The under-20 Turkish national men played on home soil in Trabzon, Turkey against El Salvador. The game was expected to produce goals with the winning side also matching the expectations as Turkey won the match 3-0.
Turkey’s Salih Ucan scored the opening goal off of a sweet cross from the right by rising star Cenk Sahin. The winger/attacking midfielder would go on to score the next two goals. He could have completed his hat-trick or assisted a team mate who was wide open in front of frame.
A player who did not score, but did send a clean through ball to Ucan is none other than left winger Kerim Frei. The Fulham F.C. player dribbled, protected the ball from multiple defenders and sent teammates on runs with his passing. At 19, the young man has a bright future and will be a key element in the success of this youthful Turkish side. If he plays well here, he will continue to be looked at for the senior national side.
Ucan and Frei were expected to play well for Turkey, but it was Sahin who stole the show with his two goals and one assist. He did make the wrong decisions on more than one occasion as he sprinted right at defenders and lost the ball, also, he sent the wrong pass or didn’t take an open shot at times. All in all, he proved himself to the coach, team and country that he is an important part of this team. He played a role in all three goals which makes that a fact.
El Salvador played nervy at times since they have never been in this tournament before and they had the tough task of opening against the hosts. Their best player was No. 7, Jairo Henriquez, who dribbled, passed, sprinted and tricked the Turkish side. He was the only thorn in Turkey’s back.
With Colombia and Australia sharing the spoils earlier in their 1-1 draw, Turkey sits in first place on a plus-three goal difference. Colombia and Australia are both going to be tougher opponents than El Salvador, so Turkey needs to tighten it up a bit more defensively and hustle on the counter to secure victories and group leadership before the knock-out rounds.