Turkey pulled off a huge upset at the Konya Buyuksehir Belediye stadium beating reigning world champions France 2-0 in the Euro 2020 Group H qualifier on Match Day 3.
Crescent-Stars manager Senol Gunes had a selection headache heading into the clash with Stuttgart defender Ozan Kabak, Everton striker Cenk Tosun and Celta Vigo midfielder Okay Yokuslu all ruled out with injury.
Burak Yilmaz recovered from his injury in time to start up front. Gunes opted for a centre-back partnership of Fortuna Dusseldorf defender Kaan Ayhan and 21-year-old Sassuolo rising star Merih Demiral.
Lille right-back Mehmet Zeki Celik got the nod along with Fenerbahce full-back Hasan Ali Kaldirim on the left side.
The defence put on a heroic performance with goalkeeper Mert Gunok putting on a commanding display as well.
France failed to take a single shot on target for the first time in 10 years. Kylian Mbappe lost the ball 22 times with Hasan Ali putting on an outstanding showing marking the PSG ace.
Mbappe struggled against the Turkish defence unlike Cengiz Under who proved to be a real handful for the opposition side.
Under was involved in the opening goal providing a cross from a set-piece which Demiral headed on for Ayhan to smash past Hugo Lloris.
Ten minutes later the unthinkable happened. Under was this time the goalscorer and gave his side a two goal lead heading into half-time.
What was remarkable was just how comfortable Turkey were over the 90 minutes. They could easily have scored a few more goals in the second half had Yilmaz not been so profligate. The experienced striker caused the French defence nightmares with his forward runs and pressing.
The midfield trio of Besiktas star Dorukhan Tokoz, Basaksehir’s Mahmut Tekdemir and Irfan Can Kahveci held their own against the likes of Paul Pogba, Matuidi and Sissoko.
It really is starting to look like Turkey have a golden generation on their hands. The likes of Demiral, Celik, Under, Dorukhan Tokoz, Kenan Karaman, Ayhan, Irfan Can Kahveci who all started are aged 23 or under.
The likes of Kabak, Abdulkadir Omur, Caglar Soyuncu, Yusuf Yazici, Yalcin Guven are all aged 22 or under. And this could be just the tip of the iceberg. The U15, U16, U17 sides at international and club level in Turkey have really talented players emerging.
Turkey have now won all five games since Gunes took charge, scoring 12 goals while conceding just once. They top Group H on nine points and could take a huge leap towards qualification if they avoid defeat away to Iceland on Tuesday.
Turkey 2-0 France
Stadium: Konya Büyükşehir Belediye
Referee: Damir Skomina, Jure Praprotnik, Robert Vukan
Turkey: Mert Günok, Zeki Çelik, Merih Demiral, Kaan Ayhan, Hasan Ali Kaldırım, Mahmut Tekdemir, Dorukhan Toköz (min. 89 Abdülkadir Ömür), Cengiz Ünder (min. 84 Yusuf Yazıcı), İrfan Can Kahveci (min. 79 Ozan Tufan), Kenan Karaman, Burak Yılmaz
France: LIoris, Digne (min. 46 Mendy), Umtiti, Varane, Pavard, Matuidi (min. 46 Coman), Pogba, Sissoko, Griezmann, Giroud (min. 72 Ben Yedder), Mbappe
Goals: min. 30 Kaan Ayhan, min. 40 Cengiz Ünder (Turkey)