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Turkey and Wales complete Group 1 mission

Turkey finished top of UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying round Group 1 and host nation Wales joined them in the elite round draw by finishing second.

Hasan Ahmet Sari hit Turkey's winner against Iceland
Hasan Ahmet Sari hit Turkey's winner against Iceland ©Getty Images

A winning goal in added time against Iceland enabled Turkey to reach seven points and top UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying round Group 1 ahead of host nation Wales.

Both Turkey and Wales, who had shared in an exciting 3-3 draw at the start of the series of games, go through to the 30 November elite round draw. Wales finished with five points, with Iceland on three and Kazakhstan one.

Turkey's fightback was completed by substitute Hasan Ahmet Sari – among several veterans of the 2009 UEFA European Under-17 Championship and FIFA U-17 World Cup – delivering the last-gasp winner after Iceland had gone ahead. That showed they had learned from the first game when Wales recovered from 3-1 down to earn a point with goals in added time from Thomas Bradshaw and captain Adam Matthews, the latter a penalty.

In their second match Turkey eased to a 5-1 victory over Kazakhstan with Engin Bekdemir scoring twice and providing an assist. Had they lost to Iceland, Turkey would have been out, but after their win Bekdemir said: "It has been a successful tournament for us. We didn't start well but we finished strongly which was important. I want to go very far with this team – I want us to become champions."

As for the hosts, they followed up their comeback against Turkey with another show of determination when they edged past Iceland 2-1. Iceland, 4-0 winners in their opening game against Kazakhstan, had forged in front but were undone by Wales's impressive response.

After two heavy defeats, Kazakhstan restored some pride with a battling 1-1 draw against Wales in their last match, Sayat Sariyev pegging the host side back in the second half. Wales coach Brian Flynn was delighted his team had remained unbeaten but admitted they made hard work of it against Kazakhstan.

He said: "I would question our appetite to score goals at times but without doubt we have gained useful experience and with the huge improvements, physically and mentally, that will come over the next five months, we can be a decent side."