Turkey stuns World Cup champion France with 2-0 home win

Turkey stuns World Cup champion France with 2-0 home win

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 9:28 p.m. ET

KONYA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey moved atop its European Championship qualifying group by dominating World Cup winner France in a 2-0 home victory on Saturday.

Turkey has nine points from three wins and has yet to concede a goal in Group H. France had scored four goals in each of its first two wins, but this time its attack was kept quiet by Turkey's solid defense while the French defense was too easily breached.

France coach Didier Deschamps was scathing about his side's performance.

"When you play like that on a collective level there's nothing positive to take from the game," he told broadcaster TF1. "We didn't play the way we should have against a team which played the way it likes to."


After right back Benjamin Pavard gave away a free kick on the left in the 30th minute, attacking midfielder Cengiz Ünder whipped the ball to the back post where it was headed back across goal for defender Kaan Ayhan to nod powerfully past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

The highly-rated 21-year-old Ünder, who has caught the eye several times with Roma in Italy's Serie A, put Turkey further ahead 10 minutes later with a fine finish.

France was badly at fault, though, as Barcelona center back Samuel Umtiti and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba both lost the ball in clumsy fashion and in quick succession.

Central midfielder Dorukhan Toköz picked it up and attacked the panicky, retreating defense. He fed a pass to Ünder breaking into the right side of the penalty area, and Ünder confidently smacked a low shot into the bottom left corner.

"We weren't present (and) that's what the highest level is all about, whether you're world champions or not," Deschamps said. "When you don't show the right intentions you can't hope for anything."

On Tuesday, Turkey is away to third-place Iceland while France looks to bounce back at last-place Andorra.

Iceland and France have six points.


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