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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 20:58 GMT 21:58 UK
England surge past Turkey
Rooney was outstanding

England 2-0 Turkey

England revived hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2004 with a crucial victory over Turkey at The Stadium of Light.

Substitute Darius Vassell - on for injured Michael Owen - broke the deadlock with 15 minutes left.

And captain David Beckham sealed a richly-deserved victory with an injury-time penalty to put England top of Group Seven.

World Cup semi-finalists Turkey were well beaten by an England performance in sharp contrast to Saturday's limp victory over Liechtenstein.

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson will be delighted with the win - and with a stunning full debut from 17-year-old Everton striker Wayne Rooney.

Rooney inspired England after tense opening exchanges, and departed to a deserved standing ovation when he was substituted.

Eriksson gambled on the brilliant teenager at the expense of Emile Heskey and was richly rewarded.

And Rooney illuminated The Stadium of Light with his awareness in a fiercely-fought first half.

England captain Beckham claimed before the match that he was insulted by accusations of a lack of passion in the squad - but he took the sentiments too far when he was booked for dissent after only eight minutes.

It was a yellow card that has a heavy price, with Beckham suspended for the next qualfier against Slovakia.

And Beckham was a central figure again three minutes later when he squandered a glorious chance to put England ahead.

KEY MOMENTS
11 mins: David Beckham shoots wide from short range
75 mins: Darius Vassell opens the scoring
81 mins: David James brilliantly denies Nihat Kahveci
90 mins: Beckham scores from the penalty spot

Turkey goalkeeper Rustu Recber dropped Steven Gerrard's cross, and after Rooney's shot was blocked Beckham blazed wide of an open goal.

The visitors were controlled in possession, and goalkeeper David James needed to be alert on the half-hour to save from Yildiray Basturk.

Rooney flourished as the half went on, and a stunning run and pass set up Owen three minutes before half-time, but Rustu dived bravely at his feet to save.

England pushed forward at the start of the second half, laying siege to Turkey's goal.

But Eriksson's side suffered a blow after 57 minutes when Owen limped off following a heavy collision with Alpay to be replaced by Vassell.

It did not stop the home side pressing, however, and Rustu was Turkey's hero with brilliant saves from Beckham's free-kick and Vassell's near-post shot.

England deserved to be ahead - and they were finally rewarded for all the pressure with 15 minutes left.

Wayne Bridge's cross released Rio Ferdinand, and when his shot was saved by Rustu, Vassell followed up to score.

Turkey were not finished, though, and it required a magnificent save from James to maintain England's lead with nine minutes left.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Nihat's header looked bound for the top corner until the West Ham 'keeper leapt acrobatically to turn the ball over the bar.

It was Turkey's last chance, and Beckham made sure with a penalty in injury-time subsitute Kieron Dyer was fouled by Ergun Penbe.


England: James, Neville, Ferdinand, Campbell, Bridge, Beckham,Scholes, Butt, Gerrard, Rooney, Owen. Subs: Mills, Robinson, Woodgate, Lampard, Dyer, Heskey, Vassell.

Turkey: Rustu, Aykel Fatih, Alpay, Korkmaz, Ergun, Ozkan, Basturk, Tugay, Asik Emre, Nihat, Mansiz. Subs: Omer, Deniz, Ahmet, Korkut, Sas, Davala, Sukur.

Referee: U Meier (Switzerland).






WATCH AND LISTEN
England captain David Beckham
"The no-hopers did well in the end"


England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson
"The boys did it again"


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