Monday, June 16, 2008

Turkey V/s Czech Republic Euro 2008

I must be honest. I was busy checking out stuff on the web and hardly paid attention to what happened in the first half. Just glanced at the TV in time to see Koller score the opener. The commentary in the background had given me the idea that the Czech seemed to be doing better and that Sionko was being particularly influential.

My interest was piqued when Sabri Sarioglu came on the pitch. I bought him for Newcastle United in FIFA Manager ’08 and he has not really been a great investment so I wanted to see what he is worth in real football. Looked very good. Fast down the right, capable of winning balls and sending crosses from close to the by-line. He was partially to blame for the second goal though, being the last man trying to block Plasil’s effort.

Turkey had been dominating at that time (in spite of Koller missing a sitter moments before Plasil’s goal), but when the Czech’s second goal went in, it seemed to be all over for them. But suddenly something changed after that. The Czech’s seemed to get a little casual and the Turk’s got one back through Arda.

As soon as I saw Plasil getting substituted around the 80th minute mark, I wondered that the Turk’s may still take it to penalties and wouldn’t he be needed then? Anyway, Fatih Terim’s men continued to try and get the ball in the opponent’s box and the Czech’s had not really woken up in spite of conceding the first. That the blunder that allowed Nihat to equalize came from Petr Cech was really the only big surprise.

But obviously it was not over yet. An off side trap gone all wrong and a late winner for the Turk’s scored by Nihat and it ended 3-2. Turks through, Czech’s gone.

Bruckner will look back at the last 15 minutes of his reign with disbelief and Cech will want to change the moment for the rest of his life. But I am going to interpret this as a sign that this tournament will continue to reward those who look to score and not to sit.Turkey have now won it twice after trailing and will be very very confident going into the knockout stages. Terim has shown the world that he is capable of delivering big and not just once. Just wondering if he would have figured in Abramovich’s scheme of things had Scolari like Ancelotti turned Chelsea down. They do have to deal with injuries and a suspended goal keeper but but in spite of what happens from now on, the Turks will have written their story in this tournament.

1 comment:

Gaurav said...

Fortune favors the brave. They were brave and fortune favored them. Turks are my new favorites. I salute Terim for making 3 changes in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Very few managers have the courage to do that in a big game. Not surprising, given the media pressure on them. Remember Ranieri for Chelsea vs Monaco. The poor man was going for the kill against a 10-men Monaco when his team lost the plot and he lost his job.
And what about the Turkish players themselves? They were gallant, fighting a losing battle but never looking like giving up. Nihat was lucky the first time, magical the second time.
All hail the Turks.