These Turkish fans are going home, along with their Czech Republic counterparts.  (Credit: Al Robinson)

Euro 2016 Report: Czech Republic 0 - 2 Turkey
Published: June 24, 2016
The Czech Republic fell to a defeat that ultimately cost them a place in the knock-out phase of Euro 2016 as Turkey ran out 2-0 winners in Lens – but that wasn't enough for the Turks either as they too missed out on the last-16.
A win here would have left the Czechs with four points and a third place finish in Group D, enough to see them qualify for the next round. Instead, goals from Burak Yilmaz and Ozan Tufan gave Fatih Terim's men a first win at the tournament. It also gave them a sliver of hope that they themselves might sneak into the last-16 as one of the best third-placed teams. 
However, their -2 goal-difference – damage which was mostly done in the lethargic 3-0 defeat to Spain, during which skipper Arda Turan sarcastically applauded his own fans – proved to be their undoing. Northern Ireland and Portugal nipped in ahead of them, despite the latter drawing all three of their group games.
Yilmaz got his side off to an excellent start when he opened the scoring after ten minutes. It was his 21st international goal and moved him to joint-third on Turkey's all-time goalscorer list. At 30, Hakan Sukur's 51 goal tally may be beyond him, but he should surpass Tuncay Sanli (who has 22 goals) to become Turkey's second all-time top scorer.
Yet that strike could, and perhaps should, have been cancelled out in the 16th minute, but Tomas Sivok hit the base of the post with a header. Turkey had been warned about Sivok's aerial prowess when he scored against them in qualifying in Istanbul, but they got off lucky here as a goal then could have changed the entire game.
It really could have been so different for the Czechs, who had the upper-hand coming into the game, with one point in the bag and a seemingly more harmonious environment given the nature of the Turks' capitulation to Spain. Tomas Necid saw a chance go wide after 24 minutes and Jaroslav Plasil forced Volkan Babacan into a save just before half-time.
However, Czech chances were surprisingly limited and it would be the Turks who got the next goal of the game in the 65th minute. Tufan latched onto Mehmet Topal's ball into the box and fired through a crowd of bodies to beat Cech at his near-post. At that point, despite their best efforts, there was no coming back for Pavel Vrba's men.
A particular bright spot for Turkey was the performance of Emre Mor. The 18 year old winger only made his national team debut in May during the build-up to this tournament and was influential in his first international start, creating Yilmaz's opening goal as well as some other chances. He has agreed to join Borussia Dortmund next season and will be one to watch.
Czech Republic: Petr Cech; Pavel Kaderabek, Roman Hubnik, Tomas Sivok, Daniel Pudil; Borek Dockal (Josef Sural, 71), David Pavelka (Milan Skoda, 57), Vladimir Darida, Jaroslav Plasil (Daniel Kolar, 90), Ladislav Krejci; Tomas Necid.
Subs not used: Tomás Koubek (GK), Tomás Vaclík (GK), Michal Kadlec, Theodor Gebre Selassie, Marek Suchy, David Limbersky, Tomas Rosicky, Jirí Skalák, David Lafata.
Bookings: J Plasil (36), D Pavelka (39), Sural (87).
Turkey: Volkan Babacan; Gokhan Gonul, Mehmet Topal, Hakan Balta, Ismahil Koybasi; Emre Mor (Olcay Sahan, 69), Ozan Tufan, Selcuk Inan, Volkan Sen (Oguzhan Ozyakub, 61); Arda Turan; Burak Yilmaz (Cenk Tosun, 90).
Subs Not Used: Onur Kivrak (GK), Harun Tekin (GK), Semih Kaya, Ahmet Calik, Sener Ozbayrakli, Caner Erkin, Yunus Maili, Nuri Sahin, Hakan Calhanoglu.
Bookings: I Koybasi (35), H Balta (50).
Referee: William Collum (SCO).
Attendance: 35,000.
Extratime Man of the Match: Emre Mor (Turkey).

Leave a Comment

Fran Reilly

Fran Reilly joined in February 2015 having previously written for the Drogheda/Fingal Independents, and the Cork City matchday programme. Though only part of the ET family for a relatively short time, the Donaghmede native has already had the opportunity to cover League of Ireland clubs both domestically and in Europe, as well as Republic of Ireland internationals. He can count Martin O'Neill, Roy Keane and Dutch footballing legend Ruud Gullit amongst those he has come face-to-face with during his line of ET work. He still hopes to someday meet Henrik Larsson.

Fran was once sent to watch Lionel Messi play in the Aviva Stadium for Barcelona but left feeling underwhelmed as his performance fell some way short of replicating Wes Hoolahan's against Deportivo la Coruna in August 2004. That famous night was enough to make Fran a Shels fan and he even pulled on the red shirt himself once for Owen Heary's tribute match in November 2013. Hilariously, he saw a penalty saved by unforgiving goalkeeper Lee Murphy, then at Bohemians.

His one day spell as a member of the Extratime media six-a-side panel fared no better, his status as a reporter coming under threat following a string of less than inspirational performances. However, he convinced the ET hierarchy to persevere with him so he lingers on, covering whatever clubs he can reach by public transport. You can follow Fran on Twitter (@FranTomReilly) where he spends most of his time retweeting other people's LOI views and news and claiming them as his own.

More articles from Fran Reilly

image description Photographer: Harold Cunningham/UEFA

Book Review: Gods Vs Mortals by Paul Keane

by Fran Reilly on Sat, Sep 10 2016

In light of Dundalk's recent European adventure, a review of a book chronicling the greatest exploits of all League of ...... Read more

image description Photographer: Matt Kirkham

League Preview: Cork City -v- Longford Town

by Fran Reilly on Fri, Aug 26 2016

Having met in the FAI Cup just six days ago at the City Calling Stadium, Cork City and Longford Town ...... Read more

image description Photographer: Tom Beary

FAI Cup Preview: Bohemians -v- Derry City

by Fran Reilly on Thu, Aug 18 2016

Bohemians' last outing in this competition saw them end a seven game goalless streak as they defeated Galway United 2-0 ...... Read more

image description

Book Review: A Life Too Short - The Tragedy of Robert Enke

by Fran Reilly on Thu, Aug 11 2016

The importance of Ronald Reng's biography of German goalkeeper Robert Enke is not in how it captures him on the ...... Read more

image description Photographer: Eoin Smith

League Report: Shelbourne 1 - 2 UCD

by Fran Reilly on Sat, Aug 06 2016

Second-half goals from Gary O'Neill and Jason McClelland secured UCD a 2-1 win over Shelbourne at Tolka Park which sees ...... Read more

image description Photographer: Eddie Lennon

Cormac Raftery leaves Galway United

by Fran Reilly on Thu, Aug 04 2016

Raftery signed for Galway from Salthill Devon mid-way through the 2014 campaign and became part of the squad which won ...... Read more