Turkey's first UEFA European Championship win in six attempts was enough to take them through to the UEFA EURO 2000 quarter-finals at Belgium's expense.
Hakan Şükür did the damage, breaking the deadlock on the cusp of half-time and firing in a second midway through the second period, but the game was as much about the goalkeepers. Rüştü Reçber was imperious for Turkey but at the other end Filip De Wilde had a game to forget, capped by his dismissal six minutes from time after bundling over Arif Erdem.
Belgium went into the game needing a draw to go through to the quarter-finals, yet indicated their attacking intent by including Luc Nilis in the starting lineup for the first time since ending his self-imposed exile. The forward's pace troubled Turkey from the start and as early as the fifth minute he was forcing Rüştü into action.
With strike partner Emile Mpenza also busy, this was the lively start the home team were looking for and Marc Wilmots' relentless drive gave Belgium a platform to control the game. Turkey were getting swamped but they grimly held on, rescued by an offside flag when Mpenza turned in after Rüştü had blocked Bart Goor's pile-driver.
The let-off came just as Turkey were beginning to threaten, successfully moving their markers around to gain space in dangerous areas. Only a sharper instinct near goal prevented them taking the lead as the unorthodox De Wilde came to Belgium's rescue by getting his boot to Arif's drive following a strong run.
Before that Şükür had betrayed his reputation as a ruthless predator by hesitating fatally when Tugay Kerimoğlu released him. Another outstanding chance was badly wasted by Okan. Referee Kim Nielsen was forced to leave the field with a muscle injury and five minutes after replacing him fourth official Günter Benkö was awarding a goal. Şükür was first to a high bouncing ball pumped in from out wide, muscling past one defender before outjumping De Wilde to put Turkey in front.
Belgium poured forward after the restart, and Mpenza twice thought he had equalised with powerful headers but Rüştü's superb reflexes kept Turkey's lead intact. The game was up on 70 minutes when a bout of swift passing released Suat Kaya, who squared for Şükür to ram in his second. Turkey's maiden final win could not have been better timed.
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