Euro 2024: Turkey's Arda Guler enhances reputation with goal in win over Georgia

Euro 2024: Turkey's Arda Guler enhances reputation with goal in win over Georgia

Updated Jun. 18, 2024 2:45 p.m. ET

Arda Guler enhanced his reputation as one of Europe's brightest young stars by curling home a brilliant second-half goal to help Turkey to a 3-1 win over tournament debutant Georgia at the European Championship on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old forward brought a strong end to his first season at Real Madrid to the Euros by cutting in from the right and bending a fierce shot into the top corner in the 65th minute, regaining the lead for Turkey at 2-1 in a Group F match played in a febrile and intense atmosphere in Dortmund.

Substitute Kerem Aktürkoğlu scored a breakaway goal in the final seconds of stoppage time for Turkey's third.


This was a nation-stopping moment for Georgia, a South Caucasus country of 3.7 million people that is making its debut in an international soccer tournament since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, amid protests and political turmoil back home.

Georgia's players dealt well with an intimidating atmosphere created by Turkey's fans and responded to Mert Muldur's volleyed finish for the Turks in the 25th with an equalizer by Georges Mikautadze in the 32nd.

Guler's intervention was crucial, though, and it was the latest in a string of outside-of-the-area strikes at these Euros. It was also another demonstration of his talent that was on display when he scored five goals in five games to finish a Spanish league season that he mostly missed because of injury. He was an unused substitute in the Champions League final that Madrid won.

He'll likely find game time even harder to come by next season following the arrival of Kylian Mbappé and Endrick, even if Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is aware he has a gem on his hands in Guler.

Georgia, at No. 75 the lowest-ranked nation at Euro 2024, could easily have snatched a point from a game played at a frenetic pace.\

Kerem Aktürkoglu converts on beautiful counter to seal Turkey's 3-1 victory over Georgia

In stoppage time and with its goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili upfield in search of a goal, Georgia whipped in a free kick that struck the post before a shot from the rebound was cleared off the line.

The resulting corner — sent in with Mamardashvili still up in the box — was cleared and Aktürkoğlu had the freedom of Westfalenstadion to run through unchallenged to sidefoot the ball into an empty net.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

[Want great stories delivered right to your inbox? Create or log in to your FOX Sports account, follow leagues, teams and players to receive a personalized newsletter daily.]

FOLLOW Follow your favorites to personalize your FOX Sports experience

Get more from UEFA Euro Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more