Brazil down brave Turkey in seven-goal thriller (3:4)
Turkey were denied in a thrilling FIFA U-17 World Championship Peru 2005 semi-final as they fell to the odd goal in seven against Brazil. The ten-man Turks staged an amazing recovery from a 3-0 deficit at half-time to level the scores, but Brazil's Igor struck a last-minute winner to dash the Europeans' hopes of pulling off a minor miracle. The Final will now be between Brazil and Mexico, while Turkey play off for third against the Netherlands.
Turkey boss Abdullah Avci made one change to the team which triumphed 5-1 against China, Aydin Yilmaz replacing Ozgurcan Ozcan in the starting line-up. Brazil made two changes to the winning team from the quarter-final against Korea DPR, Samuel and Celso replacing Marcelo and the injured Renato.
Brazil could hardly have dreamed of a better start. With just 13 seconds on the clock, Anderson collected a wayward pass in midfield and supplied an inch-perfect lay-off for Celso to fire across Turkey keeper Volkan Babacan for the fastest goal of the tournament (0-1, 1). Turkey were visibly shocked by the dramatic opening and Brazil dominated the early exchanges, Ramon coming close but finding his way blocked on seven minutes.
Deniz Yilmaz had the Europeans' first opening after excellent build-up play from Tevfik Köse, but the striker's effort drifted narrowly wide. Prompted by Nuri Sahin and captain Erkan Ferin, the European champions finally began to settle after a quarter of an hour, but the South Americans had the more promising chances. Anderson's free-kick rebounded from the bar (17) before Brazil keeper Felipe comfortably gathered Sahin's shot two minutes later.
Anderson and Celso initiated a free-flowing move but Babacan turned Igor's shot round the post as the match continued to provide high-quality entertainment. Anderson set off on a mazy dribble a short time afterwards, skilfully evading the Turkish defence before clinically finding the net from 14 metres (0-2, 26) in a spectacular effort to mark the 100th goal at the FIFA U-17 World Championship Peru 2005.
The Turkish rearguard was still allowing the Brazilians too much room as the South Americans continued to exploit their individual ability. Caner Erkin might have pulled one back immediately after Brazil's second, and the missed opening looked doubly costly when Marcelo fired in from a tight angle only for Babacan to deflect the ball over his own goal-line (0-3, 32). Aydin Yilmaz headed one of the few Turkish chances wide five minutes before the interval, before captain Ferin collected a second yellow card and his marching orders a minute into first-half stoppage time to rub salt into the wound of a dismal opening 45 minutes for the Turks.
However, the Europeans were first off the blocks in the second period, Erkin latching onto Kose's through ball to net from 15 metres (1-3, 47). Babacan denied Celso on 51 minutes but the Turks were in do-or-die mood now and Felipe pulled off a brilliant save from Kose on 55 minutes. Ramon failed to gain any reward from a mesmerising thrust down the left flank after 64 minutes, but the resilient Turks refused to roll over and die, displaying impressive morale and team spirit in the face of adversity.
The crowd at the Mansiche stadium erupted as Kose claimed his second with a header from a Sahin free-kick (2-3, 69). Babacan denied Anderson at the second attempt on 72 minutes before the action switched to the other end and Mehmet Yilmaz put a diving header wide a minute later. The unthinkable was only briefly delayed as Sahin produced a stunning 20-metre lob to equalise for the European champions (3-3, 75). Brazil were not finished yet as Marcelo narrowly failed to lob the onrushing Babacan on 81 minutes, but with extra time looming, Celso and Anderson combined to provide an inch-perfect lay-off for Igor to finish with a flourish (3-4, 90). Pure frustration led to Serdar Kesci's sending-off two minutes into stoppage time as Brazil sealed the tightest imaginable victory in a truly memorable match.
Turkey coach Abdullah Avci swiftly overcame his disappointment afterwards. "I have to congratulate my team on their part in a fantastic match. We ran out of luck right at the end. We were knocked out of our stride by letting in a goal so early, and we looked disorganised in the first half, but we did everything right in the second half."
Commented Brazil boss Nelson Rodrigues: "I reckon we surprised Turkey with our attacking approach at the start. We were clearly the better team in the first half, but they were better in the second. That was a great advertisement for the game. We're looking forward to the final against Mexico."