Turkiye’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024 took a boost as they beat Wales 2-0 in a European qualifier in Samsun on Tuesday.
The result leaves Wales second from bottom in their group, and facing a major challenge to even reach the play-offs to qualify for Euro 2024 next summer.
The game was turned on its head just before half-time when Joe Morrell was given a straight red card for a high challenge on Ferdi Kadioglu.
From that point on, Turkiye dominated the game but struggled to create chances.
The Red-Crescents looked unbalanced, disjointed and devoid of ideas on how to crack the Welsh defence.
The introduction of Arda Guler on the hour mark proved a pivotal point.
Guler turned the game on its head. The 18-year-old put on a virtuoso performance unlocking the Welsh defence.
Following his introduction, Turkiye won a penalty – which Hakan Calhanoglu missed – had a goal disallowed, Umut Nayir scored and Guler himself got himself on the scoresheet.
Guler scored the second goal with a wonderful strike. It was the first time he has scored for the national team and he became the youngest Turkish international player to do so.
Wales manager Rob Page will be disappointed with the result, but he will also be concerned about the performance of his team.
The victory kept Turkiye top of Group D with nine points from four games, Wales meanwhile, dropped into 4th place with four points after four games.