Merih Demiral’s Brace Bundles Austria Out of Euro 2024 Knockouts as Turkey Reach Quarterfinals

0
163

Al-Ahli defender Merih Demiral scored a brace as Turkey defied the odds to edge out Austria in Euro 2024 round-of-16 clash.

It was the first meeting in a major tournament between the two sides as they set out for a place in the last eight of the competition. In their last three meetings on friendlies, Austria had come out top, winning two and losing one.

Despite Austria’s recent dominance, the odds of coming out with victory for the Ralf Rangnick-led side were still slim. Türkiye went into the game without a loss in their last five competitive games against the Austrians, winning four and drawing one.

Turkey Euro 2024

In European competitions, Turkey were making their appearance in their knockout for the third time while Austria had hit the knockouts four times in major tournaments. So, it was a game of literally equal chances as the two sides filed out to trade tackles for a quarterfinal slot.

In a shocking start to proceedings, Turkey got off the mark quickly with the fastest knockout goal in the tournament.
Saudi Pro League defender and Al-Ahli star Merih Demiral sent Turkish fans bonkers at the Red Bull Arena as he fired the team into the lead in a matter of seconds. A quick end-to-end start saw Turkey win their first corner. After the corner was taken, Austria’s defence failed to clear it, leaving Demiral to slot it home from close range.

Austria ramped up attempts to find an equaliser. They nearly found it immediately but the Turkish defence were equal to the task. After the fiery start, the two sides settled for a more moderated play with Turkey holding more swathes of possession and controlling the tempo of the game.

Demiral’s goal was enough to separate the two sides at the break as Austria did little to mount a comeback.

In the second half, Austria were dealt a further blow on their comeback hopes when Demiral scored again, a minute before the hour-mark, to double the lead for Turkey. Real Madrid sensation, Arda Guler, had delivered a perfect inswinger from a corner-kick and it landed perfectly for the defender, who nodded it home to make it 2-0.

Seven minutes after Demiral’s second goal, Austria enlivened comeback hopes. Gregoritsch scored for the Ralf Rangnick-led side after a corner kick to reduce the deficit.

The game took on a faster pace after the goal. While Turkey battled to retain the lead, Austria pushed for an equaliser. However, the goal would be the last strike in the game as Turkey survived late pressure by the Austrians to retain the lead and ran out with victory after the final whistle.

They will now face the Netherlands in the quarter-finals on Saturday, July 6, 2024, for a place in the last four of the competition

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here