Portugal (Pepe 61, Raul Meireles 90) 2-0 Turkey
Stade de Geneve, Geneva
7 June 2008
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
A goal from defender Pepe lifted Portugal to a deserved 2-0 victory over Turkey in their Euro 2008 Group A opener on Saturday in Geneva.
Pepe thought he had given Portugal the lead in the 17th minute when he headed in a cross by Simão from the left, but the center-back had just snuck in offside and the goal was wiped out.
Twenty minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo came close to the opener when a free kick from the same spot as Simão’s earlier cross was ever so slightly tipped onto the post by Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Demirel.
Portugal would eventually get the goal that had eluded them in the 61st minute when Pepe came through the middle, played a one-two with Nuno Gomes and slotted home his first international goal. The lead nearly double a few minutes later when a Ronaldo cross was headed off the bar by Nuno Gomes.
Turkey’s best chance for an equalizer came eight minutes from time when Emre Asik sent a wide-open header off-target from a corner kick.
Meireles then put it away in stoppage time slotting home into a wide open net just before the final whistle.
Portugal: Ricardo, Bosingwa, Pepe, Carvalho, Ferreira, Petit, Joao Moutinho, Ronaldo, Deco (Fernando Meira 90), Simao (Raul Meireles 82), Nuno Gomes (Nani 68).
Subs Not Used: Rui Patricio, Bruno Alves, Hugo Almeida, Miguel, Jorge Ribeiro, Quaresma, Veloso, Postiga, Quim.
Goals: Pepe 61, Raul Meireles 90.
Turkey: Demirel, Altintop (Senturk 76), Cetin, Zan (Asik 55), Balta, Kazim-Richards, Emre, Aurelio, Erding (Sarioglu 46), Sanli, Nihat.
Subs Not Used: Rustu, Zengin, Topal, Karadeniz, Metin, Gungor, Turan, Boral, Akman.
Booked: Kazim-Richards, Zan, Sarioglu.
Ref: Herbert Fandel (Germany).
Portugal Top Speed (kph) Distance (m)
1. Ricardo 18.81 4531
2. Paulo Ferreira 21.01 8783
4. Bosingwa 25.37 8904
7. Cristiano Ronaldo 28.45 9143
8. Petit 23.21 9800
10. Joao Moutinho 23.72 10277
11. Simao 26.04 8097
15. Pepe 22.86 9321
16. Ricardo Carvalho 28.57 9002
20. Deco 20.97 10114
21. Nuno Gomes 22.64 6323
5. Fernando Meira 0.20 179
6. Raul Meireles 19.05 1549
19. Nani 19.29 2859
Turkey Top Speed (kph) Distance (m)
23. Volkan Demirel 12.91 3581
2. Servet Cetin 25.37 9712
3. Hakan Balta 23.21 9636
4. Gokhan Zan 20.87 5337
5. Emre Belozoglu 26.75 10093
7. Mehmet Aurelio 23.87 10421
8. Nihat Kahveci 25.40 8991
17. Tuncay Sanli 23.87 10331
18. Kazim Kazim 22.64 9575
21. Mevlut Erdinc 26.53 4972
22. Hamit Altintop 22.59 8136
9. Semih Senturk 20.62 2158
15. Emre Asik 18.98 3879
20. Sabri Sarioglu 27.19 5416
Powered by Castrolindex.com
This game is a good study in how to read statistics. The Turkish defense only covered half the distance of their opposition quartet and their attack worked their socks off, covering 36027m to the Portuguese 15471m. Considering that Portugual mostly played through the middle and the Turks pushed down the flanks a lot more, you can easily see why the Turkish defence didn’t run much (staying narrow did the trick) and the attack ran so much (running up and down the flanks all day chasing down balls).
Portugal may have had only 53% of the ball but their final ball was far better than Turkey’s (who had the same problem in the last friendly they played, spraying the ball over the park except for the goal) and their attack had no answer to Pepe and Carvalho.
On Wednesday (11 June), Portugal take on the Czech Republic and Turkey take on Switzerland. You can keep track of it all at the Euro 08 Results page.