Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Austria 1-2 Turkiye: Demiral double sets up quarter-final against Netherlands

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Jul 2024

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Turkiye’s Merih Demiral produced a record-breaking opener before his second goal secured a 2-1 victory over Austria at Euro 2024, teeing up a quarter-final meeting with the Netherlands.

Ralf Rangnick’s side topped Group D ahead of France and Ronald Koeman’s Oranje, but came unstuck in the first knockout round on Tuesday in Leipzig.

Demiral scored after just 57 seconds for the fastest knockout-stage goal in European Championship history, before doubling Turkiye’s lead, and his own account, after the interval.

Michael Gregoritsch offered Austria hope with his 66th-minute finish, yet Vincenzo Montella’s men – saved by last-gasp Mert Gunok heroics – held on to progress into the last-eight clash in Berlin on Saturday.

Demiral struck first with less than a minute on the clock, smashing in from point-blank range after Patrick Pentz tipped away an Austrian deflection from Arda Guler’s right-sided corner.

Christoph Baumgartner almost responded immediately, though, dancing towards the perimeter of the area before whistling a right-footed drive narrowly wide of Gunok’s left-hand post.

Another chance fell Baumgartner’s way moments later as Demiral failed to clear Romano Schmid’s corner, though the stretching Austria forward was unable to get the decisive touch at the back post.

Those missed opportunities would come back to haunt Rangnick’s side after 59 minutes when Guler delivered another corner onto the head of Demiral, who powered home from inside the six-yard box.

Substitute Gregoritsch halved the arrears just seven minutes later, steering in after Stefan Posch’s flick-on before Baumgartner’s header was denied by an expert Gunok stop in stoppage time.

That Gunok save will live long in the memory of Turkish supporters after progressing to the quarter-finals for the first time in 16 years.

Data Debrief: Turkiye living in Demiral dreamland

Demiral is the first Turkish player to score a brace at the Euros since Nihat Kahveci against Chechia in 2008, and the first-ever player for his country to do so in the knockout rounds.

Turkiye now have the earliest goal scorers in knockout rounds at both the European Championships and the World Cup (Hakan Sukur versus Korea Republic in 2002 – 0:11), since records began in 1966.

Austria’s undoing came at the hands of a familiar foe, too, as Rangnick’s men have now gone winless in their last six meetings with Turkiye, who will now hope to down the Netherlands in four days’ time.

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