5 Things We Learned From Czech Republic 0-2 Turkey


Yilmaz the impact man

Burak Yilmaz did not start for Turkey in their opening-game defeat to Croatia. He got a full 90 minutes against Spain last week but had no chance of dictating the game against the two-time European champions.

Tonight Yilmaz was a different player and proved just how valuable he is to this Turkey side. Having missed part of their pre-tournament warm-up friendlies, the Galatasaray forward headed to Euro 2016 slightly under the radar. But he made his impact felt here with a well-taken finish 10 minutes into the clash.

At 30 Yilmaz still has the legs to complete a full game but Turkey need other options.

Sometimes you feel sorry for the referee

This was by no means a dirty game but the amount of petty fouls and yellow cards couldn’t go unnoticed by the referee. They tell us the ref tries his upmost to let the game flow but tonight there was none of that. It was a stodgy performance from both teams who appeared intent on disrupting the flow of play.

Before this game the average number of yellows per match was 3.1. There were three given before half time and two more were added after the break.

The game was stopped for a long while after three players collided in the Turkey box during a free-kick routine. It was an innocuous clash of many heads and left three men requiring the vaseline to smooth over bloody cuts.

Have Turkey turned a corner?

No. They may have walked past the Czech Republic tonight but we should look more at their performances against Croatia and Spain if we want to gauge where Turkey are here. The Czechs only kept their score tight with Spain (a 1-0 defeat) because of Petr Cech’s incredible goalkeeping. They were dead and buried against Croatia (2-0 down) before crowd trouble in the Croat end saw their opponents crumble to a draw.

Tonight there was a feeling that Turkey just needed to turn up and they would get the two goals required to keep their heads above water.

Who Turkey could play next

The 2-0 result means Turkey are still not guaranteed a place int he last-16. Albania are the only third-place team currently with a worse record than Turkey (because they have scored one goal fewer). Groups E and F play tomorrow and Turkey need one of those third-place teams to finish with a worse tally than three points and a -2 goal difference.

If they do go through it could be Wales or France in the last-16. Not the easiest of draws.

The result does mean, however, that Northern Ireland go through to the knockout stage. Well done Michael O’Neill’s boys!

Turkey can show boat when they want to (didn't see them doing that against Spain!)