Turkey Carve Out Slender Win

Turkey Carve Out Slender Win

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Stefan Kuntz’s Turkey side secured a playoff berth in World Cup Qualification (WCQ) with an edgy 2-1 victory away to Montenegro.

Turkey Carve Out Slender Win

The victory extended their impressive run of four wins from five matches on the road this campaign. 

 Knowing only a win would keep alive any hopes of finishing WCQ as group leaders, Turkey began the match in Podgorica sluggishly and were stung by an early goal for the hosts. 

Stefan Savić picked the pocket of Burak Yılmaz just inside the visitors’ half, before slipping in Fatos Bećiraj to fire Montenegro ahead. 

 Unbeaten in their previous three meetings with Montenegro, the away side responded well to going behind, with Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Yılmaz both passing up chances to equalise.

 A breakthrough would eventually come from Kerem Aktürkoğlu, who finished off Abdülkadir Ömür’s lofted back-post cross to ensure the sides ended the half on level terms. 

 Having scored at least two goals in all but one of their WCQ matches this year, Turkey emerged from the break searching for a second and duly found it midway through the half. 

Cutting across the ball from range, substitute Orkun Kökçü’s 22-yard strike deflected off the back of Žarko Tomašević, before squeezing past Matija Šarkić in the Montenegrin goal. 

 Having cleared off the line at the opposite end earlier in the clash, Çağlar Söyüncü was denied a goal himself late on.

 Šarkić’s elastic save was enough to prevent the Leicester City defender, who ought to have placed his header either side of the goalkeeper. 

Ultimately, it would make no difference, as the visitors saw out the win to confirm a top-two finish in Group G. 

 It wouldn’t be enough for automatic qualification, as the Netherlands defeated Norway to take the top spot. 

For the hosts, it’s now 15 years since they last competed at a major tournament, with their run of two meetings without defeat against Turkey coming to an end in the Montenegrin capital. 

Source:  FlashScore

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