GameDay: Turkiye vs. Brazil
After a disappointing showing on Saturday in Euro 2008 qualifying, Turkiye will be eager to implement some changes today against one of the world's best teams. Turkiye and Brazil will kick off at 2 PM EST (U.S. time) from Dortmund, Germany.
Although just a friendly, the game takes on significant meaning after the 3-2 loss to Bosnia Herzegovina. Saturday's game was expected to give Turkiye three more points, but they now find themselves two points behind leaders Greece after the Greeks won easily over the weekend.
Turkiye and Brazil have a storied history despite being so far apart geographically. They have played each other four times previously, and Brazil has won three out of those. The most memorable meetings between the nations occurred at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, when a series of controversial decisions allowed Brazil to advance, giving Turkiye the third-place finish. In 2003 they met again at the Confederations Cup in France, ending in a 2-2 draw.
Coach Fatih Terim relished the idea of playing Brazil. "You cannot always play against such teams. The experience our players will get is very important. We play in Germany because we want to thank the fans who supported us outside the stadium in the games played in Frankfurt behind closed doors. And also it will be the farewell game for Tugay (Kerimoğlu).”
Terim has been feeling the heat recently, and Saturday's loss only escalated the fans' displeasure. Many feels disagreed with Terim's choices for the weekend's roster, including Hakan Sukur, Colin Kazim Richards, and Fenerbahce goalkeeper Rustu Recber, who had not played since suffering an injury in November 2006. Terim plans to use Tuesday's game to help his young players gain valuable experience, but he knows that he needs to put a good product of futbol on the field to appease the fans.
Tuesday's game also marks the farewell for Tugay Kerimoglu, who will retire following the match. The 36-year-old Blackburn Rovers star will play his 94th game for Turkiye. As a result, Tugay will wear the number "94" and serve as captain for the game. It is expected to be an emotional day for the midfielder against Brazil.
Tuesday's game can be watched live in the United States on Fox Soccer Channel at 2 PM. The game will also re-air on FSC later this evening, and several times later in the week.