Turkish delight in Andorra
Turkey breathed life back into their fading Group D World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 victory over minnows Andorra.
Last Updated: 22/03/13 9:05pm
Turkey breathed life back into their fading World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 victory over minnows Andorra.
Abdullah Avci's men have had a hugely disappointing start to qualifying, having picked up just three points from their opening four games, but a match against Group D whipping boys Andorra offered the chance for the Euro 2008 semi-finalists to begin to build some momentum.
They did get the expected victory in Andorra La Vella to double their tally, but had to settle for just the two first-half goals from Selcuk Inan and Burak Yilmaz as hosts Andorra fought hard to avoid another heavy loss.
The Pyrenean nation came into Friday night's clash without a goal or a point in the group, suffering heavy defeats to Hungary, Romania and Holland in the process, but they refused to make it easy for Turkey and might even have taken a third-minute lead through Sebastian Gomez had visiting goalkeeper Onur Kivrak not been equal to his effort.
Eduardo Peppe also headed over from a corner for the hosts before Turkey took the lead through Inan's fine free-kick on the half-hour, the Galatasaray midfielder firing home a 25-yard effort that home keeper Josep Anton Gomez got a hand to but could not keep out.
Turkey then doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when Inan's Galatasaray club-mate Yilmaz drilled home a cross-shot from a tight angle.
That looked like it might open the floodgates with Turkey twice going close at the start of the second half, Yilmaz and Arda Turan both testing Gomez, but after that Andorra were able to keep their opponents' opportunities to a minimum.
Turkey did almost snatch a third in stoppage time at the end of the game but another brilliant Inan shot from distance crashed against the crossbar.