Turkey's momentum at the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru shows no sign of slowing after a 5-1 quarter-final victory against China.
The only team to win all three of their group games, the European champions were not discomforted by the 36C heat. Within ten minutes they were ahead. Nuri Sahin's ball sent Tevfik Köse through, and the leading scorer in the continental tournament in May jinked through the defence to produce an emphatic finish.
China's chances were few and far between, and in the 33rd minute Turkey doubled their lead. Again Nuri was the creator, his corner flicked on by Deniz Yilmaz for Caner Erkin to tap in. Nine minutes into the second half the latter returned the favour to Nuri, breaking down the left and placing the ball into the path of the BV Borussia Dortmund midfielder, whose made it 3-0 with a ferocious shot.
Jinjin Gu swiftly pulled one back, and on 68 minutes Dabao Yu seemed to have made the score 3-2, but his effort was ruled out for offside. That was the end of the road for China, and two minutes from time Köse, who had already had a shot cleared off the line, took his tournament goal tally to three after some fine work by substitute Aydin Yilmaz. And there was still time for Caner to also claim his first for the finals, curling the ball inside the post.
Abdullah Avci's side go on to Chiclayo on Thursday to meet the winner of Monday’s fixture between holders Brazil and the team that ousted Italy, the Korean Republic. The coach said: "I'm not at all concerned about who we face in the semi-finals. I'm happy and proud of the way we played, especially because it provided the crowd with some great entertainment."
The Netherlands, the other remaining European representatives, take on the United States in their quarter-final on Monday. The winners of that game will take on Mexico, who defeated Costa Rica 3-1 in extra time.
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