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Quick goal lifts Turkey to third

©Associated Press
June 30, 2002

DAEGU, South Korea -- Hakan Sukur needed just 11 seconds to break his scoring drought, set a record for fastest goal in a World Cup game and help lead Turkey to victory in the third-place game.

The Turks won 3-2 Saturday over co-host South Korea, which drew raucous cheers from a red-clad crowd that came to celebrate the nation's unprecedented success.

Scoreless in 500 minutes during six previous games, Sukur's status as Turkey's star was in question. He took care of those doubts quickly, giving it a 1-0 lead and silencing more than 63,000 fans.

He also combined with Ilhan Mansiz on the other goals to give Turkey a 3-1 halftime lead. South Korea didn't make it 3-2 until Song Chong-gug's goal during injury time.

"When would I have scored if not in the last game of the tournament?" Sukur said. "Many people were waiting for me to score a goal, but I didn't have much luck in previous matches."

After the opening kickoff, Sukur swooped in on a defensive error by Hong Myung-bo and put a shot past Lee Woon-jae. The previous record for earliest goal was 15 seconds by Vaclav Masek in Czechoslovakia's first-round game against Mexico in 1962.

Lee Eul-yong tied it at 1 with a curling 25-yard free kick in the ninth minute for South Korea, which had been winless in five previous World Cup appearances. But Mansiz responded with goals in the 13th and 32nd minutes.

"We proved to ourselves and to the world that our soccer has a bright future," South Korea's Hwang Sun-hong said. "I hope that young players will pick up the spirit and don't forget what happened here and what we can do."

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