Turkey national football team has qualified for the UEFA European Championship 5 times and has had some memorable performances. With the Euro 2024 qualifiers starting this week we take a look back at five memorable games played by Turkey in the tournament group stages.
Turkey 3-2 Czech Republic (Euro 2008, group stage)
This match is considered one of the most memorable in Turkey’s Euro history as they secured a dramatic late victory over the Czech Republic to progress to the knockout stages of the tournament. Nihat Kahveci scored two goals, including the winner in the 89th minute. The dramatic manner of victory earned the Crescent-Stars the nickname ‘comeback kings’.
Turkey 2-1 Croatia (Euro 2008 Quarter-Finals)
The ‘comeback kings‘ clutched victory from the jaws of defeat to beat Croatia in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008. Turkey faced off against Croatia in a thrilling encounter that went to extra time and penalties. With the scores level at 0-0 after 90 minutes, Croatia took the lead through Ivan Klasnić, but Turkey managed to equalize in the dying minutes of the game through Semih Şentürk which deflated the Croatians. The game went to penalties, where Turkey held their nerve and won 3-1, with goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber making two crucial saves to allow Turkey to progress to the semi-finals of a European Championship for the first time.
Turkey 2-1 Switzerland (Euro 2008, group stage)
In their opening game of the tournament, Turkey came back from a goal down to defeat the co-hosts Switzerland 2-1. Goals from Semih Şentürk and a last gasp winner from Arda Turan sending Turkish fans into raptures.
Turkey 2-0 Belgium (Euro 2000, group stage)
This was a thrilling encounter between two attacking teams, and Turkey came out on top thanks to a brace from from Hakan Şükür. The victory ensured Turkey’s place in the quarter-finals of the tournament and was their first ever win in a European Championships. The Red-Whites qualified for the tournament for the first time in 1996 but failed to record a single point or score a single goal and finished the group last.
Turkey 2-3 Germany (Euro 2008, semi-finals)
Turkey played their first ever semi-finals of a European Championship tournament against Germany. Despite losing 3-2 the Crescent-Stars put on one of their best performances of the tournament and really pushed Germany to the wire. Ugur Boral actually put Turkey ahead on but Bastian Schweinsteiger and Klose scored to put the European footballing giants ahead. Semih Senturk did equalise on 86 minutes and Turkey had chances after to win the game but it was Lahm who cruelly scored a last minute winner to secure his side progression to the final.