2016 European Championship, Group Stage 2016
  • Burak Yilmaz (10')
  • Ozan Tufan (65')

Turkey beat Czech Republic to keep Euro 2016 hopes alive

Turkey beat Czech Republic 2-0 in Lens to keep alive their hopes of a place in the round of 16 at Euro 2016.

The win meant they finished third in the group, and moved above Albania in the ranking of third-placed teams, but will need another team to finish with a worse record to make the knockouts.

Vladimir Darida had the first chance of the match in the fifth minute, but he fired wide of the target from a difficult angle.

Turkey took the lead five minutes later as Burak Yilmaz scored their first goal of Euro 2016. Emre Mor, who will join Borussia Dortmund in the summer, burst away down the right flank and picked out the striker with an inch-perfect pass. Yilmaz's first-time sidefooted finish gave Petr Cech little chance in the Czech goal.

Czech Republic soon tried to force their way back into the game. Darida saw a shot from distance deflected behind, and from the resulting corner Tomas Sivok saw his header come back off the base of the post and Turkey cleared their lines.

Mor then fired well wide with a first time effort after finding some space inside the area.

Pavel Kaderabek was next to try his luck for the Czechs in the 24th minute, but he couldn't beat Volkan Babacan from a tight angle. Tomas Necid got another chance moments later, hooking an effort wide of the target from inside the box.

But Turkey were dangerous on the break as Volkan Sen's drive from just outside the area went a yard wide of Cech's right-hand post.

Czech pressure was building, though, and Kaderabek was inches away from levelling when stretching to meet a headed pass across the box by Necid -- he just couldn't force his effort on target.

The final chance of the first half came in added time when Sivok tried an audacious effort with his back to goal -- it went very high and very wide, befitting of a centre-back.

Mor had the first real chance of the second period in the 58th minute. Turkey had a three-on-three break but, rather than play in a teammate, Mor tried to do it all himself and fired over the bar.

At the other end, Darida and Necid both shot straight at Babacan.

Any hopes the Czechs had of progressing were seemingly ended in the 66th minute when Turkey doubled their advantage. A free kick was played into the box and Mehmet Topal laid the ball off for Ozan Tufan who rifled past Cech into the roof of the net.

That moved Turkey ahead of Albania in the ranking for the best third-placed teams, but they needed two more to overtake Northern Ireland and secure their place in the knockouts.

Turkey's second goal knocked the stuffing out of Czech Republic, as Yilmaz then headed over from a promising position in the centre of goal.

Substitute Josef Sural almost created something for the Czechs when his driven cross was deflected and flew through the six yard box. That produced a corner and Sivok headed well wide of the post. Darida then had another effort from range which the keeper dealt with easily.

Turkey then almost got their third when sub Olcay Sahan wriggled into space in the box but slashed wide.

There was to be no more scoring, but Turkey must wait to see if they have done enough to get through. They need Hungary to beat Portugal or no team to better their record from Group E to advance.