Turkey shuts out Honduras for hat trick of friendly wins
The Turkish national football team shut out World Cup-bound Honduras in an international friendly in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning (Turkish time). For the Hondurans, it was a poor start to their World Cup warm-up campaign.

Fatih Terim's men have now completed a brilliant hat trick of recent away friendly victories. The Turks crushed Kosovo 6-1 away at Adem Yaşari Olympic Stadium last Wednesday and followed up by beating Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Sunday.

"We are not only winning, but also playing well," Terim said after Friday's match. "This is very important to us."

Second half goals from St. Etienne French-born center forward Mevlut Erdinç and Fenerbahçe leftie Caner Erkin secured the victory for the young Turkish team that completely dominated play after the break.

The Hondurans, drawn in Group E with France, Switzerland and Ecuador, will need to raise their level of performance in their next friendlies against Israel on Sunday and England on June 7 if they are to have a chance of progressing at the World Cup.

Roger Espinoza had the first chance for Honduras in the 39th minute when he found space on the left but his low drive went wide. Honduras keeper Noel Valladares did well to keep out a left foot drive from Trabzonspor left-winger Oclan Adın four minutes before the break.

The Hondurans lacked penetration in attack, but their real problems in the second half were at the other end of the field as their defense struggled to deal with a wave of Turkish attacks.

Turkey coach Terim had brought Mevlüt on after the interval and he provided an increased threat, dropping deep and stretching the Central American back line.

The St. Etienne forward had a golden chance to open the scoring in the 56th minute when Caner found him just five yards out, but he shot straight at Valladares before he made amends 14 minutes later when he slotted home after Kardemir Karabükspor's Germany-born left back İshak Doğan provided a low cross after breaking down the left.

Mevlüt then turned provider for the second goal seven minutes from the end when Caner blasted home a powerful diagonal drive into the far corner.

Terim also said that they need full support from the Turkish fans even if the national team is losing.

"We are their team and the country's team. Therefore, we need support no matter what the circumstances. These children [the players] deserve this. With the help of our fans we can accomplish great things," he noted, adding that his team loves to win.

Turkey plays its last friendly against host United States on Sunday before returning home the following day.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2014-05-30 15:00:02
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