Turkey set up Chile clash
There were no surprises in the closing round of matches in Group A, with Turkey booking their place in the semi-finals as group winners with a resounding 4-0 victory over Papua New Guinea. The result also guaranteed Iran’s progression to the final four as runners-up.
In today’s other game, the already-qualified Equatorial Guinea and Chile battled it out for the section summit of Group B and the right to meet Iran. It was the Africans that booked the showdown with the west Asians with a 4-1 win, leaving the South Americans a difficult assignment in the form of Turkey.
Despite finishing bottom of their respective groups, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago still have something to play for, in the match for fifth place on Monday.
In an open game, Equatorial Guinea carved out the first real chance when Constancia Okomo tested the Chilean goalkeeper with a bicycle kick. Felicidad Avomo, who scored twice in their last game, could have opened the scoring when she forced her way inside the Chile box, producing a smart save from the keeper. But it was not all one-way traffic, as Gabriel Aguayo almost turned the ball home for Chile during an almighty scramble in the box.
It is said that you need a little bit of luck to win matches and Equatorial Guinea had a huge slice when Pilar Monojeli’s 40-yard free-kick was palmed into the path of Judit Ndong who made no mistake from close range. Chile responded 23 minutes later through Romina Orellana and from then on the game ebbed and flowed as both sides searched for a winner.
Ndong restored Equitorial Guinea's lead in the 68th minute and Avomo added a third in the final minute of normal time, before sealing the win injury time with a solo effort.
Capitalising on their pace and physical superiority, Turkey pinned the Oceania side in their own third from the start with their opener coming after just six minutes. Eda Karatas, who opened the scoring against Iran, sent a magnificent cross from the right which goalkeeper Cathura Ramoi could only palm away. The first to the loose ball was Eda Duran, who fired the ball past the stranded keeper. Turkey continued their dominance into the second half with Hilal Baskol doubling the lead through a free-kick. Two goals to the good, Hamdi Aslan’s charges went on the attack in the closing stages with Nazmiye Aytop stealing the show, first ghosting into the area to grab the third before latching onto Baskol’s centre to seal an emphatic win.
Goal of the day
Hilal Baskol was fouled in front of the area and from the resulting free-kick, the diminutive midfielder unleashed a powerful drive which skidded through the keeper’s hands and into the top right corner.
3: Nazmiye Aytop and Judit Ndong joined Felicidad Avomo as the second and third player with a brace in the girls’ tournament.
“Going into the game with two players ruled out through injury, we expected a difficult game. But our girls demonstrated their resolve and capabilities to record a big win. The next game in the semi-finals will be hard, but regardless the outcome, I am hoping the girls have learned from the games we’ve already played.” Hamdi Aslan, Turkey coach.