Swedes, Turks Deadlocked at 0-0; Italy Qualify
Sweden and Turkey played out an uneventful 0-0 draw in Eindhoven, Netherlands on Thursday with the Swedes unlucky not to earn a penalty in this Euro 2000 clash.
Turkey claim their first ever point at this level, but the only real winners after Thursday's dull draw are the Italians who are now guaranteed a place in the last eight as Group B winners without kicking a ball.
Neither team really deserved to win but Sweden should have got a penalty however late in the first half.
Fredrik Ljungberg collected a Teddy Lucic pass with only Turkish goalkeeper Rustu Recber to beat but had his heel clipped by Suat Kaya as he pulled his foot back to shoot.
Suat was doubly lucky not to be penalized by Dutch referee Dick Jol. Not only did the incident clearly deserve a penalty, but the Turkish player was already on a yellow card.
Ljungberg, named the official man-of-the-match, said on the incident: "He blocked my leg with his leg. If he did not touch the ball it was a penalty but I cannot say if he touched the ball first."
Sweden, who also lost their first match to Belgium, might have hoped for more but were also hampered when star striker Kennet Andersson did not reappear after the interval with a right ankle injury.
Sweden joint coach Lars Lagerback Lagerback said that he did not know how serious the injury was or whether Kennet Andersson would be able to play their last group game against Italy.
"In total, the match was even, and we did not quite have the power in the last third of the field with our completely new forward line," said Lagerback. "Of course we are disappointed we did not manage to win. We know we still have a chance to go through if the results go well for us and we will do all we can against Italy."
Turkish coach Mustafa Denizli said afterwards that he was unhappy with certain sections of the crowd. "They were an insult to my players and it's not good for the sport," he said.
"It was a tough match played at a high tempo. We did not manage to win this game but my players tried everything and gave their best. We still have some hope in the last match (against Belgium) and we will do everything we can to win" - (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)