Turkey stuck in mediocrity after drawing in Latvia as Iceland reaches perfection against Dutch
Latvia's Freimanis argues after receiving a red card. Turkey's 1-1 draw with the Letts leaves them marooned at the bottom of Euro 2016 qualifying Group B. REUTERS PhotoTurkey finally earned its first point in three games in the UEFA Euro 2016 Group A qualifier after a tame 1-1 draw against Latvia in Riga on Oct. 14, but the single point is unlikely to propel the country forward toward a place in France in two years' time.
Bilal Kısa opened the scoring for Turkey shortly after halftime with a long-range shot. But Turkey's relief was short, as Valerijs Sabala equalized with a 54th-minute penalty.
Coach Fatih Terim, who had vowed that his men would react after a crushing defeat against Iceland and a home loss against the Czech Republic, said the result was "even more of a coincidence" than the first two games.
"Watching how they celebrated [the draw] after the game, it is clear how the result was a coincidence," Terim said.
Although only three games have been played so far, the performances of the two underdogs of the group - Iceland and Czech Republic, level atop with nine points - have already put Turkey on the ropes.
The Icelanders have continued to dazzle, pulling off a shock 2-0 defeat of the Netherlands to hand new coach Guus Hiddink his third loss in four matches since taking over after the World Cup.
Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson scored both goals to seal Iceland's first ever victory over the Netherlands in 11 meetings.
The Czech Republic also got its third straight win by beating Kazakhstan 4-2 in Almaty thanks to goals by Borek Dockal, David Lafata, Ladislav Krejci and Tomas Necid.
Turkey remains anchored to the bottom of the group with Kazakhstan, while Latvia is fourth with 2 points.