Turkey beats Azerbaijan 1-0 to make Euro playoff
Turkey secured a playoff spot for next year’s European
Championship after Burak Yilmaz scored the only goal in a 1-0 win
over Azerbaijan in their final qualifier on Tuesday.
Turkey took advantage of Belgium’s 3-1 loss against group winner
Germany to finish second in Group A with 17 points, two ahead of
”It was not a very difficult game. I think we started the game
very well, made a good press with very good possession play but the
team got a little overexcited when the goal did not come. In the
second half we were more in control,” Turkey coach Guus Hiddink
Turkey dominated the first half but rarely threatened to score,
except for a couple of efforts by Real Madrid midfielder Hamit
Altintop and a drive by Kazim Kazim that went narrowly wide in the
14th minute. The Galatasaray midfielder could convert after Hamit’s
cross was headed back by Burak from inside the six-yard box.
The home side began the second half at a lower tempo but shifted
gears approaching the hour mark, with Arda Turan appealing
unsuccessfully for a penalty in the 56th.
Burak finally gave Turkey the goal it needed in the 60th,
converting a perfect through ball by Galatasaray midfielder Selcuk
Inan, who came on as a substitute just two minutes earlier.
Turkey looked for a second, with a lob by Atletico Madrid winger
Arda saved by Azerbaijan goalkeeper Kamran Agayev in the 71st.
Agayev parried another effort in the 84th minute when Burak shot
from the edge of the box. The goalscorer received a standing
ovation from the home fans when he was substituted in the 88th.
The playoff lots will be drawn on Oct 13. and will be played on
Nov. 11-12 and 15.
Turkey: Sinan Bolat, Sabri Sarioglu, Gokhan Zan, Egemen Korkmaz,
Hakan Balta, Kazim Kazim (Selcuk Inan 58), Mehmet Topal, Emre
Belozoglu (Gokhan Tore 78), Hamit Altintop, Arda Turan, Burak
Yilmaz (Umut Bulut 88).
Azerbaijan: Kamran Agayev, Ruslan Abishov, Vurghun Huseynov,
Rashad F. Sadigov, Ufuk Budak (Rahid Amirguliyev 90), Mahir
Shukurov, Afran Ismayilov (Elshan Mammadov 46 , Rahid Amirguliyev
85), Aleksandr Chertoganov, Vladimir Levin, Vugar Nadirov, Branimir