Clive Allen netted a disallowed goal for England as Bobby Robson's side secured
Turkey 0-0 England
Euro 1988, Qualifying Group 4
Ataturk Stadium, Izmir
29 April 1987
Clive Allen netted a disallowed goal for England as Bobby Robson's side secured an important point in their quest to qualify for Euro 88...
By drawing 0-0 away to Turkey, Bobby Robson's England secured an important point in their quest to qualify for Euro 88...
Memories of the 8-0 demolition of Turkey in a World Cup qualifying fixture three years earlier were an irrelevance as England had to battle hard for one European Championship point against a substantially improved Turkish outfit in Izmir's Ataturk Stadium.
The loss of Shilton, Butcher and Beardsley had forced Bobby Robson to select a line-up that included a goalkeeper starting only his third full international, a new central defensive partnership and a new forward pairing. The fact that most of the team were carrying the additional burden of assorted bruises and strains collected during the tiring domestic season helped to put England's performance in Izmir into a more sensible perspective.
The Turks, who have still to register a goal against England, threatened on three occasions albeit from some distance. Savas twice ignored colleagues in better positions nearer to goal to drive in 30-yard shots that Chris Woods caught with undue difficulty. Then Turkey's best chance came when Erdal cut through on the right after a neat exchange with Iskender for a blast at goal that must have removed all feeling from Woods' left hand as he diverted the ball for a corner.
The match as a whole was strangely colourless, with very few attempts at goal by either side, particularly in the first half. It would be difficult to recall more than three misses for England.
However, Footballer of the Year Clive Allen, back in the side after a three year absence, looked to have scored a priceless goal for his country on the hour. He had cushioned Chris Waddle's cross on his chest before gently lifting the ball over Fatih's dive and into the net. England celebrations were quelled when the Russian linesman adudged the Tottenham scoring machine offside.
Another chance came late on from the head of Mark Hateley, substitute for Allen and making his first appearance since the Mexico World Cup Finals of the previous year. Brought on, along with John Barnes, to add height and urgency to England's challenge, the AC Milan striker, in good form with his club, powered a header goalwards from Waddle's inswinging centre with only seconds remaining. Turkish goalkeeper Fatih was equal to it, though, and leapt acrobatically to his right to pull the ball down for the most inspired act of the 90 minutes - a truly excellent save.
Gary Lineker, usually a good bet for a goal or two, left the field at the end battered and bruised by some rather crude Turkish tackles. One shocker in the 72nd minute had rightly earned Ali Coban a yellow card. In truth, a draw was a fair result as neither side did enough to merit winning the match.
Though the stalemate meant that England dropped their first points of the campaign, with only Turkey at home and Yugoslavia away to come, England flew home in good spirits with high expectations of qualifying.
England: Woods, Anderson, Sansom, Hoddle, Adams, Mabbutt, Robson (c), Hodge (Barnes), C Allen (Hateley), Lineker, Waddle
Turkey: Faith, Semih, Ismail, C Ali, Erhan, Riza, Ugur, Savas, Iskender (c), Hasan, K Ali, Ilias, Feyyaz
Referee: Valeri Boutenko (USSR)
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