Selcuklu (Turkey), Oct 14 (IANS) Selcuk Inan’s superb late free kick gave Turkey a dramatic win over Iceland, meaning they can celebrate Euro 2016 football qualification as the best third-placed team.
Selcuk sent an unstoppable shot past Iceland goalkeeper Ogmundur Kristinsson in the 89th minute to hand Turkey victory on Tuesday night when pretty much everything went their way.
The ensuing 1-0 success confirmed their presence at the 2016 Euros in France, eight years after their last appearance.
In the knowledge that the Czech Republic were beating their rivals, the Netherlands, for third position in Group A in another match played simultaneously, Turkey risked everything in the latter stages.
Kazakhstan’s win in Latvia also helped to ensure Turkey’s progress to next summer’s tournament.
Victory certainly did not come easily in Konya, with Turkey playing the last 12 minutes with ten men after Gokhan Tore was sent off for a heavy tackle on Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.
Although the hosts boasted the class of Arda Turan, Hakan Calhanoglu, Oguzhan Ozyakup and Volkan Sen, they appeared to miss the finishing touch of an out-and-out striker, thus failing to turn neat passing into presentable chances.
However, their eventual triumph will have tasted even sweeter after Selçuk’s memorable free kick – his third goal in Turkey’s last four games – sealed Euro 2016 qualification amid jubilant scenes.