While the result from this game saw England qualify for Euro 2004 in first place, this game will be remembered for the brawl in the tunnel at half-time between many players
and coaching staff from both sides. More of that later though!
England were without Owen through injury for this match, and Ferdinand was not called up following a missed drugs test. Still, England fielded a strong side and looked the better side for much of the game. The visitors had the first opportunity to score when Gary Neville crossed the ball to fellow Manchester United player, Scholes. The red-headed player's header just missed the goal, the ball going over the crossbar. Turkey responded to England's threat with a shot from Kahveci, but James was able to prevent a goal. As both teams traded unfruitful attempts to
break the deadlock, Tugay tripped Gerrard in the penalty area, and referee Collina awarded a spot-kick which captain, David Beckham, took in the 36th minute. This would be the talking point of the game, not because Beckham missed the penalty, but because he was goaded afterwards for his failure by Alpay. A ridiculous act by the Turk, and even more pathetic was that he pushed Beckham in the face after the half-time whistle. As a result several players and staff from both sides became involved in a scuffle in the tunnel.
With the referee apparenlty having spoken to Beckham and Alpay during the break, the teams were back on the field to finish the contest which fortunately did not see any further crazy action by either team. England's defence were threatened several times during the second half, and English hearts were pounding in the 88th minute when Tuncay's shot narrowly missed England's goal. Then into injury time, Nihat sent the ball towards James' goal but the shot, however close, missed the net.
England will have been happy to leave Turkey, especially with a point which saw them end the qualifying campaign for next year's European Championships at the top of Group 7. They are also
still unbeaten by Turkey.
Rustu, Uzulmez, Korkmaz, Akyel, Alpay, Emre (Penbe 79 mins), Buruk (Mansiz 68 mins), Tugay, Sukur, Nihat, Yalcin
(Sanli 61 mins).
Subs Not Used: Catkic, Basturk, Asik, Davala.
James, G Neville, A Cole, Campbell, Terry, Butt, Gerrard, Beckham, Scholes (Lampard 90 mins), Rooney (Dyer 73 mins),
Heskey (Vassell 69 mins).
Subs Not Used: Robinson, P Neville, Upson, Bridge. (Full Squad)
Turkey Caution: Tugay
England Caution: Butt
Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy)