The Irish were second best against a side 27 places above them in the world ranking, though Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan briefly sparkled for Martin O’Neill’s side.
Turkey took the lead in the 17th minute, when Ahmet Ozek flashed a header past Ireland’s debutant goalkeeper Rob Elliot from Gokhan Gonul’s cross from the right. They doubled their lead on 76 minutes through Tarik Camdal, but Jon Walters pulled one back for Ireland within a minute.
Elliot, who made only two Premier appearances for Newcastle this season, conceding four goals on each occasion, postponed his Las Vegas stag weekend to play in this match. On reflection, he perhaps should have not torn up his plane tickets, as he was at fault for the first goal, caught out of position by Gonul’s whipped cross and beaten at the near post by the sharp header from 15 yards.
The Turks doubled their lead on 76 minutes through substitute Camdal, who shot past Elliot from the angle after a lovely little reverse pass on the edge of the box by Oguzhan Ozyakup.
Ireland responded almost immediately, when substitute Walters ran onto a Hoolahan pass over the top, cut inside Omer Toprak and shot past Kivrak.
5’ - CHANCE: Hoolahan plays in McGeady, who sets up Long, and the Hull striker goes down under a challenge in the area from Toprak. That could have been a penalty - the sparse crowd certainly thought so.
13’ - CHANCE: Toprak fouls Hoolahan 25 yards from goal to the left. McGeady's cross finds Long, but Kivrak makes a fine save to deny the Hull striker then O'Shea's effort is stopped by Toprak.
16’ - GOAL: Ahmet Ilhan Ozek makes it 1-0 Turkey with a near-post header after a lovely cross from Gonul. That is his second goal in a week for Turkey, but Elliot's positioning was all wrong.
37’ - CHANCE: McGeady gets space down the left this time and McClean's near-post volley is well stopped by Kivrak.
75’ - GOAL: Tarik Camdal makes it Ireland 0-2 Turkey from the angle after a lovely little reverse pass on the edge of the box by Ozyakup.
77’ - GOAL: Ireland pull one back through Jon Walters, who runs onto a Hoolahan pass over the top, cuts inside Toprak and shoots past Kivrak. It is Ireland 1-2 Turkey with 13 minutes to go.
Roy Keane had a few words with the referee Ruddy Buquet at half-time. The Ireland assistant boss felt that Shane Long was fouled in the area from behind in the fifth minute by Omer Toprak, and that the Bayer Leverkusen defender should have been shown a red card.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Onur Kivrak (Turkey): The Trabzonspor goalkeeper was winning just his ninth cap in Dublin, but the 26-year-old exuded calm and authority. The 13th-minute save to deny Long from point-blank range potentially changed the course of the match.
Republic of Ireland: Elliot 5, Coleman 7, O'Shea 6, Delaney 7, Ward 6; Wilson 6, Whelan 6; McGeady 7, Hoolahan 7, McClean 7; Long 6. Subs: Quinn 6, Meyler 7, Murphy 7, Walters 7.
Turkey: Onur Kivrak 8, Gonul 7, Toprak 7, Balta 7, Erkin 7, Ahmet Ilhan 7, Selcuk 6, Nuri Sahin 6, Bilal Kisa 7, Calhanoglu 7, Erdinc 5.Subs: Dogan 6, Ozyakup 7, Tufan 7, Pektemek 6, Adin 7, Camdal 7.
- Sports & Recreation
- Republic of Ireland
- Wes Hoolahan
- Aiden McGeady