Euro 2016 round up: Czech Republic 0 Turkey 2 - and what the result means

Josef Sural of Czech Republic (centre) and Ismail Koybasi of Turkey (left) in action during their Uefa Euro 2016 group D football match.
Josef Sural of Czech Republic (centre) and Ismail Koybasi of Turkey (left) in action during their Uefa Euro 2016 group D football match. PHOTO: EPA

Embarrassed in the 3-0 drubbing to Spain in the previous game, Turkish football restored some pride with this victory and kept alive their slim chances of progressing to the last 16.

Fatih Terim's team had not scored in 180 minutes of play but only need to wait another 10 minutes to end that drought at Len's Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

Skipper Arda Turan found Emre Mor on the right and the winger, with time and space, delivered the perfect cross for Burak Yilmaz to sweep home and give Turkey the early lead.

The Czechs responded and had their best chance to equalise six minutes later but centre-back Tomas Sivok's towering header crashed against the post and was eventually cleared.

The Czechs continued to apply pressure but were let down by their final ball into the box as Turkey defended bravely with goalkeeper Volkan Babacan magnificent at the back.

 
 
 
 

They would extend their lead midway through the second half thanks to a thumping finish from midfielder Ozan Tufan.

Despite the win and three points, their continued participation remains doubtful given a negative goal difference.

It might be a case of too little too late for Turkey but at least they have ended their campaign on a high.

Match highlights

- Turkey get their first goal of this Euros and what a goal it is. Captain Turan finds Emre Mor on the right in the 10th min and the teenager has all the space in the world to look up and crosses for Yilmaz. It's a classy finish by the striker who half-volleys it past Petr Cech.

- Czech win a corner on the right and centre-back Sivok wins a towering header at the back post in the 16th min but the ball crashes against the upright and is eventually cleared.

- The Czechs apply more pressure as right-back Pavel Kaderabek tries to beat Babacan at his near post eight minutes later but the Turkish stopper gets down well to keep it out.

- A flicked header by Tomas Necid reaches Kaderabek in the 31st min but he can only slice his outstretched effort wide of the far post.

- Jaroslav Plasil hits a fierce shot from the edge of the D in the 38th min but Babacan is equal to it as the Czechs search for the equaliser.

- Nasty collision in the 51st minute between David Pavelka, Sivok and Gokhan Gonul sees the latter coming off for treatment with blood pouring from his face from a cut. He comes back on looking more annoyed than hurt.

- Mor leads a rare Turkish counter in the 58th min and cuts inside from the right, ignoring his teammates for an ill-advised shot that goes wide.

- Turkey extend their lead in the 65th min. A dangerous freekick lands at the feet of Mehmet Topal in the area and he lays it off Ozan Tufan who lashes it past Cech.

- Vladimir Darida lets fly from 30 yards in the 81st min but Babacan, who has been rock solid all night, is equal to it.

The talking point

This feels like the end of an era for the Czechs. Captain Tomas Rosicky is 35 and missed the game with an injury while Cech is 34. International retirement beckons for both, as it does for Plasil. Czech football had its heyday in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the team were losing finalist at the 1996 Euros and were third at the 2004 edition. They've missed the last two World Cups and are on an early flight home from France. The side lack star quality and are in need of a massive rebuild.

Man of the Match

Was this the moment that Turkey's teen star Mor announced himself on the big stage? It certainly felt like it as the 18-year-old dazzled on the wings with his dribbling and quick feet. A beautifully balanced footballer, Mor provided the assist for the first-half goal and never stopped asking for the ball, despite a number of heavy tackles from the Czechs. He signed for Borussia Dortmund before the Euros began and the German team will be patting themselves on the back for a piece of good business.

What the result means

The Czechs finish bottom of the group and are eliminated while Turkey, with three points, face a nervous wait to see if they are among the four best third-placed teams. Given their -2 goal difference, it's unlikely they will progress though and are dependent on the results from the final round of group matches on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland, who finished third in Group C with a goal difference of 0, are guaranteed of a last 16 spot.

Key statistic

This was Turkey's first clean sheet since a 2-0 win over Belgium at Euro 2000. They had conceded 15 goals in the subsequent eight games.