Turkey get past Czechia in a thriller at Euro 2024

Hakan Calhanoglu (Left)/ Tomas Soucek (Middle)/ J. Stanek walking out after injury (Right) [Image: Euro 2024 & TRT1]
Own goals and late goals have grabbed headlines on multiple occasions in Euro 2024. As Czechia and Turkey met at the Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, fans saw another late-goal thriller. In this Group F clash, Turkey stood at the second position and Czechia at No.3 at the start of the game. The table saw ups and downs during the course of the game, also because of the other clash in this group between Portugal and Georgia, where the latter managed a 2-0 upset.

The match in Hamburg ended in a 2-1 win for Turkey, as Cenk Tosun scored the winner in the 94th minute. The match was marred by various furious moments between the Romanian referee, Istvan Kovacs, players and even the team management. Certainly, there were reasons. The ‘heated-up’ match featured 16 yellow cards, two red cards and 25 fouls.

Czechia started the match with a high-press approach. They needed a win to go through but Turkey just had to avoid a defeat. Turkey had their attack shaped in false-tactics with both the teenagers, Arda Guler and Kenan Yildiz going from both ends and the Turkish number 10, Calhanoglu, held the central midfield and forward line.


The first big incident in the match happened in the 22nd minute, when the Czechia No. 7, Antonin Barak was sent off due to a second yellow card within nine minutes. The first yellow card was a clear one where Barak pulled down Kadiglou by his shirt in the 15th minute. The second time, he was unlucky, caught off guard between two Turkish players and a nudge by Hakan Calhanoglu from the back, which made him lose his balance as Barak stumbled upon a player. He was sent off with a second yellow card but was furious with the decision. This was the earliest send off in the Euro Cup. Earlier, it was Erik Abidal of France, when he was sent off with a straight red against Italy in Euro 2008.

Czechia going down to ten men right after 20th minute in the game, switched to an all-defence approach with a five-man defence line and four-men handling the midfield and relying on counter attacks.

Czechia’s 5-4 strategy after the red card (Image: TRT1)

The second half saw better open play approach from both the sides. Turkey took the lead through a right footed punch by their number 10, but the goal had a story. The first shot by Yildiz was saved by the Czechia goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek, but in doing so he hurt his right shoulder in an awkward fall, and the Czech defense couldn’t clear the ball. The ball rolled back to Ismail Yuksek and he passed it onto Calhanoglu, who thumped it into the far bottom corner. The Czech goalkeeper appealed to stop play, but the referee didn’t stop and so didn’t the Turkish number 10. Stanek couldn’t continue, and the substitute goalkeeper, Matej Kovar had to be brought on.

Jindrich Stanek appealing for the game to stop as Hakan Canhagoglu is about to take the shot [Image: TRT1]
It was now a do-or-die for Czechia and they had a mountain to climb. Open play and back-to-back attacks on the Turkish goal opened up their chances. In the 66th minute, the Czechia skipper pulled one back for his team from a throw movement. Tomas Soucek fired the ball in the back of the Turkish net after a mishap happened while collecting the ball. There was a long VAR check for foul on the Turkish goalkeeper Goruk, but was denied and a goal awarded.

Overall, the second half of the match had more chances and Czechia’s desperation was evident in their gameplay. Czechia had to score one more goal to qualify and Turkey would have been out then, because Georgia, in the other game, were leading 2-0. But Tosun’s 94th minute strike crushed the hopes for Czechia and sealed it for Turkey. The No. 9, who came in as a substitute in the second half, received the ball from Kokcu in the left side of the box. He then worked his way into the box and swirled it in past the goalkeeper in the far corner.

After the final whistle, there were multiple protests from the Czechia bench and management. In a volatile situation, the Romanian referee flashed the red card to Czechia’s Tomas Chory for violent conduct.

Canhagoglu’s goal (Via: @Euro2024)