Euro round up: Turkey beat debutant Georgia, late goal saves Portugal's blushes

June 19, 2024 - 08:44
Before the match kicked off, a torrential downpour in Dortmund soaked the pitch and leaked through the stadium roof.
Turkey's Kerem Akturkoglu (R) celebrates scoring his team's third goal in the win over Georgia. AFP/VNA Photo

Xuân Đăng

Turkey - Georgia: Guler makes difference

Before the match kicked off, a torrential downpour in Dortmund soaked the pitch and leaked through the stadium roof.

Germany is home to around five million people with Turkish roots, and the Ruhr industrial area around Dortmund has a huge Turkish community.

On Tuesday night, the famous Yellow Wall of the Signal Iduna Park was painted red.

Real Madrid playmaker Arda Guler scored a brilliant goal, along with strikes by Mert Muldur and Kerem Akturkoglu, to delight the masses of Turkish supporters.

Turkey took the lead thanks to Mert Muldur's volley into the top corner. Moments later the stadium erupted again as Kenan Yildiz thought he had made it two-nil. The goal was ruled out by VAR.

In the 32nd minute, Georgia got an equaliser.

The Turkish defenders were focussed on the Georgian winger, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, the undoubted star of the team, but his teammate Georges Mikautadze fired the ball low into the near corner to level

After the equaliser, Georgia created a defensive wall of their own which Turkey struggled to break down until the magic moment created by youngster Guler.

The Real Madrid player curled the ball from the right-hand side into the top corner to give Turkey the breakthrough in the 65th minute.

This goal made him the first teenager since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2004 to score on his Euros debut.

Georgia had some great chances to equalise and even hit the post in injury time, Giorgi Kochorashvili and Zuriko Davitashvili were both unfortunate and goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili pushed forward for one last effort

Kerem Akturkoglu scored a breakaway goal at the death to seal the victory for Turkey.

Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was below his best but despite defeat his team offered enough to give themselves hope for the matches ahead, against the Czech Republic and then Portugal.

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo appeared at a record sixth European Championship on Tuesday. AFP/VNA Photo

Portugal - Czech Republic: Late goal gets three points for the Selecao

The match saw new records with Cristiano Ronaldo playing at his sixth European Championship and 41-year-old defender Pepe becoming the tournament's oldest ever player.

Bruno Fernandes came closest to picking the lock in the first half, dissecting the Czech rearguard to find Cristiano Ronaldo in the 32nd minute, but his strike was denied by Jindřich Staněk.

The Czechs spoiled the party with an opener against the run of play through Lukas Provod's fine strike from the edge of the box in the 62th minute.

Seven minutes later, Portugal were level when Czech goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek pushed away a header from Nuno Mendes, but not far away from the leg of Robin Hranac, the ball bounced back into the defender’s own net.

Ronaldo try his best to quickly take lead, but the striker hit the post with the score tied and Diogo Jota nodded in the rebound but the goal was disallowed for offside against Ronaldo.

Coach Roberto Martínez made one of his greatest substitution with Francisco Conceicao and Pedro Neto came on in the 90th minute and both of them combined to score in the 91st minute.

Conceicao, struck from close range to help the team take the lead.

"Things were tough for us today, but for the way they reacted, we deserved to win," said Martinez.

"Francisco is the ultimate example of 'earning it'. He showed he was ready to help the squad. He's a very mature player and has a nose for danger in the box.

"Francisco is doing what he has done for the past four months for his club team. It's not easy; he showed character and his worth." VNS