Czech Republic 0-2 Turkey: Turks keep last-16 bid alive

Burak Yilmaz celebrates after scoring Turkey's opener against Czech Republic in Lens. Picture: Philippe Lopez /AFP/Getty Images
Burak Yilmaz celebrates after scoring Turkey's opener against Czech Republic in Lens. Picture: Philippe Lopez /AFP/Getty Images
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Burak Yilmaz and Ozan Tufan fired Turkey to a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic that sent Northern Ireland into the last 16 of Euro 2016.

Turkey’s first points of the tournament, in their final Group D game in Lens, also gave them hope of progressing to the next stage as one of the best third-placed teams.

After defeats by Croatia and Spain, Turkey knew they would have to win by at least two goals to keep their tournament alive. They achieved that with strikes in each half from Yilmaz and Tufan.

Had they scored four, they would have gone through immediately, but, while they must now wait on other results, Northern Ireland can prepare for the knockout stages. The Czechs, meanwhile, slipped to the bottom of the group and will head home.

Turkey’s victory was deserved but hard-earned. The Czechs made a positive start but were caught on the break after just ten minutes as Turkey seized on a loose ball.

Emre Mor clipped the ball into the box and Yilmaz got himself ahead of Tomas Sivok to turn the ball in at the near post.

The Czechs went close to an equaliser before the interval as Necid headed across goal following a poor Turkish clearance but Kaderabek was unable to turn in at the far post.

Turkey doubled their lead midway through the second half after the Czechs failed to deal with a free-kick lobbed into the area by Selcuk Inan. The ball found its way to the feet of Mehmet Topal and he laid off for Tufan to smash a shot into the top corner.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Cech, Kaderabek, Sivok, Hubnik, Pudil, Pavelka (Skoda 57), Darida, Plasil (Kolar 90), Dockal (Sural 71), Necid, Krejci. Subs not used: Vaclik, Kadlec, Gebre Selassie, Limbersky, Rosicky, Suchy, Skalak, Lafata, Koubek.

TURKEY: Babacan, Gonul, Topal, Balta, Koybasi, Mor (Sahan 69), Tufan, Inan, Sen (Ozyakup 60), Turan, Yilmaz (Tosun 90). Subs not used: Kivrak, Kaya, Calik, Sahin, Calhanoglu, Erkin, Malli, Ozbayrakli, Tekin.