Sports

Turkey stun France 2-0 in Euro 2020 qualifier

Konya, Jun 9 (IANS) | Publish Date: 6/9/2019 12:34:24 PM IST

Turkey has maintained their 100 per cent record in the Euro 2020 qualification group H with an impressive 2-0 win at home over France.

France’s defeat late on Saturday, which came as a courtesy of two first half goals from Kaan Ayhan and Cengiz Under, was Turkey’s third win in as many games.

The Turks top Group H, having scored eight goals and conceded none so far.

It was a lacklustre performance from France, who dropped into second place after suffering their first loss of the qualification campaign, Efe news reported.

The French, who are among the favourites to win next summer’s tournament and who boast of having some of the world’s finest players all over the pitch, dominated possession but were limited to a paltry four shots, none of which even forced goalkeeper Mert Gunok into a save. 

The defeat leaves the losing Euro 2016 finalists level with Iceland on six points.

Turkey were dominant throughout the game, and their opening goal was no more than they deserved; a deep free-kick was swung into the back post where centre-back Merih Demiral nodded the ball back across the face of goal for an unmarked Ayhan to power in a header past the helpless Hugo Lloris.

Backed by a typically vociferous home crowd, Turkey were rampant, and France were unable to contain the home side’s energy and dynamism.

The Turks doubled their lead shortly before half time when Cengiz Under buried a right-footed shot following careless play on the edge of their box from midfielder Paul Pogba and defender Samuel Umtiti.

France were under par for much of the game and never came close to getting on the score sheet. It was the first time in a decade that Les Bleus have failed to muster a shot on target in a match.

Turkey continued to look more threatening during the second half, and would have won by a greater margin had Lloris not denied Burak Yilmaz and Mhmut Tekdemir. 

France will expect to return to winning ways when they take on minnows Andorra on Tuesday, while Turkey will face a tough trip to Iceland as they look to extend their winning run to four games.

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