Ahead of their opening EURO 2016 qualifier in Iceland next week, Turkey stopped by in Denmark for an International Friendly. The final score was 2-1 in favor of the visitors, as they managed to complete a 1-0 deficit in the second half thanks to two pretty strikes from Olcay Sahan and Ozan Tufan.
The main weakness of the Turkish side was that they focused a bit too much on attacking, as the Danes easily created openings on the counter. Luckily for the winners, only one goal was scored, and that was off of a penalty kick. Leaving open gaps in the middle or even on the side can cost them dearly in the qualifiers.
The one man that pushed up quite a bit was left back Caner Erkin, as he is a versatile player. This can be good offensively, but as seen today, can also cause problems on the defensive front. He will have to be a bit quicker at returning to his original position to halt and ideas opposing teams have in their own final third.
The midfield was strong as it contains young, quick and skilled players that know how to play the game at the highest level. Sahan, Arda Turan, Selcuk Inan, Oguzhan Ozyakup and veteran Emre Belezoglu are all more than capable of leading the midfield going forward and even dropping back to win the ball.
The front line is led by Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz who has scored goals in the past for Turkey and today showed that he can set others up on the run. On the bench there is Besiktas’ Mustafa Pektemek who can drop back into midfield to win the ball in the air, the ground and even create chances for others in addition for himself.
The beauty of this national side of Turkey is that they all have a unified belief in one another and their goal of making it to EURO 2016. Making the tournament and performing well will only be the beginning as coach Fatih Terim stated that he has a four-year plan to participate in the 2018 World Cup. If he can continue to successfully mix his youthful members with his veterans, the outcome of the recipe can be pure perfection.