World Cup qualifiers: Turkey tops group after impressive away victory against Norway

Turkey are flying high after beating Norway 3-0 on Saturday, to make it two wins out of two in their European qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.

Played in Malaga due to the coronavirus restrictions in Oslo, Turkey got off to a dream start thanks to a fine goal from Ozan Tufan in the 4th minute.

A great move that started in the Turkish half saw the ball played quickly forward. Lille’s Yusuf Yazıcı crossed the ball into the penalty box from the left, which was only half-cleared by the Norwegian defence, landing in the path of Tufan as he arrived in the box. The Fenerbahçe midfielder calmly swept the ball into the bottom right corner for Turkey’s opening goal.

Norway nearly levelled through Alexander Sörloth. His fierce long-range shot had beaten the Turkish goalkeeper Uğurcan Çakır, only to be denied by the woodwork.

Two minutes later, Leicester City’s Çağlar Söyüncü got away from his marker at the back post to head home Yazıcı’s corner and put Turkey comfortably in front in the 26th minute.

There were more chances for both sides, but the first half ended 0-2 to the visitors.

The game was put beyond Norway’s reach when Tufan scored his second of the match on the 58th minute. His superb strike from just outside the box flew over goalkeeper Rune Jarstein into the top right corner.

Arm-in-arm: Turkey’s goal scorers Ozan Tufan and Çağlar Söyüncü

Norway’s defeat was compounded in the 79th minute with a sending off. Midfielder Kristian Thorstvedt, who’d come on as a substitute 12 minutes earlier, was shown a straight red following a nasty challenge on Caner Erkin, sliding in with studs showing.

The game ended 0-3 to Turkey. Coming after their 4-2 win over the Netherlands on Wednesday, it marks the perfect start to the Turks’ World Cup campaign.

They now sit at the top of Group G, level with Montenegro, who beat Gibraltar 4-1. Elsewhere Netherlands beat Latvia 2-0.

Turkey’s next game will be on Tuesday night, when they play Latvia at home. The Baltic country are joint bottom of Group G with Gibraltar after losing both their opening games. Kick-off for Tuesday’s match is 19.45 GMT.