Young guns shine for Turkey in friendly win
ESKİŞEHİRTurkey beat Moldova 3-1 in an international friendly on March 27 in Eskişehir thanks to goals from young guns Emre Mor, Cengiz Ünder and Ahmet Çalık.
All three players scored their first international goals for Turkey at a stadium that hosted an international game for the first time.
Three days after a 2-0 win against Finland in a World Cup 2018 qualifying game in Antalya on March 24, Turkey coach Fatih Terim preferred to rest his regular players and give a chance to younger ones, who took full advantage of the opportunity.
Nineteen-year-old Mor of Borussia Dortmund opened the scoring for the home side as early as the 14th minute. The Turkish squad, with an average age of 23.9, took off from there.
Ten minutes after the first goal, 23-year-old Galatasaray defender Ahmet Çalık headed in the second, capitalizing on a cross by Deportivo la Coruna midfielder Emre Çolak.
Başakşehir’s 19-year-old forward Ünder’s brilliant shot in the 52nd minute put Turkey ahead by three goals, with the visiting side scoring a consolidation goal in the dying minutes of the game.
Terim was happy with the performances of his young players.
“I fielded a team of players that could not get many chances [to play]; it was one of the youngest international teams in the world,” Terim said after the game.
“They played really well in the first hour, scored goals, did some great moves. It was a friendly game to see what we can improve, but victory is always important. You should be focused whether it is a friendly game or a points match,” he said.
Terim said he wanted to create a team “accustomed to winning.”
“I’m happy that there were no injuries. It was an entertaining 90 minutes, I congratulate all my players. God willing, we will continue playing like this,” the coach said.
Meanwhile, a friendly in Paris was abandoned on March 27 after numerous pitch invasions.
Ivory Coast and Senegal were level at 1-1 when French referee Tony Chapron called off the match in the 88th minute as fans from both sides flooded onto the pitch.
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane had given Senegal the lead on 67 minutes from the penalty spot, but Fulham’s Cyriac Gohi Bi equalized for the Ivorians just four minutes later.
But after the latest in a number of pitch invasions, Chapron had had enough and the game was brought to a premature end.
The game came just three days after Ivory Coast won 2-0 in Russia.
In the Charlety stadium in the south of Paris, the Elephants were watched by former Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, who will assume coaching duties with Ivory Coast on April 1.
African World Cup qualifying resumes in August with Ivory Coast two points clear of Morocco and Gabon at the top of Group C with four points after two games, while Senegal is a point behind Burkina Faso and South Africa in Group D.