Euro 2016: Czech Republic Meets With Turkey For Spot in Last 16
Czech Republic and Turkey met in the group stage of Euro 2008 in Geneva and Turkey came back from two goals down to win 3-2. That sent the Turks on the road to an eventual spot in the semifinals.
- Czech Republic face Turkey in Lens on Tuesday
- Turkey cannot finish in top-2 of Group D
- Both teams will be looking for the first win of the event
The two teams met in the group stage at theEuropean Championship eight years ago in Geneva, andTurkey came back from two goals down to win 3-2. That sent the Turks on the road to an eventual spot in the semifinals.
This year, the teams occupy the bottom two places in Group D. Neither has impressed so far in France, but they will get their chance to turn things around on Tuesday at Stade Bollaert-Delelis.
"Advancement to the next stage still will be at stake in our final game," Czech Republic coach Pavel Vrba said, "and that's positive."
After losing 1-0 to two-time defending champion Spain, the Czechs earned a point in one of the tournament's most dramatic matches as they salvaged a 2-2 draw with Croatia. It was the first time at Euro 2016 that a team has come back from two goals down.
Turkey, however, has yet to score a goal in its two matches, losing to Croatia 1-0 and to Spain 3-0.
In the match against Spain, Turkey's fans turned on captain Arda Turan, booing him when he played the ball. They also used flares and a smoke bomb in the stands and repeatedly threw firecrackers onto the field after the final whistle.
Spain has already qualified from Group D with six points from two matches and Croatia is likely to secure a spot in the round of 16 with four points. Those two teams meet in Bordeaux at the same time as the Czechs face Turkey.
The tournament's new system allows for four of the six third-place teams to advance to the round of 16. But a win is a must, although it still might not be enough in the case of Turkey.
Turkey's woes so far have prompted coach Fatih Terim to apologize to the team's fans.
"For those who do support us, please keep up that support for the match against the Czech Republic," said Terim, the coach of the team at Euro 2008.
Terim also has to reconsider his options in attack after Cenk Tosum and Burak Yilmaz have failed to score.
For the Czechs, they will be playing without captain Tomas Rosicky. He was ruled out because of a thigh injury he picked up against Croatia. In his place as playmaker, Vrba might use Sparta Prague midfielder Borek Dockal, but he has no one available with the skills and creativity of Rosicky.