Turkey Triumphs Over Georgia in Thrilling Euro 2024 Opener

Turkey kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign with an exhilarating 3-1 win over Georgia, captivating a sea of passionate fans despite the downpour in Dortmund.

The match, held at the iconic Westfalenstadion, saw Turkey dominate, with Real Madrid’s Arda Guler scoring a spectacular goal in the 65th minute. This victory sets the stage for an exciting tournament for Turkey.

Turkey Triumphs Over Georgia in Thrilling Euro 2024 Opener
Turkey began Euro 2024 with a winning record thanks to a stunning performance by Arda Guler. @Sky Sports

Tuesday’s exhilarating 3-1 victory over Georgia gave Turkey’s Euro 2024 campaign a rousing start and delighted a fervent army of supporters in a drenched Dortmund. At a Westfalenstadion filled with tens of thousands of Turkey supporters, Real Madrid midfielder Arda Guler scored a spectacular goal in the 65th minute. As Georgia battled for a late equalizer, Kerem Akturkoglu rolled home the third goal deep into stoppage time.

The 19-year-old Guler, who struggled with injuries during his first season in Madrid, came up big for Turkey against Georgia in a very competitive game that did not seem out of place for them in their first-ever meeting at a major international tournament.

Just after the half-hour mark, Georges Mikautadze equalized Mert Muldur’s opening goal for Turkey, and Georgia was dangerous. However, a string of saves and blocks kept them from scoring a second equalizer.

However, Akturkoglu ensured that Turkey would top the group before Portugal’s Tuesday night encounter with the Czech Republic. Turkey attacked Georgia right away, pressing their inexperienced opponent high up the pitch as a loud cheer went up from the fans. Turkey seized their ardent backing as a cue.

Within the first ten minutes, Kaan Ayhan and Abdulkerim Bardakci both missed headers from corners before Ayhan slammed a low shot off the inside of the post. And in a thrilling first half, Anzor Mekvabishvili nearly gave Georgia a startling lead in the eleventh minute, but Mert Gunok stopped his crazily deflected effort.

However, Muldur’s magnificent volley in the 25th minute, following Ferdi Kadioglu’s cross that was cleared to him on the edge of the box, set off wild celebrations in the stands.

Just as the cheers following Muldur’s goal were starting to die down, Kenan Yildiz thought he had given Turkey their second goal, only to have it disallowed because the Juventus attacker’s toes had strayed offside before he could tap in.

Also Read: Euro 2024: Portugal’s Thrilling 2-1 Comeback Victory Over Czech Republic

And in the 32nd minute, following some excellent movement down the right, Mikautadze startled the crowd that was essentially at home by scooping home Giorgi Kochorashvili’s low cross.

Shortly afterward, the boisterous but modest Georgian support had their hands in their pockets as Mikautadze appeared likely to put their team ahead but squandered a huge opportunity.

Following the half, Georgia held their own and Mikautadze was right in the heart of things again when Bardakci blocked his shot following Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s break down the left. Turkey had once again opened the game strongly.

In the 62nd minute, Kvaratskhelia, who had performed poorly the entire game, missed a good opportunity. A few moments later, Guler took aim from a distance and fired an unstoppable shot past the inconsolable Giorgi Mamardashvili.

Five minutes after Guler’s goal, Georgia attempted for another equalizer and came agonizingly near when Kochorashvili dribbled past a few feeble attempts only to see his shot ricochet off the crossbar.

Unfortunately, though, Kochorashvili and Zuriko Davitashvili were unable to tie the score in extra time as Akturkoglu scored a breakaway goal to cap off an exciting victory and Mamardashvili advanced for a final attempt.

Turkey Triumphs Over Georgia in Thrilling Euro 2024 Opener
Photo Credit: Sky Sports
Manager Vincenzo Montella of Turkey:

“It was a game deserving of the championship. This was the finest present I could have gotten because today is my 50th birthday.”In the last three Euros, we have never advanced past the group stage; the last time, we did not even get a point. “Winning this game was our first goal. We want to win the next one and go to the knockout stage now that we have won this one.”

Willy Sagnol, head coach of Georgia:

In response to Turkey’s 3-1 victory, he said, “Yes and no.” It’s never nice, in my opinion, to lose. But I believe that something else is more crucial for my team and me. Furthermore, I believe we have presented a really positive picture of Georgian football. On that, we may feel well.

Naturally, we had plenty of chances to score—probably even more than Turkey had. However, that’s the nature of football—one team wins and another loses. While we shouldn’t consider ourselves happy losers for the day, we should be pleased with how we performed.

Regarding the likelihood of leaving the group: “Of course, you can aim to leave the group when you begin Euro. However, as previously stated, our first priority is to deliver quality performances, since this is how we will continue to improve going forward.

“Competitions such as that should enable both the players and staff to be even stronger in the future, especially since Georgia is still at a very vital developmental phase. However, I can assure you that on Saturday, I am positive that we will provide a performance along these lines. And just thinking about Saturday has me giddy with anticipation.”

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