16 °C

Turkey moves into Euro 2008 semifinals with historic 3-1 win over croatia

Turkey moves into Euro 2008 semifinals with historic 3-1 win over croatia

Turkey moves into Euro 2008 semifinals with historic 3-1 win over croatia

Playing against Croatia in the quarterfinals of 2008 European Soccer Championship last Friday night, the Turkish National Football Team knocked out its rival in the penalty shootout with a score of 3-1 and so advanced to the semifinals. This is the first time in its history Turkey has reached the Euro semifinals. Following a 0-0 draw in 90 minutes, Turkey conceded a goal in the 118th minute of the extra time, but Semih Senturk scored an equalizer in the 120th minute, driving the game into a penalty shootout. Hamit, Arda and Semih scored Turkey's goals in the penalty shootout, while the Croatian players missed three times. Experienced goalkeeper Rustu Recber blocked the deciding kick from Croatian player Mladen Petric to send Turkey into the semifinals, where it will face Germany on Wednesday. National team coach Fatih Terim said the match would be a meeting of giants. "We've shown the world that the Turkish team is a great team," Terim told reporters. "We've shown everybody that you shouldn't give up until the end. It's critically important to fight until the very last minute, until the final whistle." He added, "Although the national team has suffered from injuries and suspensions and many of our important players won't be able to play against Germany in the semifinals, we can defeat them. Our job is to do the impossible." Turkey's dramatic win was celebrated with joyful celebrations both in Turkey and abroad wherever Turks live, particularly in Europe. The victory was also celebrated by Turkish officials at Ernst Happel Stadium, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan congratulated the Turkish squad in the locker room after the game. "I never lost my hope," Erdogan said. "When he touched the ball, I knew Semih would score the goal. I'm proud of the team. I will be with them for the semifinal too." Commenting on Turkey's win and its upcoming match, President Abdullah Gul said, "The national team proved that they could reach success even under the most difficult circumstances. I believe the team will give us another victory. Our eyes aren't on Germany now, but the cup."