Çalhanoğlu secures narrow win in Turkey-Luxembourg friendly
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULApr 02, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Apr 02, 2015 12:00 am
A friendly game against Luxembourg almost proved disastrous for Turkey, who managed to secure a 2-1 victory with a late goal by Hakan Çalhanoğlu.
Despite a wide gap between the two teams in the FIFA rankings and a fourth-minute goal by Mevlüt Erdinç, Turkey struggled to stay ahead of the tiny European duchy's Red Lions.
The game at the Josy Barthel stadium got off to a cheerful start for Turkey after Saint-Etienne striker Erdinç scored the first goal in the fourth minute of the first half. Luxembourg's Mario Mutsch made sure the two sides went into the half at one apiece 26 minutes later.
The Turkish team labored in the second half for a second goal and was almost concluding the game with a draw when Bayer Leverkusen's Çalhanoğlu scored the much-anticipated goal with a right-footed shot that sent the ball past Luxembourg goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert, only after it took a deflection of a defender.
The two teams have faced each other seven times and Turkey has been victorious in five of the seven matches while Luxemburg have managed to win one game against Turkey. Four of the previous six matches were friendly matches and four of them were played in Luxemburg. While Turkey have scored 13 goals in seven matches, Luxemburg have scored six goals.
Coach Fatih Terim's line-up for the Turkish team saw a series of replacements from last week's Euro 2016 qualifier with the Netherlands. Volkan Babacan, Gökhan Gönül, Hakan Balta, Mehmet Topal, Gökhan Töre and Burak Yılmaz were excluded while Atletico Madrid international Arda Turan made a comeback, along with midfielder Kazım Kazım who returned to the national team after more than three years of exclusion.