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 18 June 2002, 17:02 Seoul - Tokyo

         JAPAN 0 : 1 TURKEY

Turkey got an early headed goal from Umit Davala to overcome Japan and secure a spot in the quarter-finals where they will face Senegal. Despite pushing bravely for an equalizer in the rain in Miyagi, the co-hosts were ultimately unable to break down the stubborn Turks.

With the crowd behind them, the Japanese largely controlled the midfield in the second half, but the Turks were well-organized at the back and were rarely threatened. Both teams were making their first appearance in the knockout rounds of the FIFA World Cup™.

The Turks hit out at the their Japanese hosts early as Yildiray Basturk was on the charge almost at once. A good ball through and Basturk was in the box looking dangerous. Seigo Narazaki was off his line like a snap though, to clean up the danger uncomfortably (1’).

Despite the early pressure, the match found a rhythm and both sides settled into a fast-paced opening period.

It was Turkey that drew first blood from an Ergun Penbe corner kick, the direct result of a defensive error by Koji Nakata. Umit Davala jumped higher than his markers and hammered the ball past Narazaki just inside the near post (0:1, 12’).

The Japanese tried and tried to pull themselves back into the match over the course of the first half and went close as Alessandro Santos slipped into the box on the end of a fine through ball. The midfielder’s strike from a tough angle gave Recber Rustu something to think about, but the menacing ‘keeper managed to keep it out (21’).

A cheeky little chip from Hakan Sukur nearly surprised Narazaki, but the ‘keeper did well to deal with the delicate touch (25’).

And the Turks poured on the pressure as Sukur beat his man in the air to head down to Hasan Sas, who drove his half volley just over the bar from just outside the box (26’).

Santos nearly grabbed one back for Japan late in the half, as his free kick from just outside the box splattered against the woodwork.

The Turks came out in the second half looking for another goal in their charge toward the quarter-finals. But it was Japan that laid claim to the first real chance, as Hidetoshi Nakata fired in a shot that troubled Rustu, taking a deflection off of Alpay Ozalan.

The Turks went on the attack as a brilliant run from Sas left two Japanese defenders for dead. A good shot had Narazaki on one knee, but the ‘keeper managed to keep it out (60’).

Japan tried to get back into the match, and Akinori Nishizawi went close with a good header lashed in on Rustu (61’).

And shortly thereafter Tomozaku Myojin fired in a tough shot from outside the box that slipped just inches wide of the Turkish post (63’).

Basturk raced toward goal and fired in a fine shot that sailed just past the corner of the Japanese goal. The strike signaled the Turks were still looking to attack (66’).

Nishizawa turned well at the edge of the Turkish box in a desperate Japanese charge toward an equalizer. The well-struck shot though sailed just over the bar as a groan could be heard from the blue-clad supporters in the ground (80’).

But no matter how they tried, the Japanese simply couldn’t find a way in as they saw their FIFA World Cup dreams dashed in a 0:1 match.


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