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Discussion Starter #1

Early goals inspire Turkish win

Monday, 19 April 2004
Turkey made the perfect start to their bid to reach the 2004 UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals as two goals in ten minutes early in the first half helped the Group 5 mini-tournament hosts to a 2-1 win against Croatia in Kusadasi.

Romanian test
Turkey joined Russia on three points after one game, and next face Romania in Kusadasi on Wednesday. Croatia, meanwhile, play Russia the same day.

Early advantage
Turkey made a nervy start to the match at the Kusadasi Özer Türk stadium, and the first ten minutes were an error-ridden affair. However, in the eleventh minute Müjdat Yalman's side were ahead, as Ali Öztürk capitalised on uncertainty in the Croatian defence to shoot past Adnan Hodzic to give Turkey the lead.

Simple strike
The same player was the architect of the second goal nine minutes later, unleashing a fine free-kick that struck the far post, leaving Hakan Arslantas with a simple finish from close range.

Cale converts
The home side had two further opportunities to extend their advantage, but were pegged back a minute before half-time as Hrvoje Cale converted a fine pass from the right to halve Croatia's deficit.

Missed opportunities
The second half was a rather less eventful affair, although Turkey were largely in control of the match and might have restored their two-goal cushion on several occasions.

Golden chance
Croatia struck back in the final ten minutes, however, as they pressed the home side back inside their own half and missed a golden opportunity to snatch a point seconds before the final whistle, but Ivan Sertic was unable to convert the best chance of the match.

Uneven display
"My team deserved this victory," said Yalman. "We dominated over the 90 minutes and played good, entertaining football, particularly in the first half. I was not happy were failed to maintain our first-half performance in the second period. I had the feeling that my players were too emotional and worried about losing the lead, which almost happened in the last seconds of the match. We are concentrating now on the second match against Romania and must perform at a more even level over the entire 90 minutes."


Turkey close in on finals berth
Wednesday, 21 April 2004
Turkey closed in on a place in this summer's UEFA European Under-19 Championship final round with a resounding 4-0 victory against Romania in Kusadasi.

Second victory
The victory marked a second consecutive win for the Group 5 mini-tournament hosts and left Müjdat Yalman's side needing only a point from their final qualifier, against Russia on Friday, to book a place in this summer’s final tournament in Switzerland.

Zengin zeal
Despite the comfortable final margin of the victory, it took Turkey until the 32nd minute to find a way through the Croatian defence before Kerim Zengin broke the deadlock. Six minutes later it was 2-0, Olcan Adin pouncing to double his side's lead.

Late strikes
The first half had been an opening and entertaining affair, and Turkey continued to control the match in the second period. Ali Öztürk increased the advantage in the 75th minute, and Zengin wrapped up the win with his second and Turkey's fourth eight minutes from time.


18,438 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Kerim Zengin and Olcan Adin are Fenerbahce players....;)

18,438 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Romania 0 - 2 Russia
Croatia 1 - 2 Turkey
Romania 0 - 4 Turkey
Russia 0 - 2 Croatia
Croatia 23/04 Romania
Turkey 23/04 Russia

18,438 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Turkey take Group 5 honours
Friday, 23 April 2004
Turkey confirmed their place in this summer's UEFA European Under-19 Championship final round with a 1-1 draw against Russia.

Top of the table
The result left Müjdat Yalman's team on seven points at the top of Group 5, a point ahead of Croatia. Russia, meanwhile, finished in third place having collected three points from their three matches.

Turkish nerves
In front of 1,000 spectators in Kusadasi, the mini-tournament hosts Turkey kicked off full of confidence having won both their previous games, but betrayed their nerves with a succession of errors in the opening stages. Russia could have won the group – and qualified for the finals in Switzerland - with a victory, and went ahead through Semen Melnikov in the 29th minute.

Immediate response
The lead lasted only four minutes, however, as a one-two with Selcuk Inan sent Kerim Zengin through, and the striker kept his head to beat goalkeeper Vladimir Suleimanov and equalise. The goal visibly lifted the home side, who controlled the remainder of the first period.

Second-half deadlock
Knowing that victory was essential, Russia pressed forward after the interval, leaving Turkey opportunities to threaten on the counterattack. Neither side could find another goal, however, and Russia ended the match with ten men following the dismissal of Nail Minibaev in the final minute after the defender collected a second yellow card.

'Played the best football'
"I think overall, we were the best side in this section, produced the best football and deserved to qualify," said Turkish youth football director Korkmaz Tekin Onay. "Despite our success, I was not totally satisfied with our performances in the first two matches, where we failed to play the skilful and speedy football that is our strength. We will now concentrate on the final round, and use our warm-up matches to discover talented players who may fit into our team."


This Kerim Zengin seems to be a good talent....
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