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Preview: Turkey – Czech Republic

SoccerNews in European Championships 14 Jun 2008

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Europe is up for a true thriller when Turkey face the Czech Republic in their final group A match on Sunday.

The team that wins the match, will advance to the quarter finals of Euro 2008 behind group winners Portugal.

But in case of a draw, a whole new rule kicks in. As both teams currently have the same amount of points and the exact same goal record, they would need a penalty shoot out to decide which country survives and which doesn’t.

The penalty shoot out rule was created by UEFA just ahead of this tournament and means that whenever two teams finish with the same amount of points and goal record, face each other in their last game and draw, while no other team has the same amount of points as well, a shoot out will be used to decide the clash.

The first shoot out ever in a major tournament’s group phase therefore, is a very realistic option.

Turkey thank their current chances to their injury time goal against hosts Switzerland, which left the home team in tears but gave Turkey the chance to get out of this group alive.

But coach Fatih Terim will probably have to do with both of his central midfielders. Emre Belozoglu was already injured and Tümer Metin is dealing with a groin injury.

Czech Republic defender David Rozehnal hopes to decide the match without penalties being needed: “Obviously anything is possible, though we will try to decide the match in the 90 minutes.

“To be honest, the last time I took a penalty was when I was 17. There are better players than me to take the penalties, but if the coach says that I have to take one, then I will.”

The match, which will be led by Swedish referee Peter Fröjdfeldt, will be played at the same time (20:45 CET) as the other group match, at the Swiss Stade de Genève.

Recently, these two teams only met in friendlies. The last time was in March of 2006, when the final result was a 2-2 draw.

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