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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 October, 2003, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
Brave England qualify
David Beckham celebrates qualification

Turkey 0-0 England

England secured their ticket to Portugal, despite a dramatic missed penalty from captain David Beckham in Istanbul.

Beckham blazed a first-half spot-kick high over Rustu Recber's crossbar after Tugay had upended Steven Gerrard in the penalty area.

The miss prompted hostile taunts from the home side, led by Aston Villa defender Alpay, and reproduced the ugly clashes which flared the last time the sides clashed at the Stadium of Light in April.

But England held their nerve in an intimidating atmosphere, preserving their record of never having conceded a goal in 10 matches against Turkey as they earned the point that takes them to the finals of Euro 2004.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's side knew that another clean sheet would be enough to secure qualification and, despite several chances to win the game, a disciplined England defence provided the bedrock for qualification.

They had a strange week but the answer they showed was exactly what we hoped for
Sven-Goran Eriksson
England coach

The pressure that had been building on England's shoulders all week was magnified by the hostile crowd inside Fenerbahce's Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

But England's players showed little evidence of the weight of pressure and expectation they were carrying as they settled well.

They were quickly at ease and displayed some slick passing, while the home team surprisingly betrayed the more nerves.

And England would have been in the comfort zone had Paul Scholes accepted an invitation to end his 22-month international goal drought.

Gary Neville whipped in a teasing left-foot cross, but Scholes headed over the bar having lost his marker.

KEY MOMENTS
20 mins: Rooney lobs on to the roof of the net following Beckham pass
37 mins: Beckham blazes penalty high over crossbar
90 mins: Nihat drills injury-time shot narrowly wide

Wayne Rooney, filling in for the injured Michael Owen, was unlucky not to register a third successive goalscoring appearance for England when he lobbed onto the roof of the net after Beckham pounced on Alpay's loose pass to put him clear.

Stung by England's lively opening, Turkey woke from their sleepy start with an Emre shot that David James did well to tip over.

James also reacted well to palm Nihat's deflected effort over the bar, but was not so convincing from the resulting corner as Okan Buruk caused the keeper to flap and prompt a frantic scramble.

I confronted him in the tunnel and all the other players started coming in
David Beckham on the clash with Alpay
But England remained the better side and deserved more from the first half than the humiliation which followed them down the tunnel at half-time.

The shambolic scenes were prompted by Beckham's remarkable penalty miss on 37 minutes.

Steven Gerrard, an increasingly prominent presence in the game, ran with menace at the Turkey defence and won the penalty from a befuddled Tugay.

But Beckham slipped as he planted his standing foot and the result was a miss of sky-high proportions.

Alpay's relief was understandable, but his reaction unforgiveable as he went nose-to-nose with the deflated Beckham, then continued his taunting as the pair headed down the tunnel at half-time.

But England - safe in the knowledge that a disciplined defence would see them through - had the last laugh.

The vital draw means that, despite continued speculation over his future as England boss, Eriksson remains unbeaten in England qualifying matches.

And, six years to the day since England drew 0-0 in Italy to qualify for the 1998 World Cup, Eriksson and his under-fire players were delighted to have made their point.


Turkey: Rustu, Uzulmez, Korkmaz, Akyel, Alpay, Emre (Penbe 79), Buruk (Mansiz 68), Tugay, Sukur, Nihat, Yalcin (Sanli 61).
Subs not used: Catkic, Basturk, Asik, Davala.

Booked: Tugay.

England: James, Gary Neville, Ashley Cole, Campbell, Terry, Butt, Gerrard, Beckham, Scholes (Lampard 90), Rooney (Dyer 73), Heskey (Vassell 69).
Subs not used: Robinson, Phil Neville, Upson, Bridge.

Booked: Butt.

Attendance: 42,000.

Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy).






WATCH AND LISTEN
England captain David Beckham
"We showed great character"



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