After defeating El Salvador 3-0 in the opener, Turkey‘s confidence was soaring at the highest level. However, when Colombia came to Rize for their second group game, there was a different story written on the cards.
Turkey started out the game brightly with possession, pressure and an all-out early attack. However, they could not find a clear shot on goal, as the South American side stayed disciplined throughout the 90-plus minutes. In fact, after their slow start, they began to play their game to the ultimate level of comfort.
Captain Juan Quintero lead his charges by controlling the midfield, evading challenges from multiple Turkish players and he was able to do all of this since he, like his teammates, never panicked on or off the ball. He wore the number 10 and the captain’s armband deservedly.
In the second half, Quintero dribbled past a few defenders before unleashing a rocketing strike into the back of Turkey’s net — this was the only goal of the match, but a brilliant one at that. He held his composure, slowed down, looked at goal then curled it home … leaving the keeper helpless. He had a similar shot later on before being subbed off, but that time keeper Aykut hit it over for a corner.
Cenk Sahin, who scored twice and had an assist against El Salvador, could not do much in this one as he was one of the under-performers for sure. He dribbled and lost the ball way too much. Salih Ucan controlled the defensive midfield nicely, but he was too calm and slow throughout. His best moment was a deflected shot at goal that was hit over by the keeper.
Kerim Frei entered the match as a second-half substitute after TUR were already down 1-0. His entry added a much-needed spark into the crescent-stars’ performance but to no avail.
Turkey now face an Australian side who sit last in the group after they suffered a shock 2-1 loss against El Salvador, who now have three points, just like the hosts. This is a must-win for the Aussies, while a draw would be enough for Turkey to advance to the knockout rounds.
After their uninspired performance today against Colombia, Turkey need to bounce back and play much better all over the field to defeat a desperate Aussie side. The only positive advantage TUR has is home soil.