Turkey edge Austria in thriller to advance to the quarters

Turkey secured a thrilling 2-1 victory over Austria in a rain-soaked clash at Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena, advancing to the Euro 2024 quarterfinals. Merih Demiral’s two goals, including a record-breaking strike just 57 seconds into the match, set the stage for a memorable Turkish triumph.

The atmosphere was electric as the Turkish fans roared their team to a dream start. Demiral capitalized on a corner kick scramble, finding the back of the net with a close-range finish. Despite Austria’s dominance in possession, Turkey’s defense remained resolute, with goalkeeper Mert Gunok making crucial saves to preserve their lead.

Just before the hour mark, Demiral doubled Turkey’s advantage, heading home another Guler corner. Austria fought back, halving the deficit through substitute Michael Gregoritsch’s close-range finish. However, Turkey’s defense held firm, with Gunok producing a stunning save in stoppage time to secure the victory.

Teenagers Arda Guler and Kenan Yildiz, alongside Baris Alper Yilmaz, provided the creative spark for Turkey in attack, while their defense, led by Demiral, displayed resilience and determination.

Turkey will now face the Netherlands in Berlin on Saturday, marking their first quarterfinal appearance since 2008.

Austria’s early exit comes as a surprise after topping their group with impressive wins over France and the Netherlands. Despite their promising start, they couldn’t replicate their early tournament form in this crucial knockout match.