept the ball out.
The Belgians were caught square again, seven
minutes from time, as Arif ran through on goal; to almost make it three. In the next
minute, de Wilde lost his cool completely, running right out of his area and lunging at
Arif around the neck. The reserve referee made no hesitation to show the Belgian keeper
the red card.
Deflandre pulled on the goalkeepers jersey,
Arif was stretchered off and Italy scored again in Eindhoven. It was all over for Belgium
Turkey 2 -- Belgium 0
Man of the Match:
What a turn up for the books. The co-hosts are
out and Turkey join Italy in the quarter-final; where they'll play Portugal.
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