Turkish Football News

Lucescu hopeful as Turkey draws in friendly

Turkey manager Lucescu remains optimistic after draw

The international friendly between Turkey and Montenegro ended in a 2-2 draw at the Podgorica City Stadium in Montenegro Tuesday.

Turkey started their international friendly match against Montenegro with a bang as they scored twice within the first 23 minutes. A volley by young Cengiz Ünder of Italy’s Roma gave Turkey a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute. Just 11 minutes later, a header by Trabzonspor’s 24-year-old midfielder Okay Yokuslu increased the lead to 2-0.

Montenegro cut the lead to 2-1 just before the halftime as Mirko Ivanic’s header beat goalkeeper Volkan Babacan. The equalizing goal came in the 87th minute for Montenegro when Stefan Mugosa beat Mehmet Topal and placed the ball to the right of the goalkeeper, into the back of the net.

Montenegro’s President Filip Vujanovic was present at the match, along with Dejan Savicevic, head of the Montenegro Football Federation.

After the match, Turkey’s Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu was optimistic.

“I’m not happy with the result but happy with the way we played. I’m very satisfied for our players’ organization on the pitch. They very well put into action the things we talked before the match. Our rival was more experienced than us because they have been playing together for a long time. But we are a newer and younger team. But I can say we have a playing system now. We will develop our system further,” he said.

Montenegro coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic also agreed with Lucescu and was full of praise for his counterpart.

“Lucescu is doing a good job in Turkey national team and taking good steps for the future. The Turkey national team has a promising future. Turkey is a big country and has a serious league and good national football team.”

Separately, Inter’s former Turkish star and Medipol Basaksehir captain Emre Belezoglu spoke to Italian La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

“Hakan Çalhanoglu is very strong and experienced. Cengiz Ünder is very young but has the capacity to head straight for the top. I hope we will soon see him playing in big teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester City. Turkey needs new talent and we experienced players should know when to retire. We must give the young space. I think I will play one more year and then quit,” he said.

Source: DailySabah

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