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Turkey Edges Past Austria In Euro 2024 Thriller

  • July 2, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Turkey Edges Past Austria In Euro 2024 Thriller

Turkey secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over Austria in a thrilling Euro 2024 Round of 16 clash at Leipzig Stadium, advancing to the quarterfinals.

They reached the quarter finals for the first time since 2008 and they will face the Netherlands in the quarter finals.

Turkey’s dominance over Austria extend their dominance, having won five of their last eight encounters. However, it marked their first competitive meeting since the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Turkey wasted no time, taking the lead within a minute. A perfectly delivered corner from teenage sensation Arda Güler was initially cleared off the line, but Merih Demiral reacted quickest, firing the rebound into the net. This early strike put Turkey on the front foot and in control of the game’s pace.

Austria, unfazed by the early setback, responded with a corner of their own in the third minute, but the dangerous ball couldn’t find a head. Despite a frenetic start, the first half ended with Turkey holding a narrow 1-0 lead.

Austria emerged from the break with renewed purpose, making tactical substitutions to bolster their attack. They nearly equalized shortly after the restart when Marko Arnautović found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Mert Günok, but the Turkish custodian made a crucial save.

However, Austria’s defensive vulnerabilities were again exposed by Arda Güler’s pinpoint corner. Demiral rose above the defense, cleverly cushioning the ball to the far post for his second goal of the match, effectively sealing Turkey’s place in the quarterfinals.

This feat etched Demiral’s name in history books as the first defender to score twice in a major tournament knockout stage game since Lilian Thuram for France in the 1998 World Cup semifinals.

Austria refused to surrender, pulling one back through substitute Michael Gregoritsch’s close-range header from a corner in the dying moments. Despite a late surge and a brilliant save by Günok to deny a header in stoppage time, Austria fell short, and Turkey secured a hard-fought victory.

With this win, Turkey advances to the quarterfinals, where they will face the Netherlands, aiming to continue their impressive Euro 2024 journey.

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Nkanyiso Mchunu

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