Turkey Will Host Ivory Coast in Friendly Match

AHMET BOB TURGUT@turkishsoccerCorrespondent IFebruary 10, 2009

The Turkish national soccer team will host Ivory Coast in a friendly on Wednesday ahead of 2010 World Cup group matches with group leaders Spain.

Turkey v Ivory Coast first time!

Turkey and Ivory Coast will face each other for the first time in history.

Ivory Coast will be Turkey's first opponent this year. The match will take place in the Aegean city of Izmir's Ataturk Stadium at 8:30 p.m (local time). Romania's Sorin Corpodean will referee next week's match which will be the first encounter of the two national teams.

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba will appear for the first time over the past one year with the Ivorians after having injury problems.

Ivory Coast coach Vahid Halilhodzic, former coach of Trabzonspor, also named Arsenal's Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Didier Zokora in the squad.

Turkey coach Fatih Terim named his squad as goalkeepers Ufuk Ceylan (Manisaspor) and Volkan Demirel (Fenerbahce); defenders Gokhan Gonul (Fenerbahce), Sabri Sarioglu, Servet Cetin (Galatasaray), Ibrahim Kas (Getafe), Eren Gungor (Kayserispor), Gokhan Zan (Besiktas), Caner Erkin (CSKA Moscow); midfielders Hamit Altintop (Bayern Münich), Kazim Kazim, Emre Belozoglu (Fenerbahce), Ayhan Akman, Arda Turan (Galatasaray), Mehmet Aurelio (Real Betis), Nuri Sahin (Borussia Dortmund), Tuncay Sanlı (Middlesbrough); and strikers Halil Altintop (Schalke 04), Semih Senturk (Fenerbahce), Gokhan Unal (Trabzonspor), and Mehmet Yildiz (Sivasspor).

Turkey will face Spain, defending European champions, in an away match on March 28th and and in a return match on April 1st. Spain are the leaders in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying Group 5 with 12 points. Turkey follow Spain with eight points after four group matches.