Turks have their task cut out

June 21, 2016 01:23 am | Updated October 18, 2016 02:45 pm IST - LENS:

Turkey has left it late to bid for a place in the knockout stage but defender Gokhan Gonul believes it still has a chance, if it can beat a buoyant Czech side in their final Group D game on Tuesday.

“There is a thing the Turkish national team always does, which is chasing the game until the last minute,” the 31-year-old defender said.

The Czechs, though, are full of confidence after fighting back from two goals down to draw with Croatia on Friday.

Aside from scoring its first goal of the tournament, Turkey would need other results to go its way even if it does win, while victory for the Czechs would put them on four points and in a good position to make the last 16.

“Turkey is a very strong side, it has a lot of good players who play for top teams,” said Czech forward Tomas Necid. “As a team, it has good link-up play and plenty of flair.”

The Czechs will be missing their flair player, Tomas Rosicky, who has been ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury sustained in the remarkable comeback from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Croatia.

The Czechs have two players who risk suspension for the knockout stages if they get another yellow card, while the Turks have five who will need to stay on the right side of Scottish referee William Collum.

Highlights:

»With a purposeful display against Switzerland, France’s Moussa Sissoko served notice that he can bring drive and dynamism to the host’s problematic midfield. Aligned alongside Yohan Cabaye and Paul Pogba in a three-man midfield, Sissoko impressed in France’s 0-0 draw. Sissoko’s inclusion allowed Pogba to excel in his preferred left-sided role and with Blaise Matuidi struggling for form, the 26-year-old Newcastle United midfielder has given coach Didier Deschamps food for thought.
»Italy has already secured top spot in Group E but midfielder Marco Parolo says it will not take its foot off the pedal against Ireland as the Azzurri seek to build up momentum. “Winning helps you win,” Parolo was quoted as saying on the Italian federation’s website (www.figc.it) on Monday.
»The threat of fan violence around the Wales-Russia match on Monday prompted Toulouse city officials to request cafe and bar owners to close their terraces. Cafe chairs and tables were used as weapons in Marseille and Toulouse authorities called on cafe and bar owners to secure their terrace furniture and use only plastic cups for drinks.Bars, cafes and restaurants closed at midnight on Sunday, a measure that will be repeated on Monday night. A directive issued on Friday by a government official, indicated that shops would be banned from selling glass bottles to fans.
»UEFA’s disciplinary committee on Monday fined Croatia €100,000 for flares thrown on the pitch by its fans that halted the match against Czech Republic. UEFA also ordered the Croatian federation, the HNS, not to sell tickets to fans “identified by the HNS and the Croatian authorities as hooligans.” But the ticket sanction was deferred until the end of the tournament.

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