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Friendlies

  • November 15, 2013
  • • 19:00
  • • 5 Ocak Stadyumu, Adana
  • Referee: B. Nijhuis
  • • Attendance: 14000
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Turkey 1-0 Northern Ireland: Erdinc strike sinks O'Neill's men

Turkey 1-0 Northern Ireland: Erdinc strike sinks O'Neill's men

Seskim

The Saint-Etienne striker scored the decisive goal as a defensive mix-up cost Michael O'Neill' side a result at 5 Ocak Stadium, though in truth the hosts could have scored more

Mevlut Erding's goal on the stroke of half-time was enough to earn Turkey a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in Adana on Friday.

The Saint-Etienne striker latched onto a deft lofted ball from Ersan Bulum and toe-ended a predatory volley beyond Roy Carroll in the first minute of first-half stoppage time.

Michael O’Neill's visitors rarely threatened against a side placed 50 positions above them in the FIFA world rankings and have now won just one of their last 19 fixtures.

Turkey coach Fatih Terim made seven changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Netherlands last time out, with Oguzhan Ozyakup, Bilal Kisa and debutant Adem Buyuk among those brought in.

O'Neill, meanwhile, made three alterations, as Aaron Hughes, Jonny Evans and Oliver Norwood started in place of Craig Cathcart, Rory McArdle and Corry Evans.

Despite the fact they had won just one of their last nine home games, the hosts started the match strongly with Buyuk making an impact, seeing a goal ruled out for offside and rattling the crossbar with a header inside the opening 10 minutes.

The pattern of the game was set as Terim’s men probed for the opener, with the visitors' first - and only - attempt on goal of the first period coming just after the half-hour mark when Norwood fired over from 20 yards after some neat interplay.

And Turkey finally made their pressure pay by breaking the deadlock in first-half injury time when Erding diverted Bulum's intelligent pass past the stranded Carroll.

Northern Ireland began the second half with more attacking intent, and finally tested Tolga Zengin in the 58th minute when Norwood shot straight at the Turkey goalkeeper from the edge of the area.

However, O'Neill's side lacked any cutting edge in the final third as they struggled to find a way through the well-organised Turkish defence.

Half-time substitute Burak Yilmaz had a golden opportunity to seal the win for Turkey in the 71st minute but he miscued his header from six yards, before the Galatasaray forward forced substitute Northern Ireland keeper Alan Mannus into a smart save at his near post.

That was the last action of any note, as the game was settled by Erding's fifth international goal.

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