- Turkey enter Qatar 2022 qualifiers with a bang
- A return to the World Cup, 20 years later?
- What are the lessons to be learned from these first two successes?
Twenty years after their last appearance at the top level, are Turkey ready to make their return to the FIFA World Cup ™? The Turks started their adventure perfectly. Poured into Group G of European qualifying, one of the most uncertain, they complete these first two outings with six points on the clock.
By way of introduction, the Moon Stars were opposed in the Netherlands. In their lair at Atatürk Stadium, Turkey set out to demonstrate that they should be reckoned with this year: their 4-2 victory over a solid team Orange marked the spirits
Three days later, she signed her first away success (3-0), against Norway, on neutral ground in Malaga. Once again, faced with a candidate for qualification, the Turks made the powder speak: the national team had never started the preliminaries of a World Cup with two victories.
With the approach of the match against Latvia, scheduled for Tuesday, March 30, the dream of a third qualification for the queen of competitions begins to make its way into the minds of Turkish fans, known for their enthusiasm. It must be said that the last appearance of Turkey in the final phase already dates back to 2002.
During Korea / Japan 2002, Hasan Sas, Hakan Sükür and Ilhan Mansiz created a surprise by inviting themselves to the last four of the competition, before falling against Brazil, the future winner of the event. Turkey left Asia on a positive note, after winning the third-place match ahead of Korea Republic. Hakan Sükür took the opportunity to score the fastest goal in the history of the competition, after 11 seconds of play.
Today, Senol Günes is in charge. To reconnect with this prestigious past, the coach relies on a group of regulars from the Süper Lig and expatriate internationals. Captain Burak Yilmaz perfectly embodies this newfound confidence. “We have excellent defenders and we have nothing to worry about. We have never been afraid of anyone,” he said before facing Erling Haaland’s Norway.
The keys to success
A solid defense: against the Netherlands and Norway, the Turkish defense had to face attackers of the caliber of Memphis Depay or Erling Haaland. But with holders like Ozan Kabak (Liverpool), Caglar Söyüncü (Leicester) and Kaan Ayhan (Sassuolo), Turkey can rely on players experienced in high level games.
Maximum efficiency: seven goals in two matches for eight shots on target in total. So far, the Turks have shown optimum efficiency. This success owes a lot to leading offensive players, such as Hakan Calhanoglu (AC Milan). “We are not lacking in talent, it’s true. Nevertheless, we can still progress tactically and in terms of the game. Ozan Tufan and Ugurcan Cakir were the only residents of the Turkish Championship present in the starting XI. long on the wealth of our workforce. “
A double and a treble: “I really want to do everything so that we are on the trip to Qatar,” said Captain Yilmaz when asked about his ambitions. And the Lille striker is not content to give voice; against the Netherlands, he distinguished himself by signing a hat-trick. A few days later, Ozan Tufan hit the mark twice, against Norway. In other words, Turkey can also count on individuals capable of making a difference.