Turkey claimed a crucial 1-0 win to open their Group D campaign, but the Europeans were made to work overtime by a Burkina Faso side that refused to wilt. The Burkinabe displayed great enthusiasm in the minutes leading up to kick-off racing all over the pitch waving and handing gifts to the crowd only to concede the opener before many had taken their seats. Muhammet Demir ghosted in at the far post to nod home a perfectly flighted delivery from the right flank. The Turkish captain is continuing a rich vein of scoring having topped the European qualifying charts with seven goals.
It proved a perfect return to the tournament for the Turks who finished semi-finalists in their most recent and only showing, at Peru 2005. Despite the humidity, the first half was quick-paced and lively, yet chances on goal remained at a premium. Abdoulaye Ibrango was a bundle of energy forcing a good diving save from Deniz Mehmet as the African side enjoyed a period of sustained pressure. Also notable for his midfield promptings was the tournament's youngest player, 14-year-old Bertrand Traore.
Turkey could have started the second half as they did the first with a volley from impressive midfielder Orhan Gulle producing an acrobatic goalline stop from goalkeeper Germain Sanou. Demir looked for a moment to have his second but narrowly failed to steer the ball goalward following a smart cross from Onur Karakabak. Demir and substitute Ufuk Ozbek both blazed wide within a matter of moments as some gaps opened up in the Burkina Faso backline. Turkish substitute Berkin Arslan then powered a drive narrowly wide from distance with Sanou at full stretch.
The heat and humidity started to take its toll as the second half wore on with the Europeans particularly hard hit in the dying stages. Burkina Faso, though, always looked for a chance to penetrate the Turkish rearguard with only the final delivery missing. Burkina Faso's Fadil Sido curled in a free-kick as the clock turned to 90 but it inched the wrong side of Mehmet's near post in the final action of the match.