Turkey Survive World Cup Group C by 3-0 Win over China
Turkey, who were qualified for the World Cup soccer finals in 48 years, stepped into the second round of the 2002 World Cup after beating China 3-0 in their last group match Thursday in Seoul.
Turkey became the runner-up of the group with four points following nine-point Brazil who routed Costa Rica 5-2. Costa Rica, who also collected four points, crashed out of the tournament for inferior in goal difference. China were also eliminated with three defeats and without a single goal.
The do-or-die match for Turkey saw a flying start for the Turks whose striker Hasan Sas and defender Bulent Korkmaz scored a goal apiece in the 6th and 9th minutes, giving his side a 2-0 lead.
Sas took advantage of a fatal mistake by two Chinese defenders and fired a shot home. Korkmaz collected the goal through a header in a goal-mouth melee.
However, Turkey's defender Emre Asik squandered a brilliant scoring chance in the 77th when he accidentally ballooned a cross from right wing only two meters from the goal. And his teammate Ilhan Mansiz made the same mistake at the same spot in the 88th.
Turkey's ace striker Hakan Sukur wasted the last chance for a goal in the 90th when he drove a cross narrowly wide two meters from an open goal.
China's best scoring chance came at the 28th minute when forward Hao Haidong darted to the end line and sent a brilliant cross into the box where Yang Chen fired a right-foot shot in the air. Unfortunately, the ball hit the pole.
In the 59th minute, China's young midfielder Shao Jaiyi, a substitute sent into the pitch from the beginning of the second half, was red-carded for a serious foul on Emre Belozoglu from behind.
In the 71st, Jiang Jin made a wonderful save by tipping out a scoring header from Sukur.
A funny scene appeared in the 43rd minute when another ball mysteriously emerged in the field, which led to a referee's interruption of the match.