A solid performance at South Leeds secured Turkey’s spot in the quarter-finals of the UEFA European Under-16 Championship after a 2-1 win against Poland.
The better team for most of the game, Turkey had more chances and put good pressure on the Poles despite finishing the game with only 10 men after a two-footed challenge by Mesut Balci earned him a red card.
The Turks began strongly, opening the scoring from a free-kick by Sabri Sarioglu that was turned in by Sezgin Yilmaz in the 37th minute. After the break Sarioglu himself extended their well earned lead in the 43rd minute.
The Poles responded in the 68th minute when precise one-touch passing carved open the Turkish defence, Marek Wasicki finishing off the move to revive Poland, who needed a win to stand any chance of going through.
'We controlled the game'
'But Turkey held on and their delighted coach Gündüz Tekin Onay said: "I was pleased because in general Turkey controlled the game and we could have scored more goals. The last period was very stressful, when Poland scored and we lost a player. But the performances of [Koray] Çölgeçen, [Volkan] Pullu and Sarioglu were particularly encouraging."