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HomeSports NewsTurkey 2-1 Czechia (Jun 26, 2024) Game Analysis - ESPN

Turkey 2-1 Czechia (Jun 26, 2024) Game Analysis – ESPN

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Turkey overcame stiff resistance from 10-man Czechia in a 2-1 win on Wednesday with goals from Hakan Çalhanoglu and Cenk Tosun to set up a Euro 2024 last-16 clash with Austria and send their opponents home.

Czechia, quarterfinalists at the last tournament, needed victory to stand any chance of advancing, but the 20th-minute dismissal of midfielder Antonín Barák for a harsh second yellow card hit them hard.

In a chaotic end to the game, Czechia’s Tomás Chorý was also given a red card in a melee at the final whistle.

The referee showed 18 cards in total, two red and 16 yellow, to set a new Euros record, including one to Çalhanoglu that will see him miss Turkey’s first game of the knockout round.

Both teams pressed hard from the start in a raucous atmosphere on a hot night, Turkish fans marching to the game and outnumbering the Czechs thanks to their huge diaspora in Germany.

Thirty-year-old playmaker Calhanoglu’s 50th-minute goal was a first at his third Euros, triggering flares and delirium from fans. He scored with a low shot across goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek, who appeared to hurt his shoulder with a save just before and went off injured after the goal.

Turkey players celebrate after beating Czechia at the European Championship.
Turkey players celebrate after beating Czechia at the European Championship.

Teenager Arda Güler inexplicably missed a close-range sitter to put Turkey two ahead and Czechia immediately equalised, Tomás Soucek prodding home in the 66th minute after a long throw caused chaos to set up a thrilling finale.

Tosun struck Turkey’s winner in stoppage time, sparking wild scenes on his bench and among Turkish fans. The result banished the Turks’ dark memories of Euro 2020 where they went home after conceding eight goals in three defeats.

“We all fought very well together,” said defender Mert Muldur. “We had a hard time against such teams in the past … I think we have improved ourselves.”

After two wins in three games, Turkey finished second behind Portugal in Group F on goal difference and will play Austria in the last 16 on July 2 in Leipzig.

“When we talked with our friends before the camp, our only goal was to get out of the group. We kept our promise and left the group. Now we will proceed step by step,” said Turkey winger Baris Alper Yilmaz. “We are very happy.”

The Czechs finished bottom of the group with one point.

“It is a disappointment because we all wanted to advance,” captain Soucek said, lamenting how the “disrespectful” soft red card had affected the game.

“We were happy to get the equaliser,” he added. “Everyone did the maximum. The morale was huge. Just a sad end … But that is football.”

Portugal were already guaranteed top place in the group but lost to Georgia, who went through as one of the best third- placed finishers.

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