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   June 13, 2002 | 1036 IST


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Turkey must trust Brazil, hammer China

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Turkey need an emphatic win over World Cup debutants China on Thursday and a helping hand from Brazil, who must beat Costa Rica if the Turks are to have any chance of qualifying for the second round.

The Chinese, already out of the competition after defeats to Costa Rica and Brazil, will be looking for a strong showing to give their fans something to cheer about as they head home.

The Turks are expected to field an extra striker in their final group C game, which takes place at the same time as the Brazil-Costa Rica clash.

"We have to beat China, although Costa Rica are in a stronger position than us, we have to beat China and then wait for the result of the Brazil game," coach Senol Gunes said.

Brazil have already qualified for the second round after two victories. Costa Rica will go through unless they lose to Brazil and Turkey beat China by enough goals to overcome the Costa Ricans' superior goal difference.

China have been criticised for their conservative tactics and poor finishing, but they showed showed flashes of potential in the 4-0 loss to Brazil and were unlucky not to score a goal.

Coach Bora Milutinovic, making what could be his last appearance as China's coach, said they could beat Turkey if they play as they did against the four-time world champions.

"This game is much more important than before," he said on Monday. "For us it is very important to finish well. This is our goal."


Turkey striker Hakan Sukur has appeared isolated in the last two matches and has drifted in and out of the play.

Besiktas forward Ilhan Mansiz, top scorer in the Turkish league last season, is the most likely candidate to partner Hakan Sukur although Arif Erdem is also an option.

Gunes said on Wednesday that Hakan Sukur and goalkeeper Rustu Recber were carrying injuries but would probably be available.

That raised speculation in the Turkish camp that the coach, under heavy fire at home, might opt for the high-risk strategy of not playing Hakan Sukur at all.

Gunes will also welcome the return from suspension of defender Alpay Ozalan and left-winger Hakan Unsal.

He may opt for a three-man defence with Hakan Unsal and Fatih Akyel ready to pull back on the wings to take over defensive duties. Extra firepower could come from Nihat Kahveci in place of Yildiray Basturk, who had a poor game against Costa Rica.

Milutinovic has yet to decide whether his defenders and most experienced players Fan Zhiyi and Sun Jihai will play. They both missed the Brazil game with injuries.

If they are unavailable, he is expected to play defender Du Wei and midfielder Qi Hong who stood out in the Brazil game. Pacy striker Qu Bo may also be summoned to test the Turkish defence.

Probable teams:

Turkey (3-5-2): 1-Rustu Recber; 16-Umit Ozat, 5-Alpay Ozalan, 4-Fatih Akyel; 8-Tugay Kerimoglu, 21-Emre Belozoglu, 10-Yildiray Basturk, 20-Hakan Unsal, 11-Hasan Sas; 9-Hakan Sukur, 17-Ilhan Mansiz

China (4-5-1): 22-Jiang Jin; 17-Du Wei, 14-Li Weifeng, 4-Wu Chengying, 21-Xu Yunlong; 18-Li Xiaopeng, 19-Qi Hong, 8-Li Tie, 15-Zhao Junzhe, 9-Ma Mingyu; 10-Hao Haidong.

Match referee: Oscar Ruiz (Colombia)

Linesmen: Ali Tomusange (Uganda)

Curtis Charles (Antigua)

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