Turkey's World Cup dreams in peril after 1-1 draw with Hungary

Turkey's World Cup dreams in peril after 1-1 draw with Hungary

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkeys World Cup dreams in peril after 1-1 draw with Hungary

Burak opened the score for Turkey in the 63rd minute, but Daniel Böde found the equalizer only eight minutes later. DHA photo

Hungary’s contemporary crop of footballers might be far removed from the freewheeling Magical Magyars of the 1950s, but the Central European side was able to conjure up just enough to thwart Turkey in the teams’ Group D World Cup qualifier yesterday, earning a 1-1 draw and leaving their Turkish hosts in real danger of missing out on the 2014 World Cup.

Turkey was dominant for large sections of the match, but a moment of defensive indecision in the second half allowed Hungary’s Daniel Böde to grab an equalizer and give the Magyars a share of the points, taking them onto 11 and leaving the Turks four points adrift of a playoff place.

Turkey was desperate to put their poor qualifying form behind them and move back into contention in the group, and the bossed the opening stages of the game, even if they failed to overly trouble Gabor Kiraly in the Hungarian goal.

Umut Bulut appeared set to put Turkey into the lead in the 17th minute after finding himself in space, but Kiraly quickly raced off his line, forcing the Galatasaray man to shoot wide from a tight angle.

Despite all the pressure, it was Hungary that should have opened the scoring, with Onur twice denying Vilmos Vanczak in rapid succession. The Trabzonspor goalkeeper first saved Vanczak’s point-blank header off a free kick before getting enough of the player’s rebound to send the ball onto the crossbar.

Burak Yılmaz, Turkey’s most consistent scorer, also seemed destined to open the scoring in the 40th minute, but his shot from just outside the area flashed wide of Kiraly’s goal.

The Turks missed an even-more gilt-edged chance in the 41st minute when Alper Potuk sliced through the Hungarian back line, only to be caught between two minds as to whether to aim for the far corner or set up Burak for a tap-in. Fortunately for the Hungarians, the ball slid wide of Kiraly’s left post.

Three minutes later, Kiraly denied Umut again with a point-blank save following a scramble in the Hungarian area.

Burak continues imperious form

Burak finally broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute, heading home from close range following a cross from Arda Turan.

But Hungary tied its just eight minutes later when Turkish defender Semih Kaya failed to deal with Tamas Kadar’s long throw-in, allowing Böde to snatch an opportunistic equalizer.

Turkey went in search of an elusive winner, but it was Hungary that had arguably the best chance to score, as Richard Guzmics failed to find the net despite winning an uncontested header from a corner in the 77th minute.

With four matches remaining, Turkey is running out of chances to close the gap on Hungary in second place.

Elsewhere in the group, Estonia defeated minnows Andorra 2-0 at home to move onto six points. In the late game, the Netherlands, the group’s runaway winners, maintained their 100 percent record with an easy 4-0 win over Romania. The Oranje have 18 points from six games, leaving them seven points clear of Hungary and needing only two wins from their final four games to ensure qualification.