Turkey Secures Euro 2024 Quarter-Final Spot Against the Netherlands After Exciting Win Over Austria

Turkey’s Merih Demiral proved to be the unlikely hero, leading his team to a stunning 2-1 triumph over Austria in the dramatic Euro 2024 round of 16.

Turkey’s victory puts them in the quarterfinals of the European Championship, where they will play the Netherlands for the first time since 2008.

After defeating Romania 3-0 on Tuesday, Vincenzo Montella’s team—which was without banned captain Hakan Calhanoglu but was once again buoyed by a large crowd at the Zentralstadion—will play the Dutch in Berlin on Saturday. In March, Austria defeated Turkey 6-1, and Montella acknowledged that he was seeking to exact revenge for that humiliating loss.

Turkey Secures Euro 2024 Quarter-Final Spot Against the Netherlands After Exciting Win Over Austria
Photo Credit: AFP via Hindustan Times

“I denied it yesterday but today I can admit that Austria was the team I wanted so that I could get rid of that stain that as a coach I had on me,” Montella added.

Turkey hopes to repeat their 16-year-old run to the final four, and they will once more have the support of their boisterous supporters in the German city. Austria, who participated fully in an exciting match and might have won on another day, co-hosted that event.

The majority of the game saw Ralf Rangnick’s team leading, especially in the second half when they pinned Turkey back and gave up the second goal against all odds.

The 1998 World Cup saw Lilian Thuram of France score twice in the round of 32 of a major tournament; Al-Ahli center-back Demiral became the first defender from Europe to do so.

Soon after Demiral scored his fourth goal in 48 caps for his country, Stefan Posch’s flick on at another corner was forced in by Michael Gregoritsch, cutting the deficit in half.

However, Austria failed to capitalize on their superiority and lost after an outstanding save by Mert Gunok kept Christoph Baumgartner from tying the score in the last seconds of extra time.

“I believe if the game had gone into extra-time we would have won the game because the Turkish team were exhausted and we had a physical advantage,” Rangnick stated to reporters.

With a brace in the second half, Cody Gakpo and Donyell Malen made it easy for the Dutch to advance to the round of eight. After losing 3-2 to Austria, Ronald Koeman’s team faced harsh criticism, and as a result, the Oranje placed third in Group D.

However, they were outstanding at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, generating a ton of opportunities and emerging as well-deserved winners.

We responded well from the previous game, and I’m happy about that. Today, we made progress in the right direction,” Liverpool forward Gakpo remarked. “It’s all about aggression and intensity and defending like a team and I think it was a good step and an important one.”

Also Read: England’s Euro 2024 Progress Hinges on Jude Bellingham’s Heroics

The standout player for the Netherlands was Gakpo, who gave his side the lead in the 20th minute with a rasping strike that took goalkeeper Florin Nita off guard at his near post.

Chances came and went as Romania was unable to tie the score, and with seven minutes left, he decided to take matters into his own hands after having what would have been his second goal disallowed for offside.

After a brilliant dribble through a packed penalty area, Gakpo found Malen, who tapped the goal in stoppage time and added the third to make the scoreline more accurate to the balance of play.

“The only critical point was that it took us too long to score the second one,” Koeman remarked. Since we are Dutch, we must perform well. We have a chance to continue because of the fantastic performance we had today.”

On Wednesday, the winner of the match between the Netherlands and Turkey advances to play one of Switzerland and England each week.

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