Czech Republic 0-2 Turkey: Burak Yilmaz and Ozan Tufan keep Euro 2016 hopes alive
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 22/06/16 12:05am
Turkey recorded their first win of Euro 2016 to beat Czech Republic 2-0 in Lens on Tuesday and keep alive their hopes of reaching the last 16.
Burak Yilmaz scored their opening goal of the tournament after 10 minutes, firing a first-time shot past Petr Cech.
Tomas Sivok hit the post as Czech Republic went in search of an equaliser, but Turkey doubled their lead when Ozan Tufan lashed home at the near post 20 minutes after half-time.
Defeat for Czech Republic means they finish bottom of Group D and are eliminated, while Turkey must wait for Wednesday's games to discover if they qualify as a best third-place finisher.
The result also means Northern Ireland, who lost to Germany 1-0 on Tuesday, have confirmed their place in the last-16 thanks to a third-place finish in Group C and a superior goal difference compared to Turkey and Albania.
Turkey and Czech Republic had met just once before at a major tournament, when the former overturned a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 at Euro 2008, but this time Fatih Terim's side got off to a flying start.
Emre Mor was released down the right by Arda Turan, and the young winger provided the perfect cross for Yilmaz to sweep home from close range.
The Czechs nearly responded immediately but Sivok's towering header came back off the post, while Jaroslav Plasil drew a save from Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Babacan with a firm hit from distance.
Pavel Kaderabek proved a constant thorn in Turkey's side down the right, but the Czech full-back twice squandered promising opportunities to bring his side level before the break, and Turkey made them pay when they doubled their lead on 65 minutes.
Selcuk Inan's teasing free-kick was kept alive in the Czech box, and despite suspicions of offside, Mehmet Topal teed up Tufan to blast in their second.
Having clawed back a 2-0 deficit to draw in their previous game against Croatia, Czech Republic pressed forward in search of a route back into the match.
They tested Turkey goalkeeper Babacan on several occasions and were left frustrated when substitute Josep Sural's fine low cross somehow avoided a Czech touch.
Terim's side retained a threat on the counter, and knowing a 4-0 win would send them through on the night, nearly scored a third from Olcay Sahan with seven minutes to play.
Two late Turkish goals would have kept Northern Ireland waiting, but neither Turkey nor Czech Republic threatened again in the final stages to send Michael O'Neill's side through to the last 16.
While the Czechs are out, Turkey must wait for Group E and Group F to conclude before they find out whether three points and a -2 goal difference is enough to send them through.