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Belgium out to extend lead over Turkey

Published: Wednesday 11 May 2011, 11.45CET
Belgium are unbeaten in four Group A fixtures since losing a thriller in Istanbul in September and will be looking to extend the sequence when Turkey arrive in Brussels.
Belgium out to extend lead over Turkey
Belgium are looking to extend their advantage over Turkey to four points ©Getty Images
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Published: Wednesday 11 May 2011, 11.45CET

Belgium out to extend lead over Turkey

Belgium are unbeaten in four Group A fixtures since losing a thriller in Istanbul in September and will be looking to extend the sequence when Turkey arrive in Brussels.

Belgium will look to extend their lead over Turkey in UEFA EURO 2012 Group A when the teams meet in Brussels, with Guus Hiddink's side having won 3-2 when these sides met in Istanbul back in September.

• Arda Turan's deflected effort 12 minutes from time handed Turkey victory in that game. Daniel Van Buyten gave the visitors the lead just before the half-hour mark but Hamit Altıntop levelled three minutes after the break. Fenerbahçe SK striker Semih Şentürk – on his home ground – put the hosts ahead (66) only for Van Buyten to head an equaliser soon after for a Belgium side already a man down through Vincent Kompany's dismissal.

• Georges Leekens' Belgium have not lost in four Group A games since then, recording three wins and a draw, while Turkey have lost their last two competitive away games; 3-0 in Germany and 1-0 in Azerbaijan.

• Both teams have been beaten by section leaders Germany – Belgium 1-0 at home in their opening fixture, Turkey 3-0 in Berlin.

• Belgium's record in ten games against Turkey reads W3 D4 L3 (W2 D2 L1 at home).

• Turkey and Belgium have never been paired in UEFA European Championship qualifying before, though they did meet in the group stage of UEFA EURO 2000.

• Tournament co-hosts Belgium slipped to their second Group B defeat in that game as Hakan Şükür struck twice in a 2-0 triumph for Turkey at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels on 19 June 2000. Belgium also lost goalkeeper Filip de Wilde to a late red card, while their opponents advanced to the quarter-finals.

• More recently, the rivals were drawn together in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, facing off for the first time at Şükrü Saracoğlu in Istanbul on 10 September 2008; Emre Belözoğlu's 74th-minute penalty cancelled out Wesley Sonck's 32nd-minute opener for the visitors in a 1-1 draw.

• The Red Devils then took the points in the return game in Brussels on 10 October the following year, a pair of Emile Mpenza goals earning them a 2-0 success.

• The teams also met in qualifying for the 1998 World Cup, with Belgium winning on both occasions: they prevailed 2-1 in Brussels on 31 August 1996 and 3-1 in Istanbul on 30 April 1997.

• The highest scoring encounter between the sides was a 3-3 draw in a friendly in Genk on 24 May 2006, just over two years after Turkey recorded a 3-2 friendly win in Brussels.

• It was also in a friendly that the teams made their initial introductions, playing out a 1-1 scoreline in Ankara on 8 December 1957.

Last updated: 11/05/11 17.48CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1515537.html#turkey+test+awaits+belgium

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