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Football - 27. November 2009.

Turkish delight for Women

By Glenn Lavery at New Buca Stadium in Izmir - Thursday, 26 November, 2009

Three second-half goals seals win in World Cup Qualifier in Izmir.

Three late goals from Alex Scott, Lianne Sanderson and Rachel Unitt gave England victory over Turkey in their second World Cup qualifier in Izmir on Thursday afternoon.

The visitors controlled the game and a 3-0 win was minimal reward for their positive, attacking attitude throughout, though they may be slightly disappointed with some of their passing, particularly in the first half. Turkey attempted to stifle England, mindful of their 5-0 defeat to Spain at the weekend, but were unable to keep The Three Lions at bay for the full 90 minutes.

England lined up in their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation as Sue Smith, Jess Clarke and Emily Westwood provided support for Jody Handley, but they had to contend with the hosts’ defensive 4-1-4-1, with Eylul Elgalp their only outlet upfront.

Fara Williams had England’s first sight at goal, bending a 20-yard free-kick goalwards, but Duygu Yilmaz was behind it all the way. Williams’ Everton team-mate, Handley, also came close early on, but her looping sixth-minute header failed to trouble the Turkish stopper, and Yilmaz was again on-hand to repel another England chance on 12 minutes, saving well from Westwood.

These chances set the tone for the match as England dominated proceedings throughout and tried to use the width as much as possible, but the Turks pressured constantly allowing their visitors little time or space.

Hope Powell’s side had to survive a scare midway through the first half when a mistake from Laura Bassett almost created a chance for Filiz Koc, but Karen Bardsley was alert to the danger. That was to be Bassett's only blemish in an otherwise impressive display at the heart of defence. On 27 minutes, Williams again provided evidence of her threat from set pieces when her 25-yard free-kick struck the crossbar.

However, the teams went in level at the break as half-chances, through Handley and Clarke for England and Elgalp’s low, angled drive for Turkey, made up the remainder of the opening 45 minutes. As they had done against Spain on Saturday, Turkey frustrated England, getting bodies behind the ball and only occasionally threatening on the break.

England began the second period determined to make their territorial dominance count and the breakthrough almost came in the 50th minute. A deep corner from Smith was met in the air by Faye White, but her header was cleared off the line. The rebound fell to Clarke, but her effort was also blocked by some dogged Turkish defending.

Such was England’s pressure that, for large periods, Turkey had all eleven players in their own half, but a wonderful chance fell to Aslan Hamdi's side just before the hour mark. A through ball from Cansu Yag found Elgalp running into space, but with only Bardsley to beat, her shot was extremely disappointing from a Turkish point of view and the England stopper collected with ease.

Powell introduced Karen Carney and Sanderson soon after, as The Three Lions sought the opening goal and the Chicago Red Stars midfielder was in the thick of the action straight away. She scampered down the right wing but her centre just evaded Handley. The ball fell to Williams just inside the area, but her left-foot shot was well held by Yilmaz.

The seemingly elusive breakthrough finally came on 76 minutes and it was manufactured on the right-hand side. Carney was found in space and she threaded the ball through to the on-rushing Scott. The right-back kept her composure to calmly prod beyond Yilmaz and give England a deserved lead.

This advantage was doubled just four minutes later and by the 84th minute, the result had been put beyond doubt as England registered the second and third goals in quick succession.

First, good work from Smith on the left allowed her to cut the ball back to Sanderson who had crept into the box. The substitute took a touch to control the ball and then rifled home to make it 2-0. Turkey were obviously deflated and conceded a third moments later, with Smith again the provider. She floated a corner into the six-yard box and Unitt rose above everyone to power her header into the back of the net and score her second goal in as many games, following her strike against Malta last month.

And so England end the year with two wins from two as they attempt to qualify for their fourth major tournament in a row. Next up is a home fixture against Austria in March next year.

1 Duygu Yilmaz, 2 Feride Bakir, 4 Yeliz Demir, 5 Cigdem Belci, 6 Cansu Yag, (11 Nadire Ertuk, 86), 7 Seval Kirac (3 Gurbuz Ayse, 83), 8 Fatma Kara, 9 Bilgin Defterli (C), 10 Eylul Elgalp, 13 Filiz Koc, (17 Reyhan Seker, 72), 14 Lutfiye Ercimen
Substitutes not used 12 Meryem Ozyumsak, 15 Esra Erol, 16 Basak Ersoy, 18 Yagmur Uraz

Head Coach Aslan Hamdi

1 Karen Bardsley, 2 Alex Scott, 3 Rachel Unitt, 4 Fara Williams, 5 Faye White (C), 6 Laura Bassett, 7 Jessica Clarke (14 Lianne Sanderson, 76), 8 Danielle Buet (18 Karen Carney, 62), 9 Jody Handley, (17 Natasha Dowie, 84), 10 Emily Westwood, 11 Sue Smith
Substitutes not used 13 Siobhan Chamberlain, 12 Dunia Susi, 15 Fern Whelan, 16 Rachel Williams

Head Coach Hope Powell

Match Officials
Referee Sandra Bastos (POR)
Assistant Referees Alfredo Braga and Celio Santos (both POR)
Fourth Official Necla Akdogan (TUR)
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photos Janos Schmidt 

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