What they said: Turkey vs Czech Republic

Sport360 staff 03:53 22/06/2016
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Celebrations: Turkey.

Turkey beat Czech Republic 2-0 in Lens on Tuesday night to give themselves a fighting chance of a place in the Last 16 of Euro 2016.

Goals from Burat Yilmaz and Ozan Tufan helped Fatih Terim’s side gain a crucial victory, in the process eliminating their opponents from the competition.

Sport360 rounds-up the best of the post-match reaction.

Fatih Terim, Turkey head coach

“Yesterday we were down but now we are very optimistic. There are big sides like Italy, Spain and Germany but probably we will face Wales if we advance.

“Our only focus was to progress and I believed we could do it. If we get through probably we will play against Wales, but let’s see what happens first as it’s not decided yet.

“I can say that I made some mistakes in the first two games. But tonight was better. As I’ve always thought, tonight was the right moment for us to give a reaction and to stand up. We gave a big reaction. We even had the chance to score more goals and to secure qualification.

“We were criticised a lot and mentally it’s been tough for us. Now we’ve got the confidence boost of this win, after the boys did a great job. We shouldn’t forget that the Czechs came from two down against Croatia and they are difficult opponents. But we didn’t give them too many chances and our formation, 3-4-3, worked very well.

“We’ve got a good side and now we’ve got our team spirit back. I’d be really frustrated if we don’t get through now.”

Burak Yilmaz, Turkey striker

“The difference between the first two games and tonight is that we have many inexperienced players and I think that told in the early matches. Also Turkish players like things to be difficult. Now we are really optimistic about progressing to the last 16.

“Emre Mor is our flower and I hope we look after him. I did not really know him until this tournament, but seeing him in training you can tell what quality he has.”

Pavel Vrba, Czech Republic coach

“We know Turkey very well having met them in qualifying, winning away and losing at home. Unfortunately we lost again. Because this was a decisive match, it was always going to be tough against Turkey.

“I think we were OK in the first half and we could have scored a few times. But the first goal was always going to be pivotal.

“Second half we tried to simplify the game with two forwards but then we lost the midfield. Still, there were three or four situations we might have equalised from. Then they got their second and we just had no comeback to that.

“Our goal was to qualify from the group, which unfortunately we haven’t managed. All three matches have shown that international football is very different – on a different level – from the Czech league. This has been a great lesson for our young players and I hope they use it in the next qualifiers.”

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