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Sunday, 25 June, 2000, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
Turkish media blames Alpay
Alpay Ozalun
Alpay Ozalun is shown the red card
Turkish defender Alpay Ozalan has taken the blame for his country's exit from Euro 2000.

The player was sent off in the first half of the quarter-final against Portugal and the Turkish media feel that his dismissal was the major factor in the 2-0 defeat.

"Alpay played a leading role in our Portuguese defeat," wrote the Daily Milliyet.

"He left us with 10 players and prepared our defeat," echoed Yeni Binyil.

Harshly treated

Alpay was shown the red card for punching Portuguese defender Fernando Couto, although television replays seemed to indicate that the Turkish player had been harshly treated.

But the Turkish media did recognise the incredible achievement of reaching the final eight of a major tournament.

"An honorable farewell," headlined Zaman newspaper in its front-page. "Turkey is proud of you," said sports daily Fanatik.

"While giants such as England, Germany, Denmark and the Czech Republic went home early they gave us the happiness of the quarter-finals," said Necil Ulgen, a journalist with Fanatik.

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See also:

24 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Portugal v Turkey clockwatch
24 Jun 00 | Photo Gallery
Portugal v Turkey in pictures
20 Jun 00 | Turkey
Tugay sent home by Turkey
20 Jun 00 | Turkey
Turkish fans on rampage
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