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   June 18, 2002 | 1355 IST


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Turkey end Japan's run

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Alastair Himmer

Turkey ended the World Cup dreams of co-hosts Japan with a 1-0 victory in pouring rain on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

Umit Davala rose unmarked in the 12th minute to meet a corner and scored with a powerful header that silenced a partisan crowd of 46,000.

Japan were disappointing and showed little of the sparkle that took to the second round for the first time on the back of their debut World Cup victory. Turkey were always in control and now meet Senegal on Saturday.

Umit Davala rejoices after scoring for Turkey.After Turkey's early strike, Japan, who reached the second round after finishing top of group H, pushed forward in search of an equaliser and Brazilian-born Alex forced a smart near-post save from Rustu Recber in the 20th minute.

But Group A runners-up Turkey, also making their first appearance in the last 16, nearly made it 2-0 on the break when the in-form Hasan Sas fired wide from the edge of the box after a knock-down from Hakan Sukur, who was winning a record 77th cap.

Japan continued to press, however, and almost drew level three minutes before the break when Alex, who was taken off at halftime after a rare start, curled a free kick against the bar from 25 metres after a foul on Hidetoshi Nakata.

Nakata was unlucky in the 52nd minute when his right-foot effort was deflected into the hands of Recber as Japan turned up the pressure after the re-start.

Turkey were content to look for opportunities on the counter and Sas caused a few flutters with a strong run in the 60th minute but his left-foot shot was hit straight at Seigo Narazaki.

Japan striker Akinori Nishizawa, making his first appearance since having his appendix out last month, tested Recber with a glancing header moments later after a teasing cross from substitute Daisuke Ichikawa.

But playmaker Yildiray Basturk, who had almost snatched the lead for Turkey in the second minute of the match, then blasted just wide as the game began to open up.

Turkey survived late pressure to book their quarter-final meeting with African revelations Senegal in Osaka on Saturday.

Japan, who lost all three matches in their first appearance in the finals in France four years ago, were left rueing the quality of their final ball after impressing in the group stage.

Co-hosts South Korea, also in the second round for the first time, play Italy later on Tuesday for a place in the quarter finals of Asia's first World Cup.

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