Portugal capitalise on Turkey calamities to ease into Euro 2024 last 16

Portugal made extremely light work of an error-strewn Turkey outfit to stroll into the last 16 of Euro 2024 as Group F winners with a 3-0 success at the Signal Iduna Park.

Both sides were capable of sealing their knockout spot with a game to spare thanks to their opening successes, but the Selecao were a class above throughout and benefitted from some horror moments from their beleaguered visitors.

Bernardo Silva’s landmark goal preceded a shocking own goal from Samet Akaydin, before Turkey’s high line failed miserably in the second half, and Bruno Fernandes took full advantage thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s milestone assist.

The conclusion of the contest was slightly overshadowed by several people successfully managing to evade security and enter the pitch to take photos with Ronaldo, who grew increasingly frustrated at the increase in invasions, but he was all smiles alongside his qualified teammates at the end.

As section winners, Portugal will face one of the third-placed sides from Groups A, B or C in the last 16, while Turkey remain second and only need a point to ensure a top-two finish.

Despite his wonder strike in Turkey’s triumph over Georgia on the opening matchday, Real Madrid sensation Arda Guler was among four names cut from the Turkey starting XI, which featured Manchester United goalkeeper Altay Bayindir.

Meanwhile, Joao Palhinha for Diogo Dalot was the only alteration on Portugal’s end as Roberto Martinez opted for a change of shape, with Joao Cancelo operating at right-back in a four-man rearguard.

The Manchester City man had to snuff out some Turkish danger right away, doing just about enough to put off Kerem Akturkoglu after a dangerous delivery to the back stick, allowing Ruben Dias to hack the danger clear.

The screw was subsequently turned by Portugal, who had a first-time major tournament scorer to thank for their advantage in the 21st minute, when Nuno Mendes’ cross from the left took a nick off of Orkun Kokcu and fell kindly for Silva, who swept home a crisp left-footed strike from close in.

Not all of Portugal’s attacks were coming off, though – a poor pass from Cancelo to Ronaldo in the 29th minute saw one promising move break down, or so they thought.

As Cancelo threw his hands up in frustration and Ronaldo berated his teammate, Turkey defender Akaydin played a no-look backpass to Bayindir, failing to notice that the Red Devils shot-stopper had gone wandering towards the ball, leaving his goal exposed.

Akaydin’s pass rolled straight past Bayindir, who rushed back alongside a panicked Zeki Celik, but even though the latter did manage to produce a sliding intervention, the ball had already crossed the line for Portugal’s second.


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