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Turkiye kept knockout stage promise after Czechia win, says Yilmaz

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Jun 2024

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Baris Alper Yilmaz said Turkiye kept their promise as a team of reaching the knockout stages of Euro 2024 following their 2-1 win over 10-man Czechia.

Vincenzo Montella’s side left it late to secure second place in Group F, as Cenk Tosun’s late strike set up a date with Austria in Leipzig next Tuesday.

It marked the first time that Turkiye had progressed from the group stage of the European Championships since 2008, with Yilmaz playing a starring role in their triumph.

“I want to be as useful to the team as possible,” substitute Yilmaz said after picking up the man of the match award.

“It was a really difficult match. We made it to the last 16, we are very happy.

“When we talked with our friends before the camp, our only goal was to get out of the group. We kept our promise and left the group. Now we will proceed step by step.”

For Czechia, their winless run at the Euros continued, and they have now failed to win a match in a single edition of the tournament for the second time, after Euro 2016.

Antonin Barak’s early dismissal did not help their cause, although Tomas Soucek’s equaliser provided the hope of staging an unlikely comeback.

“It is a disappointment because we all wanted to advance,” Soucek said. “We were set up for it. I thought that was enough… and it is a disappointment because we didn’t make it.

“I said before the match that I hope it will not happen (the sending-off). It is the third match…. But of course there are many situations that we should have handled as a team.

“It was difficult. We knew that to get goal would be complicated, we didn’t want to give up a goal. We were happy to get the equaliser… Everyone did the maximum. The morale was huge. Just a sad end.

“We had some bad luck in goals. There was bad luck with decisions. But that is football. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.”

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