Turkey come back from the dead after victory over Czechs

Turkey come back from the dead after victory over Czechs

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkey come back from the dead after victory over Czechs

AFP photo

Turkey came back from the dead to beat the Czech Republic 2-0 in a Euro 2016 Group D clash on June 21 in Lens, giving the Star and Crescent a lifeline in the hopes of reaching the tournament’s Round of 16.

Turkey, which fought back from two down to beat the Czechs 3-2 in a Euro 2008 thriller, won a hard-fought match to keep their hopes alive of punching a ticket to the last 16.        

Turkey scored their first goal of the tournament in the 10th minute, when wonderkid Emre Mor provided for Burak Yılmaz, who finished well past Arsenal’s Petr Cech in the Czech goal.

The Czechs tested Turkish goalkeeper Volkan Babacan after the goal but could not beat him nor the defense, which had conceded four goals in their previous two matches.        

Turkish fans went crazy after Ozan Tufan’s 65th-minute goal, when a scramble inside the Czechs’ six-yard box was finally finished by Ozan.

Ozan – who was widely criticized during Turkey’s first match against Croatia when he was spotted tidying his hair instead of marking Luka Modric as the Real Madrid star blasted the only goal of the match – scored Turkey’s second – and possibly second-round clinching – goal.        

Four of the six third-placed teams advance to the second round at Euro 2016. With Turkey possessing the tie-breaker over Albania, which finished third in Group A, on the basis of goals scored, the Turks need to better the result of one more third-placed team to advance. They could advance if both Belgium and Italy avoid defeat in their respective matches against Sweden and Ireland on June 22, or if Hungary defeats Portugal on the same evening.

The other match of the night saw Croatia beat Spain 2-1, securing first place in Group D, while condemning the two-time defending champions to a difficult Round of 16 clash against Italy on June 27.