Turkish Football News

England 0-1 Turkey: Drums, Flares & Aydin Yilmaz

2013-02-06 07:33:45

Turkey A2 have qualified for the final of the International Challenge Trophy

The Princes Park stadium was packed to the rafters - a sea of red and white flags, the banging of the traditional Turkish drums, English fans waving the cross of St George - and that was before the game had even got underway.

England was hosting Turkey in the Semi-Final of the International Challenge Trophy - in case your wondering why the game wasn't televised or how you missed the match, it was the England C side composed of non-league players against Turkey A2.

It was a bitterly cold evening, however, it did little to put off supporters of both countries turning up en-masse, creating an electric atmosphere.

Turkey had a few chances in the first half - Cenk Tosun, Aydin Yilmaz and Murat Duruer all had their efforts on goal denied by Ebbsfleet goalkeeper Preston Edwards and Soner Aydoğdu almost lobbed the keeper from the halfway line.

However, the Turkish side struggled to create as many chances as they would have liked and the midfield struggled to get striker Cenk Torun into the game. England were well organised, frustrated their opposition and made a few dangerous breaks down the flanks.

Emre Çolak was impressive, using his technical ability to effortlessly glide past opposition players on a number of occasions and linked up well Aydin Yilmaz.

The half time whistle was greeted by a Turkish pyrotechnic show, flares were lit and stand behind the goal was covered in bright red smoke. There was a real cup tie atmosphere, supporters from both sides were involved in a bit of banter between each other but it was all good humoured.

England started the second half much more assertively, Mansfield midfielder Lindon Meikle was pulling the strings and setup Luton striker Andre Gray with a few shots on goals.

However, England soon began to tire and Turkey took control towards the later stages of the game.

The match looked destined for extra time until Aydın Yılmaz scored just before the 90th minute to take Turkey into the final.

The sound of the drums - which beat relentlessly throughout the entire game - rose louder, the crowds roar must have been heard in Dartford and the atmosphere reached fever pitch.

The turnout and support on such a cold, wet and windy evening was remarkable and credit has to be given to Dartford FC for allowing the game to be hosted in their stadium.

Also the organisation on the Turkish side was excellent, UK Turkish Football Federation representative Kazım Şengönül - who was responsible for the team and the TFF - praised the players and supporters after the game.

Şengönül said, "I want to thank our supporters, they created an incredible atmosphere. I would also like to thank the whole team.

"We want to dedicate this victory to our fans who turned up."

The goalscorer on the night Yılmaz has a habit of scoring important goals at key stages in games - most recently exemplified with his goal against Braga which took Galatasaray into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Speaking to Yılmaz following the game I asked him about his goal against Braga to which he replied: "I hope to do the same against Schalke 04."

The tunnel was buzzing after the game as the players congratulated each other but the show wasn't over yet as hundreds of fans waited outside in the parking area to greet the Turkish national team.

Turkey A2 will face either Russia or Norway in the International Challenge Trophy final.

England C 0-1 Turkey A2

Stadium: Princes Park stadium

Kick-Off: 19:45 GMT

Turkey: Ertuğrul Taşkıran, Eren Güngör, Aykut Demir, Ziya Erdal, Serdar Aziz, Aydın Yılmaz, Emre Çolak, Soner Aydoğdu, Murat Duruer, Sefa Yılmaz, Cenk Tosun

Manager: Gökhan Keskin

England: Edwards, Turley, Thomas, Ainge (Jackson 88mins), Wedgbury, Oshodi, Gillies, Forbes, Gray (Spencer 82mins), Davis (Jolley 89mins), Meikle.

Manager: Paul Fairclough

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