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Senegal's 1-0 Loss Is a Real Turkey

Quarterfinal: Popular African team is shut down by a squad few thought could make the semifinals.

June 23, 2002|MIKE PENNER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SEOUL — The World Cup has a name for a team that won't take a hint, hasn't gone away, didn't allow Japan's nationwide party to last past the second round and came up with a way to prevent Senegal from bringing its buoyant brand of soccer into what could have been a rousing semifinal with Brazil.

Turkey.

Official killjoy of the tournament, Turkey took out another popular contender Saturday in Osaka, Japan, when it ground Senegal to a halt for 90 minutes, then scored a golden goal in the fourth minute of overtime for a 1-0 quarterfinal victory.

The improbable triumph, delivered by a 94th-minute half-volley from substitute Ilhan Mansiz, completes a final four field that, it seems safe to say, never saw the light of day in a single World Cup office pool: Brazil, Turkey, Germany, South Korea.

Turkey, playing in only its second World Cup, 48 years removed from its first, will face Brazil in one semifinal Wednesday in Saitama--a rematch of Brazil's controversial 2-1 Group C victory three weeks ago. The Turks had two players red-carded and Brazil received a disputed penalty kick in the first meeting, which left Turkey talking revenge after having dispatched Senegal.

"We should have beaten [Brazil] in the first match," Turkey Coach Senol Gunes said, "but we could not. We will do it now.... We have new plans. We want to play in the final."

Mansiz said the Turks were "unlucky to lose 2-1 to Brazil in the group stage. Now we have to concentrate on the rematch. I think it will be a great match."

Turkey's unyielding defense, led by goalkeeper Rustu Recber, recorded its third consecutive shutout by frustrating Senegal's attackers and sucking much of the life from the match. Turkey had chances to win in regulation, notably three failed attempts by its best-known player, Hakan Suker, whose disappointing World Cup has sunk from bad to worse.

In a span of 12 minutes in the first half, Suker failed to handle a pass that freed him in front of the Senegal goal, headed weakly into the arms of Senegal goalkeeper Tony Sylva and was unable to get his foot on a threatening cross with the net wide open.

Finally, Gunes had seen enough and removed Suker from the match in the 69th minute, replacing him with Mansiz.

Mansiz, who led the Turkish League in scoring last season with 20 goals for Besiktas, almost scored immediately, nearly lobbing over Sylva. He broke the stalemate in the 94th minute by meeting Umit Davala's slicing cross and flicking past Sylva just inside the left post.

"We couldn't finish in the first 90 minutes," Davala acknowledged, "but we never gave up."

Senegal was seldom able to launch its fast-breaking offense against the swarming Turkish defense. The Teranga Lions had their best chance in the first half but were unlucky in the 19th minute when Khalilou Fadiga appeared certain to score, only to have his shot hit teammate Henri Camara two yards from the goal. Camara quickly knocked the ball into the goal, but the score was nullified when Camara was ruled offside.

Senegal, trying to become the first African team to reach a World Cup semifinal, had become one of the tournament's feel-good stories as the Lions upset 1998 champion France in the opener, held on for a 3-3 tie in a wild group game with Uruguay and rallied to eliminate Sweden in the second round on a golden goal by Camara.

Coach Bruno Metsu and his players were philosophical after Turkey had cut the story at least one chapter short.

"I take my hat off to the players," Metsu said. "Not just as players but as men. They are marvelous men and it is no wonder everyone has fallen in love with them.

"It is extraordinary what we [have] done and we have learned a great deal. Yes, we lost to Turkey, but if we made mistakes, they were down to the errors of youth and enthusiasm.

"I am very proud of the players. It is a great honor to coach such a nice, flexible team. They are heroic and to lose in extra time proves our players are heroes."

El Hadji Diouf, Senegal's star striker, said the defeat was "hard, hard, hard. But that's how the game goes. It is so hard, but one day or another the run had to stop--in the quarters, semis or the final.

"We gave it everything, but luck was with Turkey. It's a shame, but we have no regrets. We could not have done any more."

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