Turkey enters round of 16

Turkey beat China 3-0 in a Group C encounter to enter the second round of the World Cup.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Hakan Sas and Bulent Korkmaz scored in the first nine minutes, and Group C rival Costa Rica fell behind Brazil about 90 seconds later as the Turks leapfrogged into second place and the second round with a 3-0 victory over China. Umit Davala, whose passes led to the first two goals, added a third in the 85th minute, volleying a pass from Sas into the net off a post. After wasting 1-0 leads in the last five minutes of its first two games, Turkey's World Cup hopes seemed cooked, and there seemed to be a little dissension in the ranks of the Bosporus bunch. Coming into Thursday, Turkey needed to beat the winless Chinese, hoping that Brazil, which had already clinched a second-round berth, defeated Costa Rica and overcome a minus-2 goal difference against the Central Americans. Already up 2-0, the Turks in the largely pro-Chinese crowd at Seoul World Cup Stadium instantly jumped up and down when Ronaldo put Brazil ahead early across town in the suburb of Suwon. With that, all Turkey needed to do is hope for a Ticos' loss, and while Costa Rica closed within a goal early in the second half, Brazil held on for a 5-2 victory. When the Brazilians took a three-goal lead 19 minutes into the second half, the thousand or so Turkish fans in one corner of the lower deck began singing, dancing and clapping. With the game still in injury time, the Turks stood in front of their bench, arms on each other's shoulders, jumping up and down. Turkey thus finished second in Group C behind Brazil. The Turks play Belgium, Russia or Japan on Tuesday. But they will be missing two players who received their second yellow cards of the first rounds and will be serving automatic suspensions: defender Emre Asik and midfielder Emre Belozoglu. In addition, goalkeeper Rustu Recber limped off in the 35th minute, 12 minutes after landing awkwardly on the left thigh he had earlier injured in the 1-1 tie with Costa Rica on Sunday. The closest the Chinese came to scoring was when Yang Chen clanked a shot off the left post in the 28th minute. He fell to his knees and knocked his head to the ground in frustration. Chinese fans, many who made the 90-minute flight from Beijing, cheered any time their team went upfield. China hired Bora Milutinovic, in his fifth World Cup with his fifth different nation, to lead them. But the Chinese couldn't overcome the talent difference and were missing Fan Zhiyi and Sun Jihai, among their most experienced players. They were both injured in the opener against Costa Rica. Lineups:Turkey: 1-Rustu Recber, 2-Emre Asik, 3-Bulent Korkmaz, 4-Fatih Akyel, 8-Tugay Kerimoglu (14-Tayfur Havutcu, 84), 9-Hakan Sukur (c), 10-Yildiray Basturk (17-Ilhan Mansiz, 70), 11-Hasan Sas, 20-Hakan Unsal, 21-Emre Belozoglu, 22-Umit Davala China: 22-Jiang Jin; 3-Yang Pu, 4-Wu Chengying (6-Shao Jiayi, 46), 8-Li Tie, 10-Hao Haidong (11-Yu Genwei, 73), 14-Li Weifeng, 15-Zhao Junzhe, 17-Du Wei, 18-Li Xiaopeng, 20-Yang Chen (16-Qu Bo, 72), 21-Xu Yunlong. Referee: Oscar Ruiz (Colombia)