Turkey win 2013 opener against Liechtenstein

Turkey 6-1 Liechtenstein
In the first qualifier on the road to Israel 2013, Turkey produced an impressive display to overwhelm their Group 7 opponents.

Galatasaray AŞ's Emre Çolak was among the scorers for Turkey
Galatasaray AŞ's Emre Çolak was among the scorers for Turkey ©Getty Images

Turkey's bid to qualify for a first UEFA European Under-21 Championship since 2000 got off to a good start in the opening match of the 2013 competition.

Ali Kuçik headed Turkey in front after 15 minutes and Şahin Aygüneş, Serdar Aziz, impressive playmaker Emre Çolak, Özgür Çek and Savaş Yılmaz added further goals in the Group 7 fixture. Italy, Hungary and the Republic of Ireland will also be involved when the section gets going in earnest in September, but Turkey's impressive display of fast-moving football and skilful wing play has marked them out as contenders.

Kuçik had the first good chance when he was sent through by Çek and rounded Mario Tichy in the Liechtenstein goal. Without room to shoot, he back-heeled the ball to Burak Kaplan, who earned a corner which he took himself and was headed in by Kuçik.

Twice more Kuçik came close before Aygüneş struck the second from distance after 28 minutes and it was three late in the half when Kaplan's crossed free-kick was met by the head of Aziz. The scoring continued ten minutes into the second half when Aygüneş got behind the defence and was fouled in the box by Olcay Gür, Çolak converting from the spot.

On the hour mark visiting captain Niklas Kieber picked up Rony Hanselmann's throw, beat Musa Nizam with a neat swerve and pulled one back with an accurate shot. But nine minutes later Çek produced a fine free-kick with his left foot to make it 5-1 and Yılmaz had the final word, pouncing on a loose ball after Aziz's header was blocked on the line.