July 14, 2024, 8:03 pm

Turkey open Euro 2024 campaign with 3-1 victory over Georgia

  • Update Time : Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Sports Desk:

Turkey beat Euro 2024 debutants Georgia 3-1 in a tightly contested encounter lit up by two breathtaking Turkish strikes either side of half-time.

Mert Muldur gave Turkey a first-half lead with a thunderous volley from the edge of the box.

Georgia, playing their first major international tournament, equalised in the 32nd minute when Georges Mikautadze turned Giorgi Kochorashvili’s cross past Mert Gunok, who should have done better in covering his near post.

The 19-year-old Arda Guler, coming into the tournament fresh from a run of goals for Real Madrid, scored after 65 minutes, curling an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Georgia pressed for a late equaliser but, with Mamardashvili coming up for a series of corners, Kerem Akturkoglu broke away and passed into an empty net in added time to make it 3-1.

Turkey midfielder and man of the match Guler: “I am just thrilled, no words to describe how I feel. I was dreaming of this goal constantly. I am working extra hard to give back to the amazing love I’ve been receiving.

“I’ve been practising this particular shot recently at the end of training sessions. I am so happy to have scored this way. (Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti) messaged me earlier today and wished me luck.”

Türkiye forward Kerem Akturkoglu: “We dreamed of starting with a win. We knew we were coming to a great atmosphere, playing like we’re at home.

“This is a great start but we’re just beginning. We had never started with a win at the Euros. This is historic for us. We need to stay grounded if we want this victory to mean something. It will only mean something if we can continue this way.”

Georgia coach Willy Sagnol: “The feelings are a bit mixed. We had many chances to score. I don’t want to say deserved or not deserved because this is the story of football. We hoped for a better start but I am proud of my players… We are learning fast and becoming better as a team.”

“Arda Guler is a great talent, he will get more experience and score many more.”

The Turkish national team faced Georgia for the sixth time in their history.

Following the Georgia match, Turkey faces matches against Portugal and the Czech Republic. If Türkiye finishes in the top two of their group, they will advance to the round of 16. Source: TRT World

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