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First win for Turkey

Saturday, 9 October 2004

By Türker Tozar at the Sükrü Saraçoglu stadium

[1] After drawing the first two games of their FIFA World Cup qualifying Group 2 campaign, Turkey finally notched their first win with this easy victory over Kazakhstan in Istanbul.

Kazakhstan courageous

[2] However, it took two added-time strikes from Fatih Tekke to give the scoreline its emphatic look as the visitors, who lost their goalkeeper with a suspected broken hand, fought bravely.

Home offensive

[3] Turkish coach Ersun Yanal set his stall out from the off with an attacking 4-3-3, with strikers Fatih Tekke, Necati Ates and Nihat Kahveci all in the starting eleven, with the extra support of midfield prodigy Gökdeniz Karadeniz. As expected, the visitors put the emphasis on defence, coach Sergey Timofeev selecting Alibek Buleshev as a lone striker in a cautious 4-5-1 formation.

Gökdeniz swoops

[4] Turkey, backed by a sold-out Sükrü Saraçoglu stadium, were on top from the outset. Gökdeniz, making the most of his free role, was so often the focus of Turkey's attack. And on 17 minutes the 24-year-old Trabzonspor star opened the scoring, stroking home right-footed from the edge of the area.

Damage limitation

[5] Kazakhstan were forced to feed on scraps presented them by lapses among the home defence, although they went close on 26 minutes through captain Samat Smakov's free-kick. And it was business as usual for both sides after the break, with Kazakhstan minds mainly on damage limitation.

Lead doubled

[6] But it took Turkey only five minutes to double their advantage, Nihat's 25-metre shot flying past the despairing dive of Yuriy Novikov in the visitors' goal.

Penalty saved

[7] The floodgates threatened to open. On 55 minutes Necati Ates was fouled in the box, but Fatih Tekke's penalty was saved by substitute keeper Andrey Morev, on for the injured Novikov who was rushed to hospital following the penalty incident.

New legs

[8] The introduction of Tuncay Sanli for the fading Gökdeniz in the 69th minute swung matters back in Turkey's favour, though, the substitute creating two dangerous chances within moments of entering the fray.

Late salvo

[9] The home side finally added to their tally in the last minute, Fatih Tekke tucking in the rebound after another Tuncay shot had been parried by the replacement keeper. And then, in stoppage, Fatih Tekke bagged his second with a powerful shot from the right-hand side of the penalty area.

Next up

[10] Turkey next face Denmark in Copenhagen on Wednesday, while Kazakhstan, who are still looking for their first qualifying Group 2 point, play host to Albania.

Kazakhstan's Farkhadbek Irismetov and Turkey's Ümit Özat