Euro 2024

Turkey Triumph Over Austria to Set Up Euro 2024 Quarter-Final Clash with Netherlands

Merih Demiral’s two goals helped Turkey secure a 2-1 victory over Austria in Leipzig, setting up a Euro 2024 quarter-final matchup against the Netherlands.

Turkey’s win was sealed by a stunning stoppage-time save from goalkeeper Mert Gunok, preventing a late equalizer.

Austria, who had started strong in their previous matches, found themselves on the back foot early on. Turkey’s teenage sensation Arda Guler delivered a corner just 57 seconds into the match, which Austria’s goalkeeper Patrick Pentz failed to clear, allowing Demiral to fire home. This goal set a new record as the fastest in European Championship knockout stages history.

Despite Austria being the favorites after a convincing 6-1 win over Turkey in March, Turkey rose to the challenge. Marko Arnautovic missed a critical opportunity to level the score when he failed to chip the ball over Gunok. Austria couldn’t find the equalizer, and just before the hour mark, Demiral scored his second goal from another expertly delivered Guler corner, giving Turkey a 2-0 lead.

Austria’s substitute Michael Gregoritsch managed to score, reducing the deficit and setting up a tense finish. However, Turkey’s goalkeeper Gunok produced a remarkable save in the final moments, denying Christoph Baumgartner’s header and securing Turkey’s place in the next round.

Key Moments:

  • Fastest Goal in Knockout History: Merih Demiral scored just 57 seconds into the match, the quickest goal ever in a European Championship knockout stage.
  • Demiral’s Double: Both of Demiral’s goals came from Arda Guler’s corners, showcasing the teenager’s exceptional delivery.
  • Gunok’s Heroics: Mert Gunok’s stoppage-time save from Christoph Baumgartner’s header was pivotal in maintaining Turkey’s lead.

Tactical Insights:

  • Vincenzo Montella’s Strategy: Despite the absence of playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu due to suspension, Montella’s strategy, emphasizing set-pieces and solid defense, paid off.
  • Austria’s Missed Opportunities: Austria’s inability to convert key chances, particularly Arnautovic’s missed opportunity, was crucial in their defeat.

Turkey will now face the Netherlands in what promises to be an exciting quarter-final clash. With players like Guler and Demiral in form, and Gunok providing a reliable last line of defense, Turkey will be optimistic about their chances of progressing further in Euro 2024.

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