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Türkiye triumphs over Czech Republic to propel Crescent Stars into Euro knockouts


 

Coach hails Hakan Calhanoglu as complete player after a rocket of a goal helps his side beat Czech Republic 2-1, firing them into knockout stages of Euros for the first time in 16 years.

Türkiye have held off a spirited comeback from the Czech Republic and scored a late winner to seal a 2-1 triumph that confirmed second place in Euro 2024 Group F and booked a last-16 clash with Austria.

The Czechs needed a win on Wednesday to stand any chance of advancing but the 20th-minute dismissal of attacking midfielder Antonin Barak put a major dent in their plans.

Türkiye captain Hakan Calhanoglu’s 50th-minute strike made matters even worse, but Tomas Soucek’s equaliser 16 minutes later offered the Czechs hope.

Türkiye, however, secured victory with a stoppage-time strike from Cenk Tosun.

“This is just the start,” Tosun said.

“I’m delighted with my goal. We spoke about it beforehand, how this is exactly the time for it.”

The Crescent Stars will face Austria on Tuesday in Leipzig.

Tough competition

Türkiye have played in six European tournaments so far: 1996, 2000, 2008, 2016, 2020, and currently playing 2024.

The Crescent Stars’ best performance was in 2008 after reaching the semi-finals.

Türkiye also qualified for the FIFA World Cup three times, in 1950, 1954 and 2002.

Their biggest achievement so far was securing the bronze medal in the 2002 FIFA World Cup after losing 1-0 to powerhouse and eventual World Cup winner Brazil in the semi-finals but beating South Korea 3-2 to secure the third place.

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