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Monday, November 15, 1999 Published at 06:38 GMT

Sport: Football

Republic have it all to do

The Republic of Ireland must now travel to Turkey looking for a win

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Turkey

A second-half penalty gifted Turkey an equaliser at Landsdowne Road, after Robbie Keane had put the Republic of Ireland ahead just minutes earlier.

Tayfur Havutcu supplied the successful conversion for the visitors. But the Irish will surely be kicking themselves, after supplying some superb football in a match they should have won.

The first major shock of the evening came before kick-off, however, when it was announced Niall Quinn had pulled out of the match after damaging his neck in training, to be replaced by Nancy forward Cascarino who was winning his 87th cap.

There was a distinctly subdued feeling as the players lined up to observe a minute's silence before the start in respect of the latest Turkish earthquake victims.

Early chances

But the Republic were up for business right from the first whistle and forced the first corner after less than 40 seconds when Kevin Kilbane, fed by Rory Delap, tried a curler from the edge of the area. Rustu set the tone for the first half, tipping the effort over at full stretch.

[ image: Ireland's lead lasted just three minutes]
Ireland's lead lasted just three minutes
Captain Roy Keane was in familiar all-action mode, but it was his namesake Robbie who inspired the next threat, with a surging run at the Turkish defence on to Delap's chip forward.

In the end he was crowded out - but when Carsley returned the loose ball into the box the young Coventry ace was close to connecting just eight yards out.

The Republic nearly paid the price for a lack of concentration on the half-our, however, when Davala Umit snapped on to an untidy clearance by Gary Breen and picked out Hakan Unsal unmarked in the area.

Stephen Carr's recovery challenge was just enough to put the winger off his shot, but seconds later Abdullah Ercan's 25-yard blast crashed off Breen's head and over the bar for a corner.

Turks raise the game

Turkey looked far brighter in the second period, however, maintaining possession and opening up more room in midfield.

Sergen Yalcin put Turkey's first real chance of a score over the bar in the 59th minute. Alan Kelly, who had clearly pulled a muscle taking a kick, was caught off his line, but the Turkish striker just edged his shot too high.

Shortly after, Kelly was replaced by Charlton's Dean Kiely, before Kevin Kilbane forced another superb save from Rustu Recber at the near post, from just outside the area.

Ireland picked up the pace dramatically mid-way through the half. Cascarino was replaced with David Connolly as the home side began to close Turkey down in midfield.

It proved an inspired substitution, with Connolly finding Robbie Keane in the box just minutes later.

The Coventry man never looked like missing, and fired the ball with his right from five yards to give Ireland a 1-0 lead.

It lasted just three minutes, however, with Lee Carsley adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.

Havutcu converted for the Turks, securing a vital away-goal in the process to level the scores.

Things then went form bad to worse for the Irish, when Robbie Keane received a yellow-card, ruling him out of the return leg on Wednesday.


Republic of Ireland: 1-Alan Kelly; 2-Stephen Carr, 3-Denis Irwin, 4-Gary Breen, 5-Kenny Cunningham, 6-Roy Keane, 7-Rory Delap, 8-Lee Carsley, 9-Tony Cascarino, 10-Robbie Keane, 11-Kevin Kilbane

Turkey: 1-Rustu Recber; 2-Ali Eren Beserler, 3-Ogun Temizkanoglu, 4-Tayfur Havutcu, 5- Alpay Ozalan, 6-Abdullah Ercan, 7-Tayfun Korkut, 8-Umit Davala, 9-Hakan Sukur, 10-Sergen Yalcin, 11-Hakan Unsal

Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden)

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