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Turkey's Arda shatters Switzerland's dreams in EURO 2008 Group A

Switzerland 1-2 Turkey
Arda Turan scored a deflected added-time goal to cap off Turkey's comeback and end the co-hosts' chances.

Arda Turan celebrates his winner
Arda Turan celebrates his winner ©Getty Images

Arda Turan's deflected goal deep in injury time earned Turkey a win that resurrected their UEFA EURO 2008 hopes at Switzerland's on a dramatic night, played to a background more akin to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein than a football match.

Switzerland, like Turkey beaten on the opening day, dealt better with a Basel downpour and Hakan Yakin put them ahead just past the half-hour with a rain-assisted goal. Not for the first time (and certainly not the last) Semih Şentürk climbed off the bench to equalise and it seemed destined for a draw. Arda had other ideas.

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It consigned Switzerland to fourth place in Group A, a bitter blow for a side that began the game deprived of their first-choice strike partnership after Marco Streller joined Alexander Frei on the sidelines. In came Eren Derdiyok and Yakin, but it was a third player with Turkish heritage, Gökhan Inler, who first tested Volkan Demirel as the co-hosts reacted better to the conditions left when the heavens opened after ten minutes.

The goalkeeper was further tested by a stinging Yakin shot and Tranquillo Barnetta's free-kick. Turkey, already decimated by injury following their 2-0 opening day defeat by Portugal, could only watch as Fatih Terim's tactical plans were washed away by the downpour. Yet they almost took a sensational lead when Nihat Kahveci's free-kick was tipped by Diego Benaglio onto the head of Arda and the ricochet hit the woodwork.

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Three minutes later Switzerland scored and the weather could claim an assist. Derdiyok chased a long ball into the right channel, rounded Volkan and squared. Unexpectedly, the ball held up right in the goalmouth and the grateful Yakin reacted first to tap in. A couple of minutes later he could have had another but this time he misjudged Valon Behrami's cross.

The rain eased before the break and onto the partially-drained pitch came Turkey substitutes Semih and Mehmet Topal. Semih's appearance was a statement of attacking intent, and Turkey bravely continued with their short passing game in tough conditions. That enterprise was rewarded when Nihat sent in a superb looping cross and Semih rose to head in.

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The game opened up. It took a sliding block from Hakan Balta to deny Yakin and Inler went close before Volkan pulled off a great double save from Ricardo Cabanas and Inler again. That proved invaluable when Arda set off on a run and his strike from the edge of the box flew in off the devastated Patrick Müller.

It left Turkey needing to beat the Czech Republic in their final game to seal progress and, after going 2-0 down, that is what they did. This stormy night in Basel set the mould.

EURO 2008: Team of the Tournament


Turkey players line up for the anthems
Turkey players line up for the anthemsAFP via Getty Images

Switzerland: Benaglio; Magnin (c), Senderos, Müller, Lichtsteiner; Barnetta (Vonlanthen 66), Fernandes (Cabanas 76), Inler, Behrami; Derdiyok, Hakan Yakin (Gygax 85)
: Zuberbühler, Jakupović, Djourou, Huggel, Grichting, Spycher, Degen
Coach: Jakob Kuhn

Turkey: Volkan; Hakan Balta, Servet, Emre Aşık, Hamit Altıntop; Arda, Mehmet Aurélio, Tümer (Semih 46), Gökdeniz (Mehmet Topal 46); Tuncay, Nihat (c) (Kazım-Richards 85)
Substitutes: Rüştü, Tolga, Gökhan, Emre Belözoğlu, Emre Güngör, Uğur, Ayhan, Sabri, Mevlüt
Coach: Fatih Terim

Referee: Ľuboš Micheľ (Slovakia)

Man of the Match: Arda Turan (Turkey)