Uninvited guest hounds players in Turkish soccer match

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A stray dog earned praise for its ball handling from a live TV commentator on Sunday after it ran on the pitch and disrupted a professional Turkish soccer match.

With fans and security personnel looking on from the sidelines at an Istanbul stadium, the players and a referee in the First Division struggled to win back the ball from the dog.

They finally sent off the uninvited guest by throwing the ball off the field - but the dog fetched it and returned for a second appearance just as play resumed.

Zeki Yildirim, midfielder for home side Fatih Karagumruk Spor, then carried the pup off the field.

Fatih Karagumruk Spor won the game 2-1 over visiting Giresunspor, from northeastern Turkey, in the league below Turkey’s Premier League.

Reporting by Yesim Dikmen; Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer