31.03.2009 at 19:45 Turners Cross
Referee: Mr. S. Todorov (Bulgaria)
European Qualifier / PROG-match
Deniz Yilmaz 13 mins,
Ozkan 42 mins,
Republic of Ireland 0 Turkey 3
Turkey U21 team took advantage of two defensive errors to take a firm hold of the UEFA 2011 qualifying match at Turner’s Cross and added a classic third goal in added time to confirm their top rating in the group.
Turkey are the number one seeds in a group that also contains Georgia, Switzerland, Armenia and Estonia and there were times when their attacking play, especially, was sharp, inventive and effective.
However they spent most of the opening 45 minutes in defensive mode as an Irish team, forcefully led by Owen Garvan in midfield and by wingers Alan Judge and Jay O’Shea, showed plenty of initiative.
Ireland played very positively and dominated possession and territory. But they were compromised by a lack of penetration near goal and made poor use of the scoring chances they created.
The opening goal, in the 13th minute, came against the run of play and was a disappointment, in particular, to Eddie Nolan.
The Irish captain attempted to head a cross from the right wing back to his goalkeeper but left the pass short and Deniz Yilmaz snapped possession to power a shot past Shane Redmond from ten yards. One had to admire the sharpness of Yilmazs reaction and the decisive way he finished.
Turkey were a little lucky to claim the second goal in the 42nd minute for the ball struck the goal-scorer Ozkan on the hand in the build-up. Kiraz swung a corner from the right into a crowded goalmouth and a deflection seemed to take it on to Ozkans hand. He took full advantage of his good fortune and turned and shot in an instant to the roof of the net from six yards.
Ireland were close to taking the lead in the sixth minute when O’Shea set Garvan up on the left with a neat pass. The cross from Garvan was sweetly struck for Judge but his half-volley was over the top.
A sweet move in between Turkey’s two goals in the 20th minute brought a sparkling save from goalkeeper Babacan. The ball was swept from O’Shea to Myler to Ian Bermingham and then Sheridan who played Judge in for a shot which the goalkeeper turned outside for a corner.
Then came Ireland’s best chance while still they were just one goal down. Again the move developed on the left with Judge finding O’Shea who heeled the ball into the path of the speeding Garvan. His cross found the goalkeeper in no-man’s land as the ball dropped at the far upright where Sheridan turned a weak header wide from five yards.
Ireland made a substitution at the start of the second half with James McCarthy (Hamilton Academicals) replacing David Meyler.
the litany of missed scoring opportunities grew ever longer, however, as Ireland continued to be wasteful of possession in the second half. Turkey afforded Ireland more room in midfield as they ensured they maintained strong numbers in defence but Ireland failed to capitalise on their possession.
Garvan forced a good save from Babacan in the 48th minute with a stinging half-volley from the left-hand edge of the penalty area while Sheridans finish was again indecisive when McCarthy spun the ball across goal from the left a minute later. Sheridan turned his header outside while again attempting to be very precise.
Next it was O Sheas turn to miss as Judge - a consistent force for Ireland on the right-wing - fired a ball across the 18 yards line to find O Shea unmarked outside the far upright. O Shea had time to set himself up but he then fired the ball wide.
These missed chances took a toll of Irelands spirit and the strength of their challenge waned as the time ebbed away. They were undone by the best goal of the game in the first minute of added time when substitute Sismanoglu disco-danced his way past Eddie Nolan and squeezed his shot past goalkeeper Shane Redmond from four yards.
The spectators and players stood to attention and offered a round of applause before kick-off in memory of Mr. Donal O’Halloran, former President of the Football Association of Ireland and Football League of Ireland, whose death occurred at the week-end.
Republic of Ireland U21: Shane Redmond (Nottingham Forest/Eastwood Town); Brendan Moloney (Nottingham Forest), Ed Nolan (Preston North End), Darren Dennehy (Cardiff City/Hereford), Ian Bermingham (Shamrock Rovers); Stephen Gleeson (Wolves/MK Dons), David Meyler (Sunderland), Owen Garvan (Ipswich Town); Alan Judge (Blackburn Rovers/Plymouth), Cillian Sheridan Celtic/Motherwell), Jay O’Shea (Galway United).
Substitutes: James McCarthy (Hamilton Academical) for Meyler 46; Graham Carey (Celtic/Bohemians) for O shea 73; Christy Fagan (Hamilton Academical) for Judge 81.
Turkey U21: Babacan; Kaya, Demir, Ozkan, Bikmaz; Aydin Yilmaz, Karacazn, Aydogdu (Ceylan 42), Kiraz (Torun 70); Deniz Yilmaz (Sismanoglu 56), Pektemek.
Referee: Mr. S. Todorov (Bulgaria).