Moldova dealt Turkey's UEFA EURO 2008™ hopes a major blow as they held Fatih Terim's team to a 1-1 draw in Chisinau, the visitors needing a second-half equaliser to salvage even a point.
The home side began the game with their aspirations of finishing in the top two in Group C all but over, yet this did not stop them giving a performance of real passion. Viorel Frunza secured a shock lead in the eleventh minute when he directed a glancing header past Hakan Arıkan, although from then onwards it was his opposite number, Nicolai Calancea, who took centre stage. The Moldova No1 made a string of stunning saves and if substitute Ümit Karan beat him just after the hour, he held firm to earn a point and dent Turkey's chances.
Terim's team had started the day third in the section, level with second-placed Norway on 17 points and with a game in hand. They enjoyed much of the early running at the Zimbru Stadium. Mehmet Topuz blazed a free-kick over and Selcuk Inan tried his luck from range, only for Moldova to break the shackles in style when Frunza headed in Nicolae Josan's cross. The hosts were soon back on the defensive, with Calancea being called upon to keep out Gökhan Zan's header – it was not the last time the keeper would be needed.
He did superbly just before the break, when Frunza could only nod Selcuk Inan's set-piece into the path of Gökhan Ünal, who met the ball with a volley that Calancea somehow saved with his legs. He could do nothing about the equaliser on 63 minutes, however, as Topuz's pinpoint centre was converted by Ümit Karan with a diving header. Turkey went all out for a winner yet Emre Belözoglu had a free-kick tipped over before Gökhan Zan guided a header wide with the goal at his mercy. It summed up the visitors' night.