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EURO2016: Turkey see off Czech Republic to clinch third

After a poor start to the tournament, Turkey have kept their hopes of Euro2016 progression alive with a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic in Lens.

Winless after two games, victory was required for one of these sides if either were to progress from Group D to the knockout stages by virtue of the third-placed rule.

As such it was a frantic start as both Czech Republic and Turkey looked to get forward from the outset.

It was Turkey though who were to issue the first shot on target which led to the opening goal on 10 minutes.

Turkey's first goal of the tournament coming courtesy of Burak Yilmaz who finished neatly at the near post after Emre Mor galloped down the right and delivered a low cross into the area.

The Czechs responded well as Tomas Sivok headed against the post with 17 minutes played as they wasted no time looking for an equaliser.

Turkey were lucky to hold on as the Czech Republic had shots either side of 23 minutes go wide.

With 31 minutes played, the Czechs again went within millimetres of drawing level as right-back Pavel Kaderabek only just failed to get to the back post in time to tap in a ball played across goal.

Czech defender Jaroslav Plasil then tried his luck from range on 38 minutes as he forced Volkan Babacan into a fine save as his effort looked to creep under the cross bar.

Plasil and David Pavelka of the Czech Republic and Ismail Koybasi of Turkey were all shown yellow cards as an electric first half came to an end.

While Turkey were in front, more goals were needed if they were any hope of qualifying for the next round. The Czechs meanwhile could qualify automatically with a win.

With so much at stake, the second half produced a fiery start as Gokhan Gonul went down in his box with blood pouring from his face after a clash of heads.

Turkey carving out the first clear chance of the half as the lively Mor ran across goal at the top of the box and eventually shot high on 58 minutes.

In reply, the Czechs went straight up the other end and forced Babacan into two diving, though relatively comfortable saves in consecutive minutes.

Despite plenty of effort in attack, it was to be Turkey that were to find the back of the net next as they extended their lead with 65 minutes played. Ozan Tufan lashing it home first-time at the far post after a Turkey free-kick to breathe life into their hopes of qualifying.

The Czech Republic were edging possession for much of this encounter but without captain and Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky, they struggled to create anything of substance.

Substitute Josef Surak did well for the Czechs on 77 minutes to flash a ball across the face of goal and just wide of the left post.

The Czech Republic had already staged one 2-0 comeback this tournament and did turn a deficit against Turkey around in the 2008 Euros, but this game was controlled very well from a determined Turkey side who refused to indulge any notions of a comeback.

Babacan saving well on 80 and 84 minutes as the Czechs failed to find the back of the Turkish net.

Turkey finishing third in Group D with a goal differential of -2 as they await other results to see if they can progress as one of the best third-placed sides.

For the Czech Republic their tournament is now over.

Euro2016 - Group D

Czech Republic: 0
Turkey: 2 (Burak Yilmaz 10', Ozan Tufan 65')
Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens - 32,836

Joshua Thomas
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Joshua Thomas

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