2002 FIFA World Cup is the 17th edition of the tournament. Japan and South Korea co-hosted the tournament held between 31 May and 30 June 2002. Brazil won their 5th title by defeating Germany at Nissan Stadium, Yokohama. There were many great matches in this edition. It was Turkey’s journey throughout the tournament which will be in memory of all the neutral fans. The rematch of Brazil v Turkey at the semis after their group stage fixture ranks as one of the classics of the tournament.
Turkey’s return to the grand stage
Turkey secured a spot in the World Cup finals after 1954, ending their 48 year wait to take part in the World Cup again. Senol Gunes , took over the job of leading Turkey national team with the goal of securing a spot for the World Cup. Turkish football was in rise from 1999/00, which made Gunes even more optimistic. Turkey’s group consists of Brazil, China and Costa Rica. Turkey finished 2nd in the group behind Brazil with one win, one loss and a draw. Turkey reached semis by edging past Japan and Senegal in the previous knock-out stages.
The full match replay of the semi finals between Brazil and Turkey can be found in FIFA Archives from the following link : https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/watch/6CXSGSmU0SpkBdxCAUihzn
Brazil takes on Turkey in the semis
The semifinals was seen as potential redemption opportunity by the fans, after the controversial handball in the group stage fixture. Unsal received a red card for Rivaldo’s antics . Ronaldinho suspended for the semi finals after getting red card against England in the previous knockout fixture.
Even though Brazil were the favourites to win this tie, Turkey had a chance to win as well after competing in the league fixture. Turkey dominated in almost every aspect of the game except for the shots on target. Brazil Captain Cafu took a shot and it went for a corner. The scores were 0-0 at half time.
Rivaldo was pulling the strings and Ronaldo was trying to bury the ball under the net, but with some brilliant performance from Recber Rustu the scores were level. Gilberto Silva’s assist to Ronaldo breaks the Turkish resistance with Brazil taking the lead at 49th minute. The moment Brazil got their breakthrough, they started to attack in full flow in an attempt to kill the game. On the other hand Gunes was pushing his men further forward to grab an equaliser. Turkey was pushing for an equaliser till the very end but couldn’t get one. Luizao squandered a chance to kill the game by missing a goal scoring opportunity. Turkey came back to World Cup after a long gap and they have made it up to semi finals. This World Cup journey of Turkey will be a memorable one forever.