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Turkey wave goodbye to U19s with victory

Turkey 4-2 Georgia
Okan Buruk's team enjoyed the better of an action-packed Group B encounter against ten-man Georgia – yet both sides exited the finals.

Recep Nıyaz played a key role in Turkey's win against Georgia
Recep Nıyaz played a key role in Turkey's win against Georgia ©Mikhail Shapaev

Turkey registered their first points in Group B with a 4-2 victory against Georgia but the win was not enough to prevent Okan Buruk's side from exiting the UEFA European Under-19 Championship along with their opponents.

Knowing that a victory in Marijampole – accompanied by a France defeat by Serbia in the group's other game – was crucial to their slim hopes of progress, Georgia responded, making the perfect start through Avto Endeladze's blistering opener. Turkey were already eliminated from the tournament following back-to-back losses but nonetheless produced a spirited comeback with Okan Deniz netting twice within three first-half minutes. Nika Katcharava briefly restored parity after the break but Turkey were not to be denied. Recep Niyaz and Cenk Şahin completed the win over a Georgia team reduced to ten men by Davit Mtivlishvili's dismissal and consigned to fourth place in the pool.

Going in search of goals from the off, Giorgi Tsetsadze's charges had been 1-0 in front after just three minutes with the confident Endeladze rifling a right-footed shot from the edge of the area high into the top corner. The advantage would not last long, however, as Okan tapped in Recep's selfless assist in the 16th minute. Both players were involved again shortly afterwards, Recep's wild mis-hit again reaching the Bursaspor forward who finished with ease.

The action spilled into the second half, which was five minutes old when Katcharava made up for a first-half penalty miss by connecting with Guram Samushia's centre to draw Georgia level. U19 finalists in 2004, Turkey came again when Recep smashed in Serdar Yazıcı's 58th-minute cross before Mtivlishvili was ordered off for a second bookable offence. Georgia's misery was subsequently compounded with ten minutes remaining as goalkeeper Bacho Mikava parried Serdar's shot only for Cenk to knock in the rebound and secure his side a consolation victory.