Cenk Tosun winner makes sure of Turkey’s qualification against 10-man Czechs

Cenk Tosun fired a stoppage-time winner as Turkey reached Euro 2024’s last 16 after a hard-fought 2-1 victory against 10-man Czech Republic.

The Czechs had midfielder Antonin Barak controversially sent off midway through the first half in Hamburg, but fought back through Tomas Soucek’s equaliser after Hakan Calhanoglu had given Turkey the lead.

But former Everton striker Tosun, a second-half substitute, eased Turkish nerves with the winner in added time to secure second place and a meeting with Austria in the first knockout stage.

It was cruel on the Czechs, who pushed Turkey all the way in a gripping encounter despite Barak’s harsh dismissal.

The Fiorentina midfielder was sent off for his second yellow card in nine minutes after being deemed to have made an over-the-top tackle by Romanian referee Istvan Kovacs.

Barak’s dismissal was a huge blow, but although Turkey went on to dominate first-half possession they failed to have a shot on target before the break.

The disciplined Czechs defended resolutely and carved out the best chance on the break when flying wing-back David Jurasek’s angled effort was brilliantly saved by Turkey goalkeeper Mert Gunok.

But Turkey struck six minutes after the restart. Czech goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek saved brilliantly to deny Kenan Yildiz, but moments later Calhanoglu fired home from inside the area.

The 10 men hit back in the 66th minute through skipper Soucek, who turned the ball home from close range after Samet Akaydin had blocked Tomas Chory’s effort on the goal-line.

VAR made a lengthy check as Chory appeared to impede Gunok, but the goal stood and the rejuvenated Czechs went in hunt of a second goal which would have taken them through, only to be undone by Tosun in the fourth minute of added time.

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