Football: Piontek critical of Turks

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The Independent Online
FOR 87 minutes in Ankara yesterday, a shock was in the offing. With three minutes left of their World Cup Group Two qualifier San Marino were drawing 1-1 with Turkey, who visit Wembley next month. But normal order was resumed, Sepp Piontek's Turks scoring three goals.

Piontek was displeased. San Marino, who conceded 10 in their last trip abroad (to Norway), had doubled their total tally of international goals against a country with 64 times as many players. 'They (San Marino) are amateurs, we are professionals, we played badly,' Piontek said. 'I don't see how my team can qualify for the finals. I almost died.' The win moved Turkey into third place behind Norway and Poland, a point ahead of England.

Graham Taylor, the England manager, will have been encouraged by Turkey's inability to punish San Marino earlier. Turkey went ahead with a headed goal from Hakan Sukur in the 38th minute. But in the 53rd minute a shop assistant, Nicola Bacciocchi, equalised with a powerful shot to precipitate a mass Marino party.

The home fans roundly booed their team until the 87th minute when Orhan Cikrikci scored the second. Hakan added his second and Turkey's third in the 89th minute and Hami Mandirali finished San Marino off with a fourth just before the final whistle.

Stig Inge Bjornebye, the Norwegian utility player who played against England at Wembley, is having trials with Liverpool and a permanent move is expected soon. The 23-year-old Rosenborg player, at home in defence and midfield, watched Liverpool's Cup tie against Sheffield United last night.

The England winger Andy Sinton was yesterday given an initial all-clear after fears that he had fractured his leg in Tuesday night's Coca-Cola Cup game at Bury. X- rays showed no fracture - just severe bruising. Sinton is hopeful that he could be back within a fortnight, and available for the Turkey match.

Another England winger John Salako scored a stunning individual goal to smooth Crystal Palace's path into the fourth round of the Coca-Cola Cup. After Eddie McGoldrick's early goal Salako brilliantly chipped Tim Flowers to complete a marvellous solo run to put an end to Southampton's hopes. The Saints manager, Ian Branfoot, was roundly booed as he left the pitch.

Palace's tenants, Wimbledon, fared less well, but will still be happy after a goalless draw at Everton watched by only 9,541.

COCA-COLA CUP FOURTH-ROUND DRAW: Sheffield United or Liverpool v Crystal Palace; Plymouth or Scarborough v Derby or Arsenal; Cambridge v Oldham; Everton or Wimbledon v Chelsea; Sheffield Wednesday v QPR; Nottingham Forest v Tottenham; Aston Villa v Ipswich; Blackburn v Watford or Leeds. Ties to be played during the week starting 30 November.