England needed just a draw to qualify and they did that, even after captain David Beckham missed a first-half penalty. The goalless draw sends Turkey into the uncertain playoffs to qualify.
The scoreline was empty, but the game was far from tame.
England missed a string of scoring chances, including the penalty kick by Beckham that ballooned into the crowd. Beckham also found the net with a late header that was ruled offside.
England had no vocal support inside the ground, with its Football Association having barred the fans from viewing the match to avoid the team’s disqualification for potential crowd hooliganism.
Forty-five diehard England fans who still made it to Turkey, were arrested and deported without seeing their team kick a ball.
The match was played under unprecedented security and football fans turning up at the stadium were turned away, unless they could prove they genuinely supported Turkey.
Beckham slipped and missed
The pressure showed initially even on the players, with a series of mis-directed passes.
It took an uglier turn with rival players scuffling in the tunnel as they headed off the field for the half-time break.
The Italian referee finally had to call the rival captains to his room to calm the frayed nerves.
When the match resumed, both sides played a fast paced game. Though the final score was goalless, violence did not mar the sport and the game of football ultimately won.
Fears of violence were not unfounded. Two supporters of the English club Leeds United were stabbed to death before a UEFA Cup match against Istanbul side Galatasaray in April 2000.
And when the two national teams met in the English city of Sunderland in April, England’s victory was blemished by pre-match violence, two pitch invasions and racist goading of Turkish fans by local supporters.