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Friendlies

  • 5 June 2012
  • • 23:30
  • • Audi-Sportpark, Ingolstadt
  • Referee: M. Weiner
  • • Attendance: 11000
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Turkey 2-0 Ukraine: Erkin & Pektemek inflict disappointing defeat on co-hosts ahead of Euro 2012

Turkey 2-0 Ukraine: Erkin & Pektemek inflict disappointing defeat on co-hosts ahead of Euro 2012

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Oleg Blokhin’s men will head into the European Championship on a down note, having been deservedly beaten by Abdullah Avci's side, who did not qualify for the tournament

Turkey ensured Ukraine headed into hosting Euro 2012 alongside Poland in poor form by comprehensively casting the visitors aside 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Caner Erkin sent the hosts into the lead in the 30th minute by prodding left-footed into the bottom corner from Mehmet Topal’s excellent wing-play and assist, before a quick-fire counterattack allowed Mustafa Pektemek to double the lead with little difficulty.

Andriy Shevchenko started the clash on the bench which meant Ruslan Rotan was chosen by Oleg Blokhin to captain his side, while Turkey coach Abdullah Avci fielded a strong line-up, with Real Madrid duo Nuri Sahin and Hamit Altintop picked to control the midfield.

His team were the first to set their sights on goal. Pektemek was brought tumbling to the floor 30 yards from goal in ninth minute when trying to turn two Ukrainian defenders, but Altintop could not fire the free-kick over the wall.

Soon after, Turkey's first real chance of the match dropped to Egemen Korkmaz, who leapt highest at the back post from a corner, but Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov was able to put him off, as the Besiktas defender headed off target.

EXPERT VIEW
By Michael Yokhin | Ukraine expert

The final warm-up match was hardly a morale boost for the co-hosts as they lost for the second time in a row, looking rather toothless in attack, vulnerable in defence and most importantly fragile psychologically.

Kucher's bizarre outburst at Egemen showed how nervous the players have become, and Blokhin's continued indecision regarding the starting line-up for the tournament might backfire spectacularly.

The first goal by Turkey exposed problems in central defence, while the second was down to poor execution of the offside trap. Sweden will certainly like what they have seen, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic masterful in exposing bad positioning, while Rasmus Elm will have the time and space to execute his trademark through balls if Ukraine continue to defend like this.

However, Pyatov was not as fortunate a minute later when Mehmet Topal's trickery on the left flank allowed him to work his way into the box and slot the ball ahead of team-mate Erkin, who sustained a knock in the process and had to receive treatment.

Once they had taken the lead, Turkey began to dominate and Topal was at the heart of it. He blasted a shot barely over the bar after charging into the box unchallenged not long after the opening goal, but on the brink of half-time, Fehmi Mert Gunok was on hand to deny Ukraine a foot back into the tie.

The visitors - who will face Sweden, France and England in their Euro 2012 Group D this month - made three substitutes at the interval, including bringing Shevchenko on as Blokhin attempted to ignite his side’s chances in the friendly.

The second half started with a quickened tempo and both sides provided plenty of attacking dynamism for the lively crowd, as Turkey's fluent passing proved frustrating for the Blokhin's men but delighted the home supporters in the stadium.

Chances were few and far between until, on 70 minutes, the hosts counterattacked down the right flank with substitute Toran, who surged towards the byline before squaring the ball for Pektemek to put the nation 2-0 up from 10 yards out with only the keeper to beat.

Less than two minutes later, Altintop almost made it 3-0 when he curled a free-kick onto the crossbar from 25 yards out from the left edge of the visitors' area.

Shevchenko ought to have pulled a goal back with 15 minutes to go but the unmarked striker headed wide from a few yards out, much to the despair of himself and his team-mates.

The Ukraine skipper then cleverly beat the offside trap with just five minutes remaining but his chipped shot clipped the crossbar before bouncing out for a Turkey goal-kick.

The fight in many of the Euro 2012-bound players subsequently lessened and neither side fashioned an opportunity as the 90th-minute point past and the four minutes of stoppage time were played.

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