Well-taken goals finish off disappointing Austria
¹ Some sources also suggest there were around 40,000 spectators present that afternoon, such as austriasoccer.at.
Despite a desperately disappointing outcome in their previous qualifier, there was still a high level of football-craze in Turkey. Their TV stations had been showing live other Group 3 qualifiers following Turkey’s double win against East Germany, and this appeared to be a fine opportunity for this exciting crop of players to take the country to the World Cup for the first time since 1954 and only the second time in history. They would need to win tonight, and they would also most likely need at least a draw in the Soviet Union in their final game.
Austria arrived in Istanbul on the back of two wins and three draws from their five previous qualifiers, and they appeared to have as good a chance as any from the trio right behind the Soviet Union to reach next year’s World Cup. Despite not always looking dazzling, they’d ground out results when it had mattered the most, such as that hugely vital 1-1 in Leipzig. They were ultimately a bit fortunate to have won even the home match against the Turkish, when they’d been three goals up at one stage. A draw on this occasion would be a massive result again. East Germany, on the other hand, would certainly have been hoping for a home win, as it would give them the best chance to progress when they’d travel to Vienna next. Should Austria tie the game in Istanbul, GDR would need to win in Vienna on the final day to make it through to Italia ’90.
Turkey team news
Turkey had shown fine consistency in their team selection throughout the qualification, but for this their seventh fixture, they would have to make do without right-back Recep Çetin. He had been yellow-carded during the surprise 2-1 loss in Reykjavik the previous month, and since this was his second caution of the qualification, he was ineligible for selection. Recep had started all of the previous six qualifiers, only being substituted during the second half in their opening fixture, as they were chasing an equalizer against Iceland.
Manager Tınaz Tırpan had built his side around a fine core of players. In Iceland, they had been without usual front duo Tanju Çolak and Rıdvan Dilmen, and considering how that game went, one could be forgiven for thinking they could’ve been in an even better over all position had the pair been available. They were both back from injury now, though, and had naturally been selected in the squad of 16.
Turkey had four players who had played every one of their 540 qualification minutes hitherto: defenders Semih Yuvakuran, Gökhan Keskin and Cüneyt Tanman, as well as midfielder Ünal Karaman. They had used a total of 21 players, of which four players had just a single appearance each. Seven players had started five or more of their six qualifiers, so there seemed little doubt that Tınaz wished to maintain somewhat identical line-ups from one game to another. And why not? They had shown evidence of their capability, in particular during the 3-1 home win against East Germany.
Despite a lot of promise in both performances and results, Turkey knew they had to win against Austria were they to still be in with a hope of qualification for next year’s World Cup. However, two points alone against the Austrians would not suffice; they’d also need to get something from their final qualifier in the Soviet Union. It was time for Tınaz Tırpan’s talented crop of players to show their mettle.
Austria team news
Austria had arrived in Istanbul on the back of a fine line of qualification results, and they were unbeaten in their last five. They were in pole position, and a result in Turkey would give them a wonderful opportunity to lay claim to the second spot also by the end of the qualification.
Like their hosts, Austria had also kept a common thread throughout the qualification as far as their line-ups were concerned. They had used 23 players altogether, but no less than nine players had participated in at least five of their six qualifiers to date. This consistency had seemed to be rewarded with consistency also in results, though they knew they were facing an enterprising team today, so they would need to be on top of their game in order to return home with a point or more.
Since the 0-0 draw at home to group leaders Soviet Union at the start of the previous month, manager Josef Hickersberger had been able to again call upon all of the eleven players who had started that evening in Vienna. Two players from that squad had not been recalled though: Defender Ernst Aigner and striker Heimo Pfeifenberger. They had been replaced by Robert Pecl and midfielder Gerald Glatzmayer, both of whom had figured earlier in the qualification. Among their matchday squad of 16, only back-up ‘keeper Michael Konsel had yet to make an appearance during the on-going qualification.
Domestically, Austria Vienna and last season’s champions Swarovski Tirol were tied at the top of the table after 16 sets of fixtures. They were represented with seven of the squad’s 16 players, and Sevilla striker Toni Polster was yet again their sole foreign based player. From eight matches in the Spanish top flight, he had scored three times, though he had been without a goal in either of his last five league matches coming into this qualifier.
Just once from their eight earlier meetings in history had Turkey won against Austria. This had happened in the qualification ahead of the 1984 European Championships in France, which both countries had eventually missed out on. Prior to that, the Austrians had won all six encounters without even conceding a single goal. Only Austria’s defender Heribert Weber was still left from that 1983 qualifier among either team’s players. Obviously, Austria had won 3-2 against Turkey almost precisely a year earlier.
Czechoslovak Jozef Marko, 43 years of age, had been put in charge of this qualifier. Despite having made his international debut way back in 1980, when he had overseen the friendly between Hungary and Spain in Budapest (2-2), this was Marko’s first qualification fixture. It was his sixth international altogether as a referee. Back in 1981, he had refereed Austria’s 0-0 home friendly against Spain, in which Heribert Weber, again, was the only remaining participant for today’s clash.
|1 Engin İpekoğlu||28||Beşiktaş|
|2 Rıza Çalımbay||26||Beşiktaş|
|3 Semih Yuvakuran||26||Galatasaray|
|4 Cüneyt Tanman (c)||49′||33||Galatasaray|
|5 Gökhan Keskin||23||Beşiktaş|
|6 Ünal Karaman||20′||23||Malatyaspor|
|7 Uğur Tütüneker||54′, sub 82′||26||Galatasaray|
|8 Rıdvan Dilmen||27||Fenerbahçe|
|9 Mustafa Yücedağ||23||Sarıyer|
|10 Oğuz Çetin||26||Fenerbahçe|
|11 Feyyaz Uçar||sub 88′||25||Beşiktaş|
|12 Süleyman Kocakara||30||Zeytinburnuspor|
|13 Müjdat Yetkiner||27||Fenerbahçe|
|14 Tanju Çolak||on 82′||25||Galatasaray|
|15 Metin Tekin||on 88′||25||Beşiktaş|
|16 Kemal Serdar||27||Trabzonspor|
|1 Klaus Lindenberger||32||Swarovski Tirol|
|2 Kurt Russ||82′||24||First Vienna|
|3 Michael Streiter||23||Swarovski Tirol|
|4 Anton Pfeffer||24||Austria Wien|
|5 Heribert Weber (c)||80′||34||Austria Salzburg|
|6 Manfred Zsak||59′||24||Austria Wien|
|7 Andreas Ogris||25||Austria Wien|
|8 Manfred Linzmaier||27||Swarovski Tirol|
|9 Toni Polster||25||Sevilla|
|10 Andy Herzog||51′, sub 58′||21||Rapid Wien|
|11 Peter Artner||sub h-t||23||Admira/Wacker|
|12 Robert Pecl||23||Rapid Wien|
|13 Alfred Hörtnagl||23||Swarovski Tirol|
|14 Gerhard Rodax||on h-t||24||Admira/Wacker|
|15 Gerald Glatzmayer||on 58′||20||First Vienna|
|16 Michael Konsel||27||Rapid Wien|
As the two teams took to the field, we could have a look at the full line-ups in both camps. Were there any surprises? Well, as we knew, there had to be a forced change within the home ranks due to right-back Recep’s suspension, and in for him had come Rıza for his 15th cap, but his first appearance of the ongoing qualification. How would their midfield shape up, though, now with Mustafa back in the mix? The talented 23 year old from Istanbul club Sarıyer would make his fifth appearance for his country, his fourth of the current qualification campaign. And up top, with Tanju clearly not deemed fit enough to start, Rıdvan was back in his customary starting role, this time accompanied by Feyyaz, himself far from an outsider in this environment. The Beşiktaş attacker was making his sixth appearance of the ’90 qualification, and this was his third start.
What about the visitors? Well, clearly manager Hickersberger had not felt the need to shake things up much, as they’d not been defeated in either of their five previous qualifiers. In fact, his starting eleven mirrored that from their most previous qualifier, the 0-0 draw at home to the Soviet Union. Within this group of players, though, there was enough dynamism for the manager to be able to alter tactics and even formations. Artner had shadowed Zavarov last time around, and here he would just slot straight into a central midfield position in a 4-4-2, with Herzog out wide left? It remained to be seen. The versatile 23 year old from Mödling club Admira/Wacker in the outskirts of Vienna was in line for his 15th cap. He had held a number of roles already: Both wide positions in 5-3-2 as well as the right-sided midfield option in their 4-4-2 version in Iceland. Central midfield had been another position, from which he’d typically had a defensive, even man-marking role.
The visitors must have been aware of the highly charged and intimidating atmosphere, with Galatasaray’s Ali Sami Yen stadium packed to the rafters. It is the Austrians who proceed with kicking the game to life through their only foreign based player, striker Toni Polster, and midfield starlet Andy Herzog.
Early attacking intent
One often expects the opening exchanges in any game of a certain magnitude to be of cautious nature, though it is fair to say that neither Turkey nor Austria were just sitting back, intent to soak up any pressure which might materialize from the opponent. With Turkey obviously being hosts, they were clearly looking to get on the front foot as early as possible, and they felt an urgency in exerting dominance upon their visitors. Since they had almost come back ‘from the dead’ in the opposite encounter in Vienna, one could’ve been forgiven for thinking that the Austrians would apply a defensive touch to their tactics. However, I would not say it was necessarily so; it was more the fact that they were being pinned back by an aggressive home side. Chances were far from at a premium inside the first ten minutes, but it did not come from the lack of will or trying.
The hosts’ set-up
Turkey had so often hitherto in the qualification been able to adapt to the surroundings and to their opponent. Manager Tınaz knew when to utilize a certain tactical ploy, and he was far from a stranger to changing the team’s formation from one game to another. On this occasion, he had lined his eleven up in a 3-5-2. They had twice in away fixtures, in East Germany and in Iceland, deployed 5-3-2 tactics, but here, on home soil in Istanbul, they were set up in a far more enterprising fashion. 3-5-2 does have a more attacking ring to it than its defensive twin sister 5-3-2, and they were certainly no foreigners to using their width. I may have praised Turkey’s young playmaker Ünal Karaman on more than one occasion so far in the qualification, and rightly so: He was sublime when playing at the top of his game. And he’d indeed had a fine qualification so far. He was someone capable of sitting deep in a central midfield holding role, or even working as an inside midfielder in a trio. However, his best displays had possibly come from the position which he was operating in on this occasion: As an inverted left-sided midfielder. The home game against Iceland (1-1) springs to mind. Ünal, playing for relatively unfashionable Malatyaspor, was equipped with superb close control, and he had deceptively decent pace, even if this was far from his greatest asset. He also possessed a variety in passing which was a joy to behold, usually selecting longer or shorter versions according to which best fitted the moment. If his level of play mirrored week in, week out what he did with the international team, then Malatyaspor surely had a gem of a player. He was also well capable of using either foot in various situations, thus being less predictable.
To have a more pragmatic look through the hosts’ selection, we’ll start by mentioning Engin between the sticks. This was his fourth qualifier after he had come in and made the position his own following his predecessor Fatih’s highly unfortunate circumstances at the beginning of 1989. Engin had been an immediate hit with his matchwinning performance in East Germany, and then followed up with tidy displays in Turkey’s succeeding qualifiers. The Beşiktaş custodian brought plenty of reassurance to a vital position.
It should also be mentioned that Engin grew up in Austria, and it is even where he started his football career, as a ten year old with Austria Vienna. Only by the age of 21 did he return to the land where he was born, something which Turkey ought to have felt pleased about considering the starring role he would play during this qualification.
In front of him, he had a defence of just three men on this occasion, with his Beşiktaş team mate Gökhan Keskin again performing in the libero role, like had become the norm since the home win against GDR in November last year. Gökhan was a powerfully built, tall central defender, certainly not without a touch of elegance when in possession. He was capable of carrying the ball at speed in the forward direction, and would at times appear to be an important feature as the hosts tried to mount their attacks. He was often playing with a swagger, and his natural confidence belied his relatively low appearance number for the national team: This was Gökhan’s tenth cap.
To complete the central defence, the libero was assisted by two man-markers for the occasion: Captain Cüneyt Tanman, another highly accomplished player when in possession, had been assigned to look after Austria’s Toni Polster. Whereas the visiting striker was equipped with size and a level of robustness about him which screamed for a physical man-marker, Tınaz had instead opted for his seasoned captain to perform these duties. And why not? Few were more streetwise than the 33 year old Galatasaray man, even if this was only his 17th appearance at international level. Like Gökhan, Cüneyt had kept giving an assured impression throughout the qualification. Along with the third central defensive member Semih Yuvakuran, they were all ever-presents so far in the Turkish qualification. Semih had hitherto exlusively appeared as a left-sided defender, but on this occasion the moustached 26 year old had been thrusted into the centre, where he would keep a watchful eye on Andy Ogris.
With no Recep Çetin available to occupy the right-back position, the manager had decided to give the number 2 shirt to another Beşiktaş player in the far more attacking Rıza Çalımbay. Could Tınaz’ switch in formation from four to just three at the back have had something to do with Recep being suspended? Rıza, appearing in the current qualification for the first time, though making his 15th game with the national side, seemed far more comfortable in striding forward than his predecessor, although it would appear as if his original position was somewhat more retracted than that of Ünal as the wide left man.
Turkey’s three men in central midfield were Mustafa Yücedağ, Uğur Tütüneker and Oğuz Çetin. It must be said that they performed highly dynamic roles, but it is also fair to say that they had defined roles within the engine room: Mustafa, at 23 the younger of them, from Istanbul club Sarıyer, was winning his only fifth cap, and his fourth in the ongoing qualification. This was his third start since his inclusion in the starting eleven in the opposite fixture against the Austrians, where he’d been working as an inverted right-sided midfielder among a quartet. Mustafa had shown in glimpses already why Tınaz seemed to hold him in such high regard, and he would fully justify his selection with his performance this sunny Wednesday afternoon. He was yet another player with a seemingly endless belief in his own qualities, and someone who would never shy away from wanting possession. He would pick the ball off his defenders and immediately look to involve players further afield.
Working in a slightly more advanced capacity than Mustafa was the always tenacious Uğur. He was another player who had come to the fore during Galatasaray’s impressive European campaign the previous season, and he was making his fifth successive start in the qualification, all in the number 7 shirt. He was somewhat less comfortable on the ball than his fellow midfielders, but this would not discourage him from trying to aim passes out wide, preferably in the direction of Ünal. He was also a highly vital player when the opponents were in possession, as he was the chief harrier in the Turkish midfield. He had been substituted in three of his four previous qualification matches, and he would no doubt run himself into the ground yet again.
Even higher up in the hosts’ midfield was another highly competent performer in Fenerbahçe’s Oğuz. His creativity had been sorely missed during the 1-0 home loss against the Soviet Union, when there had been such high expectations after successive wins against East Germany. Oğuz was Turkey’s most likely player to thread a ball through to either forward, and his vision was perhaps his best attribute among a fine set. He would also link up well with Ünal, as the pair seemed to have both great respect for one another and also an almost telepathic understanding between themselves. Their co-existence appeared to bring the best out of the Turkish eleven.
Up top, Turkey for the second successive match had to make do without Tanju Çolak, although the goal ace was included among the five substitutes. His replacement was equally old Feyyaz Uçar, one of four starters from Beşiktaş. Feyyaz certainly had a knack of being in the right place at the right time, and with both Tanju and his usual partner in crime up front, Fenerbahçe’s Rıdvan Dilmen, missing in Reykjavik last time out, it had baffled quite a few people why Feyyaz had only been a substitute. He had indeed notched their goal in Iceland after coming on, and he had also scored in the away game against today’s opponents. Luckily, he had the enigmatic Rıdvan partnering him this time around, and it would appear that they were both playing somewhat wide: Feyyaz towards the left hand side, Rıdvan towards the right, as he would do. Feyyaz’ role was perhaps of a less wide nature than that of his front colleague.
There was a fine mix of pace, intelligence, skill and vision within the Turkish side, but could they match Austria in physique? The opening ten minutes saw some enterprising moves from the hosts, even if neither eventually caused havoc in the visitors’ defence. Instead, it had been the Austrians arriving at the first opportunity in the game when Herzog’s right wing corner, swung into the centre with his accurate left foot, had reached libero and captain Heribert Weber’s head almost right on the ten minute mark. Weber had shaken off the attention of Uğur and brought a reaction save from Engin, the ‘keeper tipping it over for another, left-wing, corner, with his header only a few yards out. It had been a glorious chance for Austria to move in front in what had been their first purposeful moments inside the hosts’ half of the pitch.
The opening goal of the game occurs on 15 minutes, when it is fair to appreciate Turkey’s attacking play rather than point at something specifically poor about Austria’s defensive involvements. Turkey had been attacking wide with both right-sided player Rıza and indeed the left-sided Ünal, though to little avail yet. However, Rıza had shown decent intelligence when twice being instrumental in attacking the visitors from the right after a short free-kick played to him, cleverly, by Oğuz. The first cross had been cleared, but he had picked out Rıdvan with a stealthy pass only seconds later. Although nothing had ultimately come of it, Turkey had shown their intent, and it was indeed through Rıza’s pinpoint cross from the right hand side which Rıdvan had been able to beat his marker Peter Artner to and head home from on the quarter of an hour mark. The wily forward was not best known for his aerial prowess, but on this occasion he timed his header to perfection and guided it high into the left angle of the goal, where Austria ‘keeper Klaus Lindenberger was far from able to reach it. It had been the all important breakthrough for the hosts, who needed nothing short of a win to set themselves up for a chance of qualification.
Only moments after the goal, Turkey had again turned their attacking pace on, and the Austrians had found it difficult to live with the quick breaks. Rıdvan, clearly on a wave of momentum, had moved across to the left, taken on his man and then played in Uğur with an angled pass into the area. The hairy midfield man had in turn angled his pass back 45 degrees towards the central edge of the area, where right-sided player Rıza, another one who was most definitely relishing the occasion, got to the ball ahead of Austria left-back Michael Streiter, the man who had not been able to defend the same player’s cross before Rıdvan’s header for 1-0. Rıza, however, only managed to toe-poke the ball wide right of Lindenberger’s upright, but it had been another show of attacking flair from the hosts, who were able to involve quite a few players in their build-ups. Turkey were beginning to resemble the force which had dismantled GDR so easily during that 3-1 home win.
A closer look at Austria
Whilst it seemed quite clear what the hosts were trying to do, in creating superiority in numbers along the flanks and attacking with pace, it was not so easy to spot the plan behind Austria’s collective attacking pattern. They appeared to be left to the innovation of individuals, where perhaps in particular Manfred Linzmaier along the right and forward Andreas Ogris were the more frequently involved ones. There had been a moment prior to Turkey’s goal when Toni Polster had been played in with his back to the goal on the fringes of the Turkish penalty area, and he had tried to release Linzmaier with a clever pass to his left. However, the willing midfielder had been ajudged offside, and so his one on one with Engin inside the area, even if Linzmaier had failed to convert his opportunity, would not have counted. Despite being second best, they were not without their moments, but altogether, the Austrians seemed to lack a clear attacking strategy.
They lined up in a 4-4-2, something which appeared to have become a norm by now, after they had got under way in this qualification with five at the back for their opening three games. There was the dependable Klaus Lindenberger guarding their goal, and the reigning Austrian league champion with Swarovski Tirol was making his 31st appearance with the national team.
The four players ahead of Lindenberger were, once again, Kurt Russ, captain Heribert Weber, Anton Pfeffer and Michael Streiter. Weber, now 34, was arriving at the end of his proud international career, making his 68th appearance for his country. This was almost twice as many as the three others combined, although both Russ and Pfeffer, indeed like Lindenberger and Weber, were ever-presents thus far. Russ, winning his 15th cap, had seemed to cemented his position as the team’s right-back, after he had been seen in more central roles early in the qualification. Pfeffer, having played at left wing-back earlier, was now Weber’s partner at the heart of the defence. On this occasion, the rugged 24 year old from Austria Vienna was keeping close to Feyyaz. At left-back, Streiter, making only his fourth international appearance, seemed to be the most recent darling of manager Josef Hickersberger. He possessed a fine left foot and was no stranger to coming forward, although he was usually camped inside his own half on this occasion, needing to keep an eye on his team mate Peter Artner’s constant duels with the lively Rıdvan.
Artner, yet another very versatile Austrian, was operating with an origin as the left-sided midfielder, although he was clearly trying to shadow Rıdvan. This had not been highly successful, as the livewire forward had been a roaming and constant influence on proceedings thus far, around the 20 minute mark. In the centre, the visitors had the steady figure of Manfred Zsak, whilst the more technically equipped Andy Herzog was supposed to be their creative outlet. Along the right hand side was Manfred Linzmaier with his tidy mullet. The 27 year old from Swarovski Tirol had made a fine impression in his two previous qualifiers, and once again he was someone always engaging in play from the right hand side. He would interact with Russ behind him on a number of occasions.
Up front were former Austria Vienna team mates Polster and Ogris, with 53 caps between them. Whilst Polster, a bit out of form at club level coming into this fixture, had struck twice thus far in the qualification, the more flexible Ogris had yet to open his qualification account this time around. Polster was naturally the player they would look to whenever they struck the ball long from the back, and he was usually favourite to win any aerial challenge with the smaller Cüneyt, his marker, but he seemed a bit below par this time around, even losing out to Cüneyt in battle on occasions. As for Ogris, he would, as per usual, either come deep or run into the channels, attempting to drag with him his marker Semih in order to create space for others, predominantly Linzmaier along the right. These were only partially successful tactics, although this was more owed to the fact that Austria were largely second best to the hosts.
First yellow card
The first booking of the game goes to Ünal, when he, somewhat out of character (he was no dirty player), follows through on goalkeeper Lindenberger, who’s just received a back pass from Pfeffer. The Turkey ace catches Lindenberger’s right knee with his lunge, and though it does not seem to be particularly nasty in replays, the Austria #1 takes a roll along the floor. There were no reasons for Ünal to object; he had deserved his warning even for intent alone. The bad news was that this would see Ünal suspended for their final match, the trip to the Soviet Union. He had previously seen yellow for a foul on Matthias Sammer in Magdeburg, and so this was his second of the qualification.
Austria have spell of domination
Due to the attacking nature of the Turkish midfielders, there did seem to be distinct possibilities for the Austrians to play their way through the centre of the park. Mustafa in the deeper of the three central midfield positions in the home side was not your typical holding midfielder, and not someone who would throw himself into challenges head first. Uğur could perhaps have been such a player, but he was also prone to a bit of attacking intent, featuring slightly ahead of Mustafa in the midfield ranks. For the visitors, it was predominantly the responsibility of Herzog to muster something from central areas, although so far he was living a fairly anonymous existence. The lively Linzmaier along the right had been their more visible player inside Turkey’s half, but approaching 26 minutes on the clock, it was finally time for Herzog to showcase some of his ability. He picked the ball up inside his own half, and unchallenged he carried it all the way into the Turkish penalty area, where he was faced with Semih. Herzog set himself up in a shooting position on his favoured left foot, although from 14 yards he could only curl his effort straight into the expecting arms of goalkeeper Engin, who had positioned himself impeccably.
Only just over a minute later, it would be Polster to test the resolve of the Turkey custodian, who would get down well to his left to palm away the Sevilla striker’s low and diagonal left-footed drive from inside the area. The Austria number 9’s opportunity had come about after two Turkish players had collided just inside the visitors’ half, and so Polster himself had done like Herzog before him and carried the ball a good stretch before unleashing the shot. These efforts were as close as Austria had come to scoring since Weber’s effort on ten minutes.
And indeed, around this period in the first half, the visitors were putting together some of their most promising moves of the game yet, and when Linzmaier again is involved down the right, in some fine combinational play with Polster, the Swarovski Tirol man can eventually set the big striker up for another low pop from inside the area, although this to the right of goal. However, the hosts are both fortunate and solid as Semih has again worked himself into a fine defensive position from which he blocks Polster’s effort.
This more uplifting period of play from an Austrian point of view keeps seeing them create moments in front of Engin, although they will not be able to threat the Turkey ‘keeper to the extent that the back of his net is threatened. The visitors appear to relish moving forward along their right, where right-back Russ on more than one occasion trots forward in order to accompany Linzmaier, and when Ünal shows little interest in the defensive aspects of the game, there is at times a lot of space for Austria to exploit along this flank. During this period, they also manage to engage in play Herzog to a greater extent than before, and the Rapid Vienna starlet appears to be playing with greater freedom of expression. Despite a lot of promise, he’s not shown an awful lot during the qualification as a whole, even if he had, of course, scored twice in the opposite fixture. Polster has another opportunity to get a shot away on 36 minutes, but he delays too long after taking the ball into the area, and Rıza can poke it away for a left wing corner. Only a minute thereafter, Ogris is close to getting on the end of a square Russ ball into the area from the right, but the forward can not connect cleanly, and though for a moment the ball seems to spin in the direction of Polster, Rıza is once again alert to the danger and mops up before Polster can reach it.
Turkey see the half out in front
The final few minutes of the first half are a relatively open affair, although the Austrian dominance gradually wears off, and Turkey can see the half out with their one goal advantage and without too much further bother. Austria had been pushing more men forward in their attempt to bring about an equalizer, and this had certainly left open spaces inside their own half, something which the hosts could’ve taken advantage of had they counter-attacked with greater precision. Zsak, as the defensive midfield alibi with the visitors, had a lot of space to cover, but their more open approach went unpunished as Turkey had let their levels drop, and they were no longer able to find one another through slick passing in the final third of the pitch. With only four seconds of added time, referee Marko’s whistle directed both sets of players back into the dressing rooms for the half time tea with Turkey 1-0 up.
Turkey’s lethal striker Tanju had been interviewed on the pitch by Turkish TV prior to the game, and perhaps would the audience get to see him at some point during the final 45 minutes? What would the second half have in store after an intriguing opening period in which the hosts had begun well, but where they’d allowed the visitors to arrive at some decent opportunities to bring the scores back to level?
As the two sets of players reappear, it becomes apparent that there’s been a change in the Austrian eleven: They’ve left midfielder Peter Artner, who had been responsible for monitoring Rıdvan’s movements during the first period, behind in the dressing room. In his place has come forward Gerhard Rodax. So will this mean a change in formation, or will there be a positional change for Ogris, perhaps? It is the home side which will get the ball rolling for the second half through forward duo Rıdvan and Feyyaz.
Turkey with early fire in their bellies
The hosts come storming out of the blocks, and they line up no less than three goal attempts inside the opening minute. During the first half, their right-sided player Rıza had offered quite a lot of support coming forward along his flank, and he pops up again with a mere 20 seconds played, feeding a cross towards the near post, where Feyyaz bravely dives in head first ahead of Lindenberger. Unfortunately, the angle does not favour the striker, and so the ball, despite him connecting with his head, spins along the goalline, perhaps a yard or so out. It will reach Ünal on the left, who after some twists and turns manages to deliever a cross towards the far end of the area, where Rıdvan has got himself into a fine position. Upon controlling the ball, the Fenerbahçe ace strikes it venomously, but Austria full-back Streiter manages to throw himself in front and block it away for a right wing corner. Turkey proceed quickly with the flag kick, and moments later it is Mustafa who has a shooting opportunity from the edge of the area, though he does not strike it cleanly, and it trickles across the goalline well to the left of Lindenberger’s goal. What a start to the half, though!
Austrian change in formation
The half-time change for Austria had indeed led to a change in formation: They’d switched from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 in order to accommodate new arrival Rodax alongside Polster and Ogris. With Artner departing, their midfield now had Zsak in the centre, and with Linzmaier (right) and Herzog immediately around him. Up front, it was Polster through the centre, and with Ogris now taking up a position as a left-sided forward, whilst substitute Rodax pulled wide right. This clearly challenged Herzog and also Linzmaier to a greater extent, as they would both have to participate a great deal in both directions to prevent the Turkish from running too easily through midfield, though at the same time the visitors potentially looked a greater threat up front with three such accomplished players all featuring at the same time. Would they gel, though? It remained to be seen.
A further couple of bookings
Turkey had got Ünal booked during the first 45 minutes, something which would prevent him from travelling with the squad for their final qualifier to the Soviet Union. Only four minutes after the restart, their lack of discipline would bereave them even of their team captain Cüneyt. The central defender had tackled Herzog unnecessarily hard on the halfway line, though it did not look like the referee was going to punish Cüneyt further than awarding the Austrians a free-kick. However, the Galatasaray stalwart could not keep his mouth shut, and the referee proceeded to show him the yellow card. Like Ünal, Cüneyt too had been booked in the 2-0 win away to East Germany (also on that occasion for dissent), and now Tınaz would be looking at a depleated squad to take in behind the Iron Curtain for their final qualifier. However, focus obviously remained on the current task ahead.
Only a couple of minutes after Cüneyt’s warning, Herzog, who had fallen victim then, would go into Mr Marko’s book as the first Austrian. He’d lunged at Uğur on the fringes of the centre circle, and though the Turkey player had gone down late, the referee did not hesitate in showing the visitors’ playmaker the yellow card.
After those initial moments of second half inspiration, the game had turned into a stop-start affair, with those bookings and a few free-kicks being dished out. Neither side had found any rhythm yet, though Ünal attempted to break the dull passages of play by feeding Feyyaz in behind the Austrian defence after riding a couple of challenges. However, the forward had gone in behind Weber too early, and the offside decision was correct. The ball had nevertheless reached Lindenberger. Only moments after, though, Herzog makes a dreadful mistake deep inside his own half as he gets the ball too far ahead of himself, and Oğuz can take over. Turkey’s advanced playmaker had not been at his dazzlingly best during the opening 45 minutes, but he possessed great vision, and gleefully feeding on Herzog’s mistake, he advanced a few yards through the centre before releasing Rıdvan with a short pass. On this occasion the ball had been played just in the right moment, with Weber stepping out too late, and thus playing the striker onside. One on one with Lindenberger, Rıdvan had an easy task in finding a gap at which to aim, and he coolly placed the ball to the right of the goalkeeper, increasing Turkey’s lead in the process. It had been a terrible mistake by Herzog, and one which his boss, manager Hickersberger, sure would not have taken lightly.
Yet another home player cautioned
There should be great joy for the home fans at their team being two goals to the good, and there was, as the crowd were dancing, shouting and screaming to further enhance the sound levels inside the boisterous stadium. However, on 54 minutes, only a minute trailing Rıdvan’s second goal, Turkey would have yet another player booked and subsequently suspended for the journey to the Soviet Union: Midfielder Uğur had his name taken for a poorly timed challenge on Streiter halfway inside the Turkish half, out by the touchline. So with his name becoming the third home player’s to be taken, Tınaz would not have to make do without Cüneyt, Ünal and Uğur for what now shaped to be the decisive chapter in the Turkish qualification for Italia ’90. This ill discipline would surely cost them dear. It is worth pointing out that Uğur, like Cüneyt and Ünal, had been issued a warning in East Germany: His ‘foul’ had been jumping in front of throw-in taker Andreas Trautmann.
Second Austrian substitution
Andy Herzog lasted four minutes after his catastrophical error in losing possession ahead of Turkey’s second goal, an error which ultimately could deny his country a World Cup ticket. Hickersberger withdrew his playmaker, whose high risk game had not been what the manager had wanted. On came First Vienna’s young playmaker Gerald Glatzmayer, now 20, for his fourth international appearance, and his second substitute appearance of the qualification. This happened as Feyyaz had just won Turkey a free-kick in an advanced right position, as Weber had gone in unnecessarily hard on the front man. Glatzmayer would move into the midfield’s inside right position, thus switching Linzmaier across to the inside left position which Herzog now had departed.
Turkey applying further pressure
These opening stages of the second half are surely eventful, even if there had not been a lot of attacking fluidity. Next up is a lovely one man break by Rıdvan, in which he rides a challenge from Weber and threatens to go all the way, and bearing down on the penalty area, Zsak takes matters into his own hands and wrestles him into the ground from behind. Only goalkeeper Lindenberger had been left to deal with, albeit Rıdvan was approaching the penalty area slightly to the left of centre. Cüneyt, who had earlier brought a yellow card on himself through protesting, immediately approached the referee to plead for an expulsion for the Austrian midfield man. Referee Marko, though, only brought out the yellow card, as Turkey were awarded a free-kick just outside the area. Zsak had done what he needed to, in order to prevent the rampant Rıdvan from getting a hat-trick. Cüneyt pokes the ball into Ünal’s direction from the free-kick, and the midfielder has a pop with his right foot from 18 yards, only to be denied a third Turkish goal from Lindenberger’s parry. Weber then gets the rebound away for a throw-in halfway inside Austrian territory, and from this, Mustafa will receive the ball and advance and take aim at goal again. His right-foot strike from 25 yards bounces awkwardly for the ‘keeper, though Lindenberger is able to paw it away for a right wing home corner. Suddenly, Austria were under the cosh again.
Game over as a contest
What happens next is a third Turkish goal. It comes through Feyyaz, as Austria are under a spell of relentless pressure from the home side. Turkey simply do not allow the visitors to clear their lines, and the goal appears almost inevitable. The change with Glatzmayer on for Herzog just seemed to have further confused the visitors, as they’d hardly been across the halfway line since this their latest change. Turkey were coming at the visitors from all angles, and they’d certainly found another level of inspiration following their second goal and subsequent attempts. 2-0 had not quenched their thirst, and when Rıza fed Oğuz with a short pass to the right of the penalty area, the midfielder was able to cross into the centre, where Feyyaz brought the ball down with his back to goal. He swivelled and took aim on half volley, and the ball found its way into the back of the net high by the right angle. It was a peach of a strike from the Beşiktaş man, who now had scored against the Austrians both home and away. As it were, Turkey were second in the table, but causing gigantic shadows ahead of the upcoming and ultimate qualifier were the three suspensions of key players which they would have to deal with.
The idea of introducing a third striker for the start of the second half had backfired badly for Hickersberger. Rather than carving out further opportunities, they had been exposed at the back, and neither of the front three had had much sight of goal in the second half with half an hour gone. Naturally, the third goal had taken whatever sting out of Austria’s performance had been left, although they were not much in way of a potent threat even prior to that. Now, it seemed to be about damage limitation, even if the first half had shown that Turkey were far from impenetrable at the back. While the front three had not proved much since the break, they had hardly received much assistance from midfield, where even Linzmaier had gone quiet since his relatively industrious first 45 minutes. The introduction of Glatzmayer for Herzog had also failed to ignite the visitors, and the next threat would instead come from Turkey, who saw Ünal continue his menacing runs along the left, where he would leave both two and three opponents for dead. The next pop goalwards came from Mustafa, who was yet another player having a fine game, although his effort from a central position on the fringes of the area failed to hit the target, rolling harmlessly well wide to the left of goal.
Turkey’s second half man-marking a bit more lenient
How did Turkey’s defensive line face the new three-pronged Austrian attack after the break? They had been man-marking both strikers during the first half, but when a third forward was introduced, how would they shape up at the back? The idea did seem to involve right-sided midfielder Rıza in a more defensive capacity, although he was not completely tied to his own half. It would predominantly be Ogris operating as the forward along his side, whilst Cüneyt continued to keep a watchful eye on Polster in the centre. This would see Semih pull slightly towards the left, which would feel as natural territory for him, as he’d been seen as a left-back hitherto in the qualification, where he would look after Rodax. Gökhan would continue to mop up whatever came through, and he would do so without too much bother.
On 76 and 77 minutes, Austria would finally work Engin in the second half. The first situation saw Ogris exploit some space in the centre of the pitch, and he would advance until about 25 yards out, from where he struck right footed. His effort seemed to rotate in its path, and Engin elected to fist it over for a corner rather than try to hold on to it, something which probably was a wise decision. A minute later, Polster would take advantage of the space behind Rıza, and arriving inside the area to the left of centre, he struck a low, diagonal shot, almost similar to an opportunity which he’d had in the first half. Again, Engin was equal to it as he got down cat-like to even hold it firmly at the first attempt. Engin was giving his fourth assured display of the qualification since taking over in goal from Fatih.
The referee’s not through with his dishing out of yellow cards. It is not so that the game had been particularly nasty, yet Mr Marko of Czechoslovakia would feel the need to show no less than a total of seven players yellow. The latest two were both visitors. Firstly, Weber had applied for his by reaching his hand out to stop a ball through the centre from Uğur in the direction of Ünal, and not long after it is Kurt Russ’ turn when he barges into Feyyaz from behind, just outside the penalty area to the left as the home side were looking at it. Russ had initially felt frustrated at even a free-kick being awarded, though he had done little but shrug with his shoulders, so he would’ve felt disgusted at seeing the yellow card. It would mean that even he would miss the last round of fixtures, as he’d been cautioned during Austria’s 2-1 home win against Iceland.
Turkey decide to bring on Tanju Çolak for the last eight minutes, and he replaces midfielder Uğur to rapturous applause. This was the fourth successive qualifier in which Uğur had left the field before full time, though reasons appeared to be nothing other than tactical. Having been some time out through injury, getting another taste of international football again would’ve been a fine inspiration to Tanju, who still had time to add to his goal tally. With four goals in the qualification so far, he was joint top goalscorer of the group with East Germany’s Andreas Thom. With Tanju replacing a midfielder, Turkey would now see the game out with three men up front, looking to increase their goal tally, although they were already well in command of both Austria and GDR as far as goal difference went. Tanju slotted into the centre among the three up front, with Feyyaz to his left and Rıdvan right. Only seconds after the substitution, Feyyaz came close to scoring his second, as Ünal pulled himself free in the area and squared for the striker in front of goal. However, his effort was blocked by Pfeffer, who most certainly prevented a fourth Turkish goal.
Final substitution…and moments
By the time Turkey make their second and final substitution, there is little to mention other than Lindenberger having twice to act as a sweeper behind his defence when Turkey have tried to play balls over the top of the now square Austrian defensive line, whilst Ogris had had a wild effort way over target from 18 yards. Introducing midfielder Metin Tekin to his first appearance of this qualification, the Beşiktaş man winning his 14th cap replaces team mate at club level Feyyaz. He slots into a central midfield role alongside Mustafa by the look of things, although at this stage and with this scoreline it is just academical to try and pinpoint a position. He will get just over two minutes on the pitch, as the referee signals an end to the game 13 seconds from time. He was clearly no fan of added time being played, this referee.
Turkey had the better of the first half, although there was a ten minute spell in which the visitors arrived at a few opportunities. At just a goal down, they could well have come in all square at half time, although Engin was more than equal to anything which Austria threw at him, such as Weber’s early header and Herzog’s and Polster’s shots from inside the area. The ever lively Rıdvan had notched the only first half goal with a splendid header from a Rıza cross, and in the second half he would run through and convert Oğuz’ fine throughball after Herzog had dallied in possession. Feyyaz then brought the game out of reach for the visitors with another well taken goal. Despite introducing a third striker for the second half, Austria never managed to trouble the hosts, who were eventually comfortable and good value for their win. It came at a price, though, as three key players will now miss their final qualifier: captain Cüneyt and midfielders Uğur and Ünal all got their second bookings of the qualification. The same applied for Russ in the away team.
1 Engin 7.5
yet another highly competent display by the moustached ‘keeper. He kept out Weber’s early close range header, then dented two diagonal Polster efforts. Also assured whenever a cross came in
2 Rıza 7.4
powerhouse right-sided player who assisted for 1-0. A willing customer along the right, particularly in a busy first half. Does expose a bit of space behind him after the break, but still rarely threatened defensively
3 Semih 7.1
does his job on Ogris in the first half without much fuss, and also adds physical presence at the heart of the defence with some important headers away
4 Cüneyt 7.3
wise in battle with Polster, whom he perhaps a little surprisingly even was equal to in the air. Composed and well-positioned. Silly booking for dissent makes him miss the trip to the USSR
5 Gökhan K 7.3
again took out necessary depth at the back, and his reading of the game has seen him deliever competent performances throughout the qualification. Strong in the air, though did not offer much in coming forward this time around
6 Ünal 7.5
despite a couple of weak passes, he showed once again what an asset he is to the team with his delightful close control. Kept his width well, but also sought inside, and was often a threat when linking up with Oğuz. Second half free-kick parried by Lindenberger
7 Uğur 7.5
tremendous work rate, and certainly not without a decent level of skill. Combined well with the other midfielders, and did a thoroughly important job in denying the Austrian midfielders much time on the ball
(14 Tanju –
late cameo in which he gets a few touches, and needs to shake off his match rustiness in order to challenge for a starting berth in the Soviet Union)
8 Rıdvan 7.9
ran in rings around Artner first half, and scored with a peach of a (rare) header. Coolly ran through and finished with ease early in the second, and his non-stop running offered Austria tons of trouble
9 Mustafa 7.7
showed that he’s at home in a slightly deeper midfield role, from where he could direct play, and also added to that some exceptional close control, something which on one occasion saw him run through a wall of players and almost close in on goal
10 Oğuz 7.5
he got his two second half assists, and again at times showed his intelligence in distribution. However, he did drift out of the game at times, and not always best pleased when the Austrians resorted to physique
11 Feyyaz 7.4
got a peach of a goal, could’ve scored on a couple of other occasions, and was a big thorn in Pfeffer’s side. Good movement, fine combinations with Ünal along the left
(15 Tekin –
comes on in Uğur’s previous midfield role, and shows desire to make a run from the centre)
1 Lindenberger 6.8
one of few Austrians to come out of the game with some credit. Two of the goals were completely unstoppable, and he showed awareness in sweeping on two occasions in the second half, as well as proving yet again to be a steady hand in claiming crosses
2 Russ 6.7
a willing contributor along his right hand side, and combined well with Linzmaier during the first half. Got less defensive assistance from midfield in the second half. Late booking for holding back Feyyaz sees him miss GDR at home
3 Streiter 6.6
defensively competent, even when up against Rıdvan, though hardly any attacking intent shown throughout. Exposed for pace, but sound positioning
4 Pfeffer 6.5
Feyyaz was a difficult customer to handle on this occasion, and Pfeffer struggled to live with him for most of the afternoon. A couple of vital blocks
5 Weber 6.7
some influental headers away, and could indeed have opened the scoring with his opportunity on 10 minutes. Gave away a couple of needless fouls, and in particular his outstretched hand for the booking was not worthy of such a fine player
6 Zsak 6.6
difficult to live with the extremely dynamic Turkish midfield, though Zsak tried his best. Rarely got close enough to put tackles in, and carried little influence inside the hosts’ half of the pitch
7 Ogris 6.5
did run a lot into the channels to try and create openings for others during the first half, but was less visible in a poor second half team performance, when he was shifted out wide left following the change in tactics
8 Linzmaier 6.8
fine first half, in which he was involved a lot, and often instrumental in carving out whatever the Austrians had to offer in going forward. Much less of an influence after the break, and another victim to the new system
9 Polster 6.7
did look a tad heavy, and his touch did not always favour him, but worked himself into decent positions for shooting, though his two efforts on target were both picked well by Engin. Tough game against the seasoned Cüneyt, even in the air
10 Herzog 6.3
at fault for Turkey’s second goal, and offered not a whole lot in way of midfield creativity. Too easily closed down. One excellent first half raid which ended in a shot straight at Engin. Poor start to the second half which also saw him booked
(15 Glatzmayer 6.3
did offer more in way of industry than his predecessor, but lacked the quality to do much with the ball when in possession)
11 Artner 6.1
struggles big time in shadowing Rıdvan, which is his main task, and leaves gaps along the right hand side for Turkey right-sided midfielder Rıza to exploit. Sacrificed at half-time
(14 Rodax 6.4
rarely visible first part of the second half since his introduction, but switched sides with Ogris at times, something which at least could’ve unsettled the home defence had Austria had better precision)