Terim hails Turkey heroics
Coach urges fans to celebrate stunning fightback
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: June 15, 2008 11:14pm
Turkey celebrate dramatic winner
Turkey coach Fatih Terim urged the nation to party after his side pulled off a stunning fightback to beat Czech Republic 3-2 and snatch a quarter-final berth at Euro 2008.
The Czechs looked destined to be the second team to qualify from Group A after Jan Koller and Jaroslav Plasil scored either side of the break to give them a 2-0 lead with 28 minutes left to play.
Arda Turan pulled one back with 15 minutes remaining before an uncharacteristic blunder by Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech gifted Turkey captain Nihat Kahveci an 87th-minute equaliser.
An historic penalty shoot-out loomed in Geneva but Nihat had other ideas, producing a sensational strike in the 89th minute to stun the Czechs and give Turkey a shock lead.
There was more drama to come in stoppage time as Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Demirel was sent off for pushing Koller, but the Czechs failed to test stand-in keeper Tuncay Sanli and Terim's men celebrated a stunning turn-around.
Turkey claimed a stoppage-time winner to beat co-hosts Switzerland 2-1 in a rainswept Basel and set up this winner-takes-all clash.
And Terim hailed his side after they conjured up some more late heroics to take them into the last eight.
"I congratulate my team for their great performance," he said. "It rained once again and we had to sweat once again.
"I send my love and greetings home to Turkey. Go out and celebrate, go out on the streets and savour this feeling.
"My players are going to celebrate now too, they deserve it. I said we'll be remembered for all this."
Turkey will now face Group B winners Croatia in Vienna on Friday for a place in the semi-finals.