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Turkey bruised but not beaten

Published: Monday 4 June 2007, 13.02CET
Fatih Terim hopes Turkey can "recover from their defeat" in Sarajevo in the second half of the Group C campaign after they conceded top spot to Greece.
by Yakir Mizrahi
from Istanbul
 
Published: Monday 4 June 2007, 13.02CET

Turkey bruised but not beaten

Fatih Terim hopes Turkey can "recover from their defeat" in Sarajevo in the second half of the Group C campaign after they conceded top spot to Greece.

Coach Fatih Terim hopes Turkey can "recover from their defeat" in Sarajevo in the second half of their Group C campaign after they conceded top spot in the section to Greece.

Off the top
The 51st goal of Hakan Şükür's international career and Sabrı Sarıoğlu's first international strike were not enough against a Bosnia-Herzegovina side who moved up to third in the section, Adnan Ćustović scoring the last-minute winner in a 3-2 victory. "We made so many individual errors and that explains the defeat," said Terim. "All three goals we conceded came from individual mistakes. You have to score a lot more if you make these kinds of blunders. You can put it down to a lack of concentration. We played positive football but individual mistakes can always be costly."

Midway point
Greece replaced Turkey at the top of the section with a 2-0 win against Hungary making amends for home defeat against their neighbours in March. The European champions can extend their lead over Turkey to five points as they play host to Moldova on Wednesday, but Terim is not overly concerned as the midway point of the qualifying phase passes. "The second half starts on Wednesday," he said. "We will not have a qualifier but that will be to our advantage later. There is no need to worry. My players have the ability to recover from their defeat."

Tugay farewell
A friendly game against Brazil on Tuesday will occupy Turkish minds, with midfielder Tugay Kerimoğlu set to make his 94th and final international appearance. The match will also be a special occasion for Mehmet Aurelio, who will be facing the nation of his birth after taking Turkish citizenship in August 2006. The Rio de Janeiro-born player came to Turkey in the summer of 2001 to join Trabzonspor, moving on to Fenerbahçe SK two years later. He qualified for citizenship after five years' residence, and received his first international call-up soon after receiving his new passport, becoming the first foreigner to play for Turkey when he featured against Luxembourg on 16 August.

Next challenges
The defensive midfielder has now made nine appearances for Turkey, acknowledging his new identity by changing his name from Marco to Mehmet, although his tenth cap is likely to be his most emotional to date. Aurelio will be suspended for Turkey's next qualifying game in Malta on 8 September but will be available again for the home match against Hungary on 12 September.

 
Last updated: 04/06/07 17.51CET

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