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Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 18:07 GMT


Sport: Football

Quinn fit for Turkey clash

Niall Quinn: Made it into the side at the eleventh hour

Turkey vs Republic of Ireland, 17 Nov, kick-off 1800 GMT

The Republic of Ireland striker Niall Quinn has been passed fit for Wednesday's decisive Euro 2000 play-off against Turkey.

There were fears that the neck injury which forced the Sunderland striker to withdraw at the last moment from Saturday's 1-1 first-leg draw would not clear up in time.

With Robbie Keane already suspended, it would have been a disaster for the the Republic, who would have been deprived of both first-choice strikers for the make-or-break encounter.

David Connolly, who has started only one international in the last 12 months, steps up to replace Robbie Keane.

With Turkey nursing a precious away goal, Mick McCarthy's men know they must score in Bursa to have any hope of qualifying.

Quinn had not been able to train with the squad in Bursa after arriving on Sunday night.

Last-minute decision

McCarthy pledged to give him as long as possible to recover from the injury, adding: "There is no way we can take silly chances with anyone."

Quinn is one goal away from Frank Stapleton's Irish scoring record.

McCarthy has Charlton midfielder Mark Kinsella back from suspension to rejoin skipper Roy Keane in midfield.

Derby's Rory Delap, who made his competitive debut for Ireland on Saturday, beat of a challenge for his right-flank place from two Blackburn players - Damien Duff and Jason McAteer, the latter having been out of the Irish side for seven months through injury.

Turkey need only a scoreless draw to go through, and have called up Arif Erdem, a hat-trick hero against Northern Ireland in the qualifiers, to press home their advantage.

As expected, he pairs up in attack with 26-goal Hakan Sukur, who scored the goal which beat Germany in Turkey earlier this season.

The game will take place in the intimate, but intimidating surroundings of the Ataturk stadium in Bursa, which took the Irish eight hours to reach via air, road and sea ferry.

The venue, which holds only 20,000, was chosen because there is a major Nato security conference in Istanbul attended by American president Bill Clinton and Irish premier Bertie Ahearn.

Teams

Ireland: 1-Dean Kiely; 2-Stephen Carr, 3-Denis Irwin, 4-Gary Breen, 5-Kenny Cunningham, 6-Roy Keane, 7-Rory Delap, 8-Mark Kinsella, 9-Niall Quinn, 10-David Connolly, 11-Kevin Kilbane.

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

Referee: Gilles Veissiere (France).



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