Turkey tame Spain but miss out on last four

Turkey 3-0 Spain
Emphatic victors against the four-time champions with the help of two own goals, Turkey nevertheless miss out on a semi-final berth.

Turkey celebrate their opening goal
Turkey celebrate their opening goal ©TFF

Turkey defeated UEFA European Under-19 Championship Group B winners Spain 3-0, but still missed out on a place in the semi-finals.

While Spain had racked up six points and eight goals from their two fixtures, their opponents had just a point to their name heading into their meeting in Chiajna. Turkey duly made the most of Ginés Meléndez's decision to make seven changes, though they had more than a slice of fortune in doing so, prevailing courtesy of a Kamil Çörekçi effort sandwiched between own goals from Jonás Ramalho and Sergi Gómez. Serbia join Spain in the last four, though, having drawn 1-1 against Belgium.

Fluent and in control so far in Romania, Meléndez's team soon found themselves on the back foot for the first time. They responded admirably at first, competently rebuffing the threat posed by a resurgent Turkey. Right-back Çörekçi always looked most likely to unpick the lock, teeing up Ali Dere for an audacious volley on one of the many occasions he reached the byline.

Though this approach eventually bore expected fruit, the scorer was less predictable, Ramalho – unsighted by a team-mate – inadvertently heading yet another Çörekçi cross past Adrián Ortolá's despairing lunge. If Ortolá, Spain's No13, was unlucky on that occasion, he could have nobody to blame for the manner of the 51st-minute second.

Çörekçi's heavy first touch on Engin Bekdemir's through ball looked to have spelt the end of the attack, but Ortolá failed to gather and the game's outstanding performer tucked into the unguarded net. Yet more misfortune arrived five minutes later, Gökay Iravul's shot ricocheting off Ortolá, into the retreating Gómez and over the goal line.

Borja González subsequently flicked over from close range for Spain, and Ömer Ali Şahiner flashed a shot off target for the victors, but it was only events in Buftea which mattered to Turkey by now.

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