Turkey beat Switzerland 2-1 in Euro 2008 match (Lead)

June 12th, 2008 - 8:58 am ICT by IANS  

Basel (Switzerland), June 12 (DPA) A goal in stoppage time from Turkey’s Arda Turan dashed hosts Switzerland’s hopes of advancing from the group stage of Euro 2008. The 2-1 defeat in rain-soaked Basle effectively ends the tournament for the co-hosts after just four days and ensures Portugal a place in the last-eight as group winner.

Turan’s shot from the edge of the area took a deflection to loop over Dieglo Benaglio in a heartache finish for the Swiss to an exciting game played for a time on a near waterlogged pitch.

Turkey came from behind to a first-half Hakan Yakin goal to equalize after the break through half-time substitute Semih Senturk before Turan struck in the second minute of stoppage time.

The result gives Turkey three points in Group A, level with Czech Republic and three behind Portugal who defeated Czech Republic 3-1 in Geneva earlier.

Turkey now face the Czech Republic in Geneva Sunday, with the winner advancing to the next round. As the two sides both have the same goal difference of two scored and three conceeded, the match between them would go straight to a penalty shoot-out if the game ended in a draw after 90 minutes.

A cloudburst shortly after kick-off made playing conditions near impossible for a time in St Jakob-Park stadium, but provided no end of entertainment as both sides struggled to keep their feet.

The Swiss home crowd were singing in the rain when veteran Hakan Yakin opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, but Turkey grabbed an equalizer six minutes after the break when Senturk headed powerfully into the net.

The last time the two teams met it was a torrid affair ending in a brawl as players left the pitch in a World Cup qualifying play-off in November 2005.

The Euro 2008 encounter will be remembered for the torrential rain, which fell over Basle as the dark clouds which had been gathering over the stadium opened.

In view of the slippery conditions and the inevitable misjudged sliding tackles, the players coped admirably.

The Swiss seemed to benefit most in the worst of the downpour which left surface water across virtually the whole of the pitch and put a stop to the Turks’ close-passing game.

However Yakin still did well to fish the ball out of a puddle to score from close range just after the half hour.

The goal was a Swiss-Turkish co-production by Yakin and Eren Derdiyok, native Basle players with Turkish origins, who came in as a result of injuries to captain Alex Frei and strike partner Marco Streller.

As the rain teemed down, Philippe Senderos sent a long ball to Derdiyok who skipped past Volkan Demirel in goal and squared the ball across the six-yard box. The ball stopped in a pool of water but Yakin still had enough time to gather his wits and tap the ball in.

Two minutes later Yakin found himself again free in front of a gaping goal from a cross by Valon Behrami, but he could only turn the ball past the post.

Yakin had earlier fired a first warning when a shot from outside the area forced Volkan in goal to parry away for a corner in the first chance for the home side in the 23rd minute.

The keeper again looked sharp to tip a Tranquillo Barnetta free-kick around the post two minutes later.

Turkey had begun well and came close when Swiss keeper Diego Benaglio punched a Nihat corner onto the head of Turan who then saw the ball rebound off the post.

The 21-year-old Galatasary player was one of four changes from the 2-0 defeat to Portugal, and initially coach Fatih Terim must have been pleased with the performance.

The rain cleared after the break and Turkey managed to rediscover some of their earlier poise, although the pitch was still soaked.

They were back in the game in the 51st minute when Nihat found half-time substitute Semih Senturk with a cross from the left and the Fenerbahce striker rose to head powerfully home.

Turkey came close to a winner when Nihat just failed to connect to a cross from Tuncay Sanli, but then almost threw the game away in the closing minutes when they pushed too many players forward for a free-kick and left one defender facing three Swiss on a counter-attack.

But the move ended disappointingly for the home side with Volkan parrying from Yakin and then blocking the follow-up from Johan Volanthen. When the Turkey broke clear in the dying seconds, they did a better job, with Turan cutting in across the outside of the area to fire home.

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