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Turkey 1-0 Slovakia 5/21/2008
Turkey 1-0 Slovakia
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Continuing their EURO 2008 preparations in Marienfeld near Bielefeld, Turkey have beaten Slovakia 1-0 thanks to a strike by Galatasaray defender Hakan Balta in SchücoArena.

Spurred on with their Turkish fan base at the stadium, Turkey created the first danger in the game through Semih Şentürk whose headed strike on 9th minute was parried to the corner by Slovakia keeper Stefan Senecky.

Slovakia's reply to this chance came on a similar effort by Robert Vittek but experienced goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber was quick enough to push the ball for a corner.

After those two attacks, there were no serious threats coming from any of the sides and the first half ended goalless.

Turkey coach Fatih Terim fielded Emre Belözoğlu, Sabri Sarıoğlu and Gökdeniz Karadeniz with a hope to bring energy to a team who lost their tempo through the end of the first interval. Especially, Gökdeniz, who spent a wonderful half season with Russian side FC Rubian Kazan was the player to achieve this goal.

Turkey's started to possess the ball more than Slovakia and this beared its fruit on 63rd minute. Sabri Sarıoğlu's right-wing cross flicked from Slovakia defence and Galatasaray defender Hakan Balta blasted a very powerful left-foot shot to put his side ahead.

After the last half an hour, Terim wanted to see his attacking alternatives and substituted Fenerbahçe's Semih Şentürk for FC Schalke 04's Halil Altıntop.

Following the goal, Turkey were not keen to end with a narrow victory, this can be understood from Terim's move to take Galatasaray midfielder Arda Turan on the game.

Slovakia coach Jan Kocian's hope for an equalizer became obvious when he take Robert Vittek off and put Beşiktaş JK's Filip Holosko, trusting his knowledge about Turkish football.

However, Slovakia couldn't manage to find a leveling goal and Turkey increased their morale with this positive result.

Turkey will play Uruguay on 25 May in Bochum for their second friendly match.

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