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Arda strike condemns Belgium to defeat

Turkey 3-2 Belgium
The hosts registered their second Group A win at the expense of ten-man Belgium.

Belgium's Jan Verthongen (left) holds off Hamit Altıntop
Belgium's Jan Verthongen (left) holds off Hamit Altıntop ©Getty Images

Arda Turan's goal 12 minutes from time prevented ten-man Belgium from claiming their first point of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying.

Daniel Van Buyten gave the visitors the lead in a captivating Group A contest just before the half-hour mark in Istanbul. Hamit Altıntop levelled three minutes after the break and Fenerbahçe SK striker Semih Şentürk – on his home ground – put the hosts ahead only for Van Buyten to head an equaliser for a Belgium side already a man down through Vincent Kompany's dismissal. Arda, however, struck the decisive blow with a deflected effort from the edge of the area, ensuring Turkey built on their opening-day defeat of Kazakhstan.

Beaten by Germany on Friday, Georges Leekens'  Belgium looked in store for a long night as, with Arda a menace down the left, Tuncay Şanlı threatened with a header after 15 minutes. Yet Van Buyten stunned the home crowd after 28 minutes, heading in Toby Alderweireld's corner, and the hosts then survived a header against the woodwork as Belgium threatened to double their lead before the break.

If Guus Hiddink had told his players to be patient it certainly paid off for Hamit restored parity soon after the restart, scoring at the second attempt after his initial shot had been kept out by Logan Bailly.
With the hosts in the ascendency and the crowd behind them, Belgium required composure but were reduced to ten men after 64 minutes when Kompany received a second yellow card for fouling Tuncay on the edge of the box.

No sooner had Kompany departed than Semih gave Hiddink's side the lead, controlling Hamit's low, right-wing cross neatly on his thigh and slotting past Bailly. Van Buyten responded by heading in his second in the 69th minute after goalkeeper Onur Kıvrak came out and missed Kevin Mirallas' free-kick but Arda had the final say when he fired in from Gökhan Gönül's pass.