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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Portuguese Pulsate Past Turkish




AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Mastermind Luis Figo set up two goals for striker Nuno Gomes, powering Portugal past Turkey 2-0 and into the semifinals of Euro 2000 with an exhibition of Latin flair.


One minute from halftime, Portuguese creativity finally broke down Turkey's defensive wall when Figo, yet again the star of the match, sent a low bouncing cross into the area and striker Nuno Gomes dived low to deflect it past Rustu Recber.


In the 56 minute, Figo faked his way past Hakan Unsal, put a precision pass on the foot of the unmarked Nuno Gomes, who only had to tap into the empty net and put the game beyond the reach of the Turks.


Turkey had been down a man since the 29th minute when Alpay Ozalan was sent off for hitting Fernando Couto when both were down after a duel for the ball in the air.


Portugal will play France in Brussels on Wednesday.


In first-half stoppage time, Turkey was given a penalty after Couto brought down Arif Erdem. The midfielder took the penalty himself, but goalkeeper Vitor Baia made a fine low save.


It deflated the Turkish players, and they might as well have packed up right there and then.


In a bad-tempered opening half, referee Dick Jol showed one red card and five yellows. Under the closed roof of the ArenA stadium, Turkish frustration made way for resignation.


The second half turned into a show of everything Portugal brought to the tournament f close control, magical touches, sturdy defense f and frivolous finishing when victory was assured.


Portugal started out all flashy with skills, letting the ball do the work while the Turks relentlessly chased the ball.


Steadily though, skills took over.


With slick passing moves and nifty footwork, Portugal started displaying the moves that made them such a darling of the Euro 2000 fans.


In the 17th minute, Ergun Penbe needed to made a late block on a shot from Rui Costa. From the resulting corner, Figo found Costinha unmarked at the far post and the defender spent a fraction of a second too long setting up his shot, allowing Rustu to scramble across and make a diving save.


Figo came alive six minutes later, shuffling past two defenders before unleashing a shot that went just wide.


In the 26th minute, Hakan Sukur made a belated entry into the match, latching on to a deep free kick and almost steering a looping header past an out-of-position Vitor Baia.


After Alpay was sent off in the 29th minute, the match became much testier after the incident.


In the whole match, Jol showed eight yellow cards in addition to the red.


In the 43rd minute, Portugal came close to a first goal when Costinha sent a header from a Figo corner just wide with goalie Rustu Recber out of position.


Seconds before halftime, Joao Pinto stabbed the ball just wide from close range from a great cross from Rui Costa.


It was all Portugal again as soon a the second half started, with the Turks still dazed by the penalty miss.


In the 48th minute, yet another Figo cross stretched the Turkish defense, but Nuno Gomes came inches short to tap it home.


A rare Turkish opportunity came in the 51st minute when Vitor Baia failed to collect a routine corner, but an off-balance Tayfur could only lob it onto the roof of the net.


In the 63rd minute, Nuno Gomes was offered a shot at his hat-trick after he was set up with a 16-meter open shot, but this time he sent it weakly into the arms of Rustu.


In the 70th minute, the Benfica striker nonchalantly pushed a Figo cross wide. He was taken off shortly afterward.