From: Erdal Paksoy (
Date: 2002-06-26 
Subject: Semifinal Brazil - Turkey [R] 

Brazil 1  Turkey 0

Ronaldo 50'

Turkey's unlikely quest for the World Cup title came to an end the
way it started, with a one-goal loss against a superior Brazil
team, who would not be denied a third straight appearance in the final.

The first half was rather lively. Turkey started well, building
with skillful if somewhat risky short passes through the middle and sending
both backs Ergün and Fatih Akyel on surprise runs down the wings.
It was apparent that they were not going to be content to
sit back and defend against Brazil. The formation was the same as
in the quarterfinal, 4-4-1-1 (with Hasan $a$ supporting Hakan $ükür up front), 
as opposed to the five-defender lineup in the group encounter between the two 
teams. Slowly, Brazil imposed its will on the game, and their midfield
pressure on the ball cause several Turkish turnovers. The courageous Rü$tü was 
forced to make several excellent saves, two which were after he gave up rebounds
on tricky low centering passes. Turkey's best chance of the first half was
a dangerous header by Alpay, which Marcos did well to palm away.

The game was decided early in the second half. Fatih Akyel got caught
up field, Ronaldo ran at the defenders, who collectively backed up perhaps a 
little too much and the striker toe poked the ball in mid stride. Rü$tü
could only tip the ball inside the far post. Turkey then attempted to
take control of the game, but Brazil came dangerously on counter
attacks and could have scored more. Rivaldo was selfish in both halves and 
took many shots, few of which truly bothered Rü$tü. Turkey built well but mostly
tried hopeful balls into the area, and Brazil generally defended comfortably.
Güne$ gradually brought on forwards ilhan MansIz and Arif Erdem for both 
creative midfielders Emre and Ba$türk and Muzzy Izzet for Ümit Davala.
The best chance of the second half was a difficult volley from $ükür,
which was again well saved by Marcos. $ükür had his best game of the tournament
which is not saying much. He was active in pressuring, winning balls, 
holding up the ball, but still had trouble controling the ball
in the box and again did not get enough shots on goal. It must be noted
that ilhan did not do a whole lot better with his chances in his 30 minutes.

In the end, the better team won. Brazil's defense has shown itself to
be better than advertised in two consecutive games. Other than
Lucio's gift to Owen, they have been pretty solid at the back.

The game was very well officiated by Kim Milton Nielsen, and 
both teams helped him out by playing a clean game, only slightly 
marred by Hasan $a$'s frustration towards the end.

Turkey's streak of scoring in every World Cup game is now over,
as is their campaign in Korea/Japan 2002, save the third place game against
South Korea. I imagine that the team will probably be happy to play 
a good-hearted exhibition match in their farewell to the Far East.
Güne$ will likely allow all the substitutes to play in a World Cup
game. Curious fact: on Saturday, Turkey will have played seven WC games,
none against European teams. Then again this is mosly due
to the earlier exits of several strong UEFA representatives 
(France, England, Sweden, Denmark).

All in all, a great cup for Turkey. $enol Güne$ must be commended for withstanding
criticism and for not being afraid to attempt to play Brazil straight up. 
His only fault was sticking with Hakan $ükür too long. Other than a few 
individual mistakes, the team probably played as well as it can, but simply 
ran into a stronger opponent. Onn balance, the performances and the positive
attitude of this national team are something that Turkish football 
can build on. 

Congratulations to Brazil. They are full of excellent players, 
and Ronaldo is a difference maker. Good luck in the final. 
Remember that you will need to finish better against Kahn.
Ronaldo, please don't swallow your tongue again.

Erdal Paksoy