Turkey, who came to the World Cup finals for the first time in 48 years but stunned the world by jumping into the semi-finals, won the third place of the 2002 World Cup by beating co-hosts South Korea 3-2 in the third-place playoff in Taegu on Saturday.
South Korea, who also made a history for their country and Asia for roaring into the semi-finals for the first time, had beaten European soccer powerhouses Portugal, Italy and Spain and were only upset 1-0 by Germany in the semi-final match. But the Asian heroes came across a nightmare in the first half of today's playoff.
Turkey's ace striker Hakan Sukur scored the quickest-ever goal in World Cup history only 11 seconds into action, lifting his side to 1-0 lead.
Sukur, who had never collected any goal in this World Cup matches before today's game, took advantage of a fatal mistake made by South Korea's veteran defender Hong Myung-bo and darted into the box clearly, pouncing the ball to the almost open goal.
South Korea's midfielder Lee Eul-yong leveled the score by sending home a brilliant curling free-kick in the 9th minute.
But only after four minutes, Sukur's new partner up front Ilhan Mansiz got a timely pass from Sukur and fired a close-range shot home, giving Turkey a 2-1 lead.
Ilhan Mansiz, who scored a golden goal in his side's quarter-final against Senegal and became a starter for the first time in this World Cup, scored his second goal in the 33rd minute, giftinghis side a 3-1 lead. After a dazzling combination between Ilhan Mansiz and Hakan Sukur, Ilhan rushed into the box clearly and fired his shot past the goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae who darted out.
Although South Korea's defender Song Chong-gug blasted a long-range shot home in the injury time of the second half, it was too late for the history-makers to create more miracles.
The South Koreans launched waves of attacks on their opponents and beleaguered the Turks' goal. But their finals shots often flew wide or high. A few shots on goal were often saved by keeper Rustu Recber who was in a normal form today.
The Turks concentrated more on their defense and created few scoring chances in the second half.
South Korea's defense line appeared weaker than before in this match, partly because of the injuries on their left back and right back defenders.
On the other hand, Ilhan Mansiz and Hakan Sukur, the new partners up front for Turkey, showed their unbelievably brilliant performance in the first half.
Before today's match, Turkey had already eliminated another co-hosts Japan in the knockout stage of this tournament. And they could be called killer of East Asian teams as they also beat China3-0 in the group stage. Although Turkey lost 1-0 to four-time champions Brazil in the semi-final clash, their great performance in that game won the respect of the world. But one interesting fact was that Turkey were lucky to have never met any European soccer teams in this World Cup.