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Turkey win to qualify at Germany's expense

Turkey 1-0 Germany
Muhammet Demir scored his eighth goal in qualifying to ensure the Group 7 hosts qualified for the finals at their opponents' expense.

Turkey celebrate their winner against Germany
Turkey celebrate their winner against Germany ©TFF

Turkey defeated Germany 1-0 to leapfrog their opponents at the elite round Group 7 summit and qualify for the UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals.

Trailing Christian Ziege's side on goal difference heading into both teams' final fixture, Turkey knew only victory would suffice. They duly delivered thanks to Muhammet Demir, who struck midway through the first half for his eighth goal of the qualifying campaign. Turkey, who finish the elite round with three wins from three, are therefore assured of a place in Wednesday's draw for next month's tournament in Romania.

With the stakes so high, there was an understandably nervy start to the game in Antalya. Moritz Leitner, a hat-trick scorer against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Thursday, went close with a free-kick on five minutes, but it was eight minutes later he spurned Germany's best chance, hitting a post from the penalty spot.

Turkey duly capitalised on 22 minutes when Muhammet showed Leitner the way with a free-kick from just outside the penalty area. Ziege's charges fought back in their attempts to earn the point they needed, but never came nearer than Markus Mendler's effort, which was blocked on the line by Sezer Özmen.

Kemal Özdeş's team nearly rubber-stamped the win with two minutes remaining, Nadir Çiftçi heading fellow substitute Ali Dere's header against the frame of Marc-André ter Stegen's goal. For Germany, however, time was up.

"First of all I would like to thank all my players," said Özdeş. "Our goal was to reach the finals and now we've got a new goal – to be successful in the finals. We believe that Turkish Football's future is very bright."