Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 23:13 GMT
Turks bury Irish dream
Niall Quinn: Only passed fit at the eleventh hour
Turkey 0-0 Republic of Ireland (1-1 on aggregate, Turkey win on away goals)
The Republic of Ireland's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2000 have come crashing to the ground with a 0-0 draw in Bursa, sending Turkey through to the finals on the away goals rule.
The Turks held them to a 1-1 draw in Dublin last Saturday leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb.
Ireland have a poor recent record in qualifying for major competitions, having been knocked out in the play-offs for both Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup.
History repeated itself on a cold and blustery night the Ataturk Stadium as Ireland failed to produce one clearcut shot in the first half, then found themselves unable to convert a valiant second half performance into a precious away goal.
Manager Mick McCarthy received a boost just before kick-off when Niall Quinn was passed fit. But he was missing Coventry forward Robbie Keane, who was suspended after earning himself a booking for dissent at the weekend.
Turkey were able to draw on Arif Erdem - their hat-trick hero against Northern Ireland in the qualifiers - and 26-goal Hakan Sukur, who scored the goal which beat Germany in Turkey earlier this season.
The game took place in the intimate, but intimidating surroundings of Bursa, which took the Irish eight hours to reach via air, road and sea ferry.
Ireland started the brighter, with their best chances coming from Kevin Kilbane and Roy Keane, who applied some good early pressure in a match dogged by strong winds and a difficult pitch.
Ireland failed to capitalise, however, and quickly regretted it as the hosts played their way into the game.
Before the interval, Turkish striker Hakan Sukur twice severely tested goalkeeper Dean Kiely, who was making his first international start.
But the Charlton star was equal to the task, clearing a header from inside the six-yard box, then blocking a strike in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the end of the half after Jeff Kenna had allowed Sukur to roam free in the Irish area.
Steve Carr was an early casualty for Ireland, stretchered off with a leg injury after six minutes to be replaced by Kenna, while the Turks lost their outstanding keeper Rustu Recber for Engin Ipekoglu just before half-time.
In fact, Recber was lucky not to be booked after apparently clattering into David Connolly outside his area. Despite prolonged Irish protestations, French referee Gilles Veissiere awarded a goal kick.
Sergen Yalcin opened the second half with an outstanding solo run on 50 minutes, only to fluff the final shot and send it just over the Irish crossbar.
Ireland threw everything into the attack in the last 10 minutes, pressing forward and putting the Turks under enormous pressure.
But once again they were unable to create any real scoring chances and Turkey covered back superbly, holding out to produce exactly the result their ecstatic fans spent most of the second half whistling for.
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.