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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 21:41 GMT 22:41 UK
Sparkling Sanli gives Turkey victory
Turkey 2-1 United States

Tuncay Sanli (right) celebrates his winning goal
Tuncay Sanli (right) celebrates his winning goal

Striker Tuncay Sanli scored the winner on his debut to hand Turkey victory over the United States in their Confederations Cup opener.

The USA took a 37th minute lead after DaMarcus Beasley headed in, but three minutes later Okan Yilmaz made it 1-1 from the penalty spot.

Then in the 73rd minute Sanli stole in ahead of the American defence to calmly slot the ball home and give Turkey their Group B victory.

Both teams were fielding under-strength sides and playing in front of a sparse crowd at St Etienne's Stade Geoffroy Guichard.

The first-half was a fairly even affair as far as possession was concerned, but it was Senol Gunes' Turkey team who created the most chances.

The first scoring opportunity fell to Ahmet Yildirim who was clean through only to see his effort blocked by keeper Tim Howard.

Ahmet Yilmaz then saw his strike narrowly miss the target and it only seemed a matter of time before Turkey would take the lead but it was their opponents who struck first.

Midfielder Landon Donovan sped down the left and sent over a ball into the box which Beasley nodded home with relative ease.

But the USA were given little time to enjoy their lead.

Minutes later, Sanli found himself the victim of a joint challenge from Danny Califf and skipper Frankie Hejduk. The referee had no hesitation but to award a penalty.

Yilmaz struck the ball low and hard into the left-hand corner for the equaliser.

Turkey continued where they left off in the second half with a persistent battering of the USA defence.

They were finally rewarded 17 minutes from time as Sanli collected a through-ball from Volkan Arslan, rounded keeper Howard before steering the ball into an empty net.

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