Turkey made a perfect start to life under Guus Hiddink by confidently beating Kazakhstan 3-0 in their opening 2012 European Championship qualifying match here on Friday.
Galatasaray winger Arda Turan, Bayern Munich midfielder Hamit Altintop and Besiktas striker Nihat Kahveci all scored for Turkey, who recorded their third win in as many competitive meetings with Kazakhstan.
Hiddink, the 63-year-old Dutchman who led Holland and South Korea to the World Cup semi-finals and guided Russia into the last four at Euro 2008, was taking the reins for his first competitive match at the Turkey helm.
The visitors started positively in their Group A opener, pinning Kazakhstan back inside their own half in the opening minutes and winning two corners that came to nothing.
They took the lead in the 24th minute when Turan swept in a rebound after a team-mate’s header had hit the woodwork and then rolled along the goal-line.
Altintop doubled the score two minutes later, firing a powerful shot underneath the crossbar after a well-worked corner.
Kazakhstan took the game to the away side early in the second half but they were soon forced back and home goalkeeper Andrei Sidelnikov was kept on his toes as Turkey threatened repeatedly.
The hosts were able to fashion a number of half-chances but Turkey goalkeeper Onur Kivrak had little to do besides fielding fruitless long-range attempts.
Nihat Kahveci made it 3-0 in the 79th minute, steering the ball into the net from a precise cross to set the seal on a well-deserved win.
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