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Turkey Takes  3rd Place in World Cup - 2002-06-29


Turkey has taken third place at the World Cup football finals, with a 3-2 victory over co-host South Korea. Saturday night's match was played in Daegu, South Korea.

Fans who had not taken their seats by the opening whistle missed the fastest goal in World Cup history. Turkey took the kickoff, and Ilhan Mansiz passed to Hakan Sukur, who scored only 11 seconds into the match.

But the Koreans shook it off. They struck back in the ninth minute, as Lee Eul Yong got the equalizer on a long free kick. However, Mansiz put Turkey back ahead four minutes later, and tallied again in the 32nd minute to make it 3-1.

The Koreans created many good scoring chances in the second half, but they did not get their second goal until moments before the final whistle [93rd minute], from Song Chong Gug.

Korean coach Guus Hiddink said it was a tough loss, but he was pleased with his team's effort against Turkey and throughout this World Cup.

"Once more, I can be very proud, and especially they are now so confident, even when making their little mistakes, or big mistakes," he said. "But, I think, they have shown the world what they can do in their team spirit, but also in the way of playing. They like to go, and they always go forward, and I think that's the way football should be played."

Also after the match, winning Turkish coach, Senol Gunes, offered his feelings. He said, "We are very happy for doing our job properly, honorably. We always said we came with pride, and will return (to Turkey) with pride. And we are very happy we are returning with pride. One more thing I have to mention today, it is the South Korean crowd, absolutely fantastic."

The final game of this 2002 World Cup is the championship match between Germany and Brazil in Yokohama, Japan, Sunday night (7 am EDT).

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