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Turkey miss out on semi-final spot

Romania 1-1 Turkey
The tournament hosts fought back after Mara Bâtea's long-range opener but were unable to get the win that would have booked their progress.

Turkey captain Didem Karagenç wins a header under pressure
Turkey captain Didem Karagenç wins a header under pressure ©TFF

Turkey missed out on the chance to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship on home soil after being held to a 1-1 draw in their final Group A outing against Romania.

Three points shy of second-placed Portugal ahead of the match at the Mardan Sport Complex, the hosts needed to beat Romania and hope for a Denmark win in the section's other game to progress. Denmark beat Portugal 1-0 to advance as group winners, but Turkey were unable to fulfil their part of the bargain and needed a late Andreea Corduneanu own goal to salvage a point after Mara Bâtea had put the visitors ahead.

The opening half was full of chances as both teams began the game with attacking intent, Turkey defender Eda Karataş trying her luck from distance with a parried effort early on before team-mate Didem Karagenç headed wide after meeting a cross from the right. For Romania, Alexandra Lunca twice broke free, only for Selda Akgöz to keep the scores level with heroic saves.

Turkey coach Taygun Erdem started the second half by making two changes, bringing in Merve Aladağ for Filiz İşikırık and Sevgi Çınar for Fatoş Yıldırım. It was Romania who made the breakthrough, though, Bătea finding the net with a long-range shot six minutes after the restart that Selda believed was going wide. After that, Mirel Albon's troops settled into a counterattacking approach, while Turkey chased their first goal of the finals.

That maiden strike finally came when Corduneanu turned in Sevgi's right-wing cross with 12 minutes remaining. Eager to add a second and make their way through to the last four, Turkey continued to attack, but despite their pressure they could not carve out a winner.

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