Turkey stormed into the quarter-finals by claiming second place in Group A thanks to a thrilling 3-2 win over the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, hosts Switzerland bowed out of Euro 2008 after a 2-0 win over already qualified Portugal.
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Two goals in the last three minutes gave Turkey a remarkable 3-2 win over Czech Republic in a winner-take-all Euro 2008 thriller on Sunday, earning a quarter-final meeting with Croatia.
The Czechs went 2-0 up with a first-half goal from their all-time leading scorer Jan Koller and a 62nd-minute effort from midfielder Jaroslav Plasil.
Arda Turan pulled one back 15 minutes from time and equalised in dramatic style with three minutes to go when keeper Petr Cech inexplicably dropped the ball for Nihat Kahveci to slide the ball into an empty net.
The Turks grabbed the winner two minutes later when Nihat broke clear to fire his side in front with a right-foot shot from the edge of the area.
The drama did not end there as Turkey keeper Volkan Demirel was sent off in stoppage time.
Turkey finished with six points, three ahead of the Czechs, who were eliminated along with co-hosts Switzerland. Portugal were top.
The breakthrough came after 34 minutes when Koller headed powerfully into the top corner with Volkan palming the ball on to the underside of the bar and in.
The goal was fully deserved after the Czechs dominated most of a tense, error-strewn opening 45 minutes.
The second came after Turkey had come out of their shell and attacked for most of the opening 15 minutes of the second half.
Although captain Nihat went close with a flick that flew over Cech's bar, Turkey found themselves 2-0 down when Plasil slid in to steer the ball past Volkan after a fine cross from the right by Libor Sionko.
Swiss salvage honour
Switzerland salvaged some honour from the Euro 2008 tournament they are co-hosting by finishing with a 2-0 victory over Group A winners Portugal on Sunday.
Hakan Yakin scored both goals for the Swiss, already sure of finishing bottom of the four-team group after losing their first two games against Czech Republic and Turkey, netting in the 71st minute and in the 84th from a penalty.
Portugal rested most of their regular players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, and went close to scoring with Nani twice striking the woodwork.
Portugal meet the runners-up of Group B, either Germany, Austria or Poland, in the quarter-finals in Basel on Thursday.
Date created : 2008-06-15