European Qualifiers: Turkey crash Czech party to reclaim third place

Baku, October 11, AZERTAC

Czech Republic plans to celebrate last month's UEFA EURO 2016 qualification in front of their home fans were spoiled by a Turkey team with their own qualifying agenda as Fatih Terim's men won 2-0 in Prague on Saturday night, according to

Second-half goals from Selçuk İnan, with a penalty, and Hakan Çalhanoğlu sufficed for Turkey to regain third place – which the Netherlands had briefly occupied after their earlier victory in Kazakhstan – and move within a point of clinching the play-off berth behind the already qualified Icelanders and Czechs in Group A. Turkey just need a point now from Tuesday's final qualifier at home to Iceland.

Pavel Vrba's hosts, whose own qualification was secured in Latvia, resisted a lively Turkish opening and both sides soon settled to play one-touch passing football through midfield. Yet despite long-range efforts from Vladimír Darida and Arda Turan, the best chance of the first half arrived as late as the 42nd minute. Josef Šural got on the end of a Pavel Kadeřábek cross but failed to time his header which sailed high and wide.

The eventual breakthrough came 17 minutes into the second period. Filip Novák, a first-time starter for the Czechs, brought down Serdar Aziz and Selçuk beat Czech custodian Tomáš Vaclík from the spot with a low strike into the bottom corner.

Selçuk might have added a second after breaking into the penalty box, the midfielder seeing his drilled attempt hit a post. No matter, as the clinching goal finally arrived in the 79th minute when Hakan's cross-shot after a pass from Arda flew into the net.

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