Croatia 1-1 Turkey* – Comeback Kings Turkey win 3-1 on penalties

Croatia 1-1 Turkey* – Comeback Kings Turkey win 3-1 on penalties


Croatia (Klasnic 119) 1-1 Turkey (Senturk 120)
Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna
Quarterfinals, Euro 2008
Friday 20 June 2008
Kickoff: 20:45 CET, 14:45 EST

It was, to contradict the old cliché, a game of three halves. A match which started brightly, brimming with passion and commitment, only to descend into stalemate and inertia and then be salvaged by two dramatic injury-time goals and then, finally, the cruelty of a penalty shootout. Here is the best and the worst of the action in the SOCCERLENS Full Time File…


In a match that lacked real drama until the dying minutes of extra-time, it was ironic that two goals were to come so near the death but of the pair the accolade has to go to Senturk’s improbable but sensational equaliser. With time running out, Turkey resorted to route one football and as the ball fell invitingly just inside the Croatian area, Senturk drew back his left leg and unleashed an unstoppable drive that flew into the top corner and left Pletikosa clutching thin air.


The heroics of Rustu in the penalty shoot out will inevitably dominate the headlines but the most breath-taking stop of the game actually came from the Turkish keeper in normal time when he defied his ageing limbs to spectacularly palm away a superb free kick from Srna. Lining up his effort from 30 yards, Srna unleashed a menacingly curling, driven dead ball effort that was heading for the top corner until Rustu threw himself into the air and tipped the shot over the bar.


It was in truth a relatively clean and malice-free game throughout but Kranjcar illicited winces from the touchlines when he challenged Asik for the ball and left his foot dangerously high. Asik stooped to head the ball, Kranjcar lifted his leg and the end result was a painful blow to the mouth for the Turkish player.


In what was an entertaining first-half, Italian referee Roberto Rosetti was almost entirely blameless in his decisions but questions have to be asked after his failure to award a penalty to Turkey. Middlesbrough’s Tuncay burst into the area and chipped intelligently over Croatian defender Simunic, who not only body checked him but left a lingering yet deliberate arm in his path to deny him a clear shooting opportunity.


In a game of few chances, Olic’s glaring miss for the Croats in the first-half was horribly conspicuous. Modric made a great break down the right of the Turkish defence and squared an inviting ball across the edge of the six yard box but with Rustu stranded and the rest of the Turkey defence praying for a miracle, Olic achieved the impossible and side-footed his effort onto the crossbar.


On such dramatic occasions tradition dictates the goalkeeper of the winning side should take the plaudits but Rustu would never have been in a position to make the vital save in the penalty shootout had it not been for Senturk’s unstoppable last-gasp goal. Turkey looked like gallant losers at that stage but Senturk’s rasping half-volley changed the complexion of the game and as the match headed to the lottery of the shootout, his goal not only gave them a unlikely reprieve but ensured they had the momentum as the dramatic denouement beckoned.


In what was a generally disappointing 90 minutes of normal time, Modric was a rare glimmer of hope, so it was cruel but perhaps inevitable that he would set the tone for Croatia in the shootout by missing the first penalty. It was certainly harsh on the Tottenham-bound midfield playmaker that he failed to even hit the target with his first effort — sending his effort flying wide of the left-hand post — but it sowed the seeds of doubt in the Croatian ranks and gave Turkey cause to hope.



His decision to leave Nihat as Turkey’s lone striker was not a success and had his side perished in the shootout, he may well have been in the firing line for his lack of ambition.

But fate is a fickle mistress and the fact his side emerged victorious will ensure he is tactics will not be put under the microscope.

On a positive note, his defence was solid all game, with the exception of the chance Modric carved out for Olic, and his midfield were combative and competitive throughout.

Greece, after all, won the tournament four years ago with a limited but highly effective game plan and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the Turks could, with a little luck, emulate their achievement.

7.5 / 10


He prowled the touchline from the first whistle like a caged leopard and if success was judged on managerial inspiration and passion alone, Croatia would be European champions.

Tactically, Bilic will probably reflect and ask why he didn’t get more support to Olic up front but he can also justifiably argue Croatia looked the more likely to score from the first to the last whistle and they are heading home merely because of the vagaries of a penalty shootout.

The truth is, Croatia are a good side but when it really mattered they were unable to impose themselves on a committed but technically inferior team.


Also See:

Portugal v Germany – Live Blog
Portugal v Germany – Match Report
Netherlands v Russia
Spain v Italy

Germany: The Real Victors in Turkey's Win
Cesc Fabregas Spoof Football Show - Goonerball, but not as you know it


  1. Apart from Germany, Croatia haven’t faced opposition of quality (with all due respect to Austria and Poland). Turkiye have faced at least two difficult opponents and a worthy opponent in Switzerland. Turkiye have come from behind twice and have shown us their class when it comes to their mentality. This Croatia side is talented and led by a great trainer in Slaven Bilic, but this is the first time Croatia have experienced knock-out stage football since 1998 (and no one in Croatia’s side is left from that team except the manager). Psychologically, I think Turkiye have the edge because of what has already happened in this tournament. There’s a belief in them that no matter what happens, they can fight back. That won’t necessarily happen, but it’s funny what a little self-belief can do. Add to that a Hamit Altintop who’s found his form, a Nihat Kahveci who’s found his scoring touch and Arda Turan, I wouldn’t write Turkiye off quite yet. Their weakness is their goal keeper, Rustu Recber, but his place between the woodwork may be a blessing in disguise since Volkan hasn’t exactly kept a clean sheet and because the man is always looking for a fight. Respect to Croatia. The heart is with Turkiye.

    Yer gok inlesin, bu sesi dinlesin
    Hep seninleyiz Turkiye!

  2. The only easy opponent was Poland, because we already ensured the quarterfinals, but Austria, even a lot of people considered them weak, they have proved that they’re strong, because all of 3 teams(Croatia, Poland and Germany) have struggled with Austria, and I am sure that Austria is more unwanted opponent than Czech Republic or Switzerland. Croatia is going to win!

    Idemo Hrvatska

  3. I think its going to be a great game tonight, I will be supporting Turkey since Im Turkish but to be realistic the injuries & suspensions we have just made it very hard for us. Croatia is expected to win and I would prefer it that way :) But our main blow is our main defender Servet who is injured.
    Our defence will be very sloppy tonight especially the central two with Emre Asik & Gokhan Zan. The others blows are Emre (our captain) and to add to that Aurelio and our keeper Volkan is suspended. Im favouring the Croats to advance tonight but against Turkey anything can happen 😀

  4. I’m backing Turkey to win. And I don’t come from Turkiye, I just like their shirt =P

  5. yeaahhhhhh incredible Again and again

    We ve made it.After klasnic’s goal Slaven Blic was lauaghing

  6. Can someone explain me 2 things:
    1. why everywhere is stated that turkey scored on 120 min. if in reality they did after extra time
    2. since when extra time is more than 30 min?

    Go Germany Go !!!!!


  7. l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…l love you Turkey…

  8. Fantastic result Turkiye!
    Good football from Croatia and Modric has shown us why Spurs have paid so much money for him. But Turkiye’s never surrender attitude is something that managers and trainers from all levels of football should be studying and teaching to their teams. To have witnessed three matches where Turkiye have kept holding onto hope and belief is amazing. It’s a testament to why they are able to win… because this psychological factor of confidence and belief is metaphysical, but it’s an undeniable factor in this game. We’d be hard pressed to see another Liverpool v Milan circa 2005 final in two or more successive finals…but in three consecutive matches for Turkiye, they’ve out done themselves. I wonder if they would be capable of scoring five goals in injury time to come back to win 5-4… hyperbole yes, but who knows in this tournament. Thank you Turkiye for showing that anything in football is possible. I lost my voice today…

    Lay lay lay lay lay lay lay lay lay laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay~
    O Turkiye~~~~
    Lay lay lay lay lay lay lay lay lay laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay~
    O Turkiye~~~~

    Kirmizi beyaz Sampiyon Turkiye~~~

  9. ANYONE who believes turkey deserved to win and played better is fuckin’ retarded, WATCH THE GAME AGAIN.

    Though I do not like Croatia, an opinion free from political bias.. Croatia was robbed, plain and simple.

    I’m half Serb and half Greek and in the eyes of a football fan that understands the rules etc, you would know exactly what I am thinking about with everything that’s gone wrong in this game; I don’t need to say what.

    Don’t bother replying to this comment cause I won’t be reading anything on here

    It’s “He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best”
    Retarded turkish cunt

    last one there for ya
    up germany

  11. With all due respect, I don’t think the Greeks of all nations ought to be criticizing the way this match was played when Euro 2004 was defined as the way anti-football won a nation the top prize. Greece scored a total of seven goals at Euro 2004. Turkiye have scored six so far with more to come. Turkiye are the epitome of attacking and never surrendering even after conceding a goal. How any Greek fan thinks they can commentate on exciting and attacking football is like asking Adolf Hitler the merits of human rights.

  12. “a greek railing against the turks…how novel.”

    lol you’ve got in in one. overall a fantastic game which i enjoyed even though i was backing the croats :-(

    i guess determination was the victor after all.

  13. i am turkish, and i think turkeys national team is a great example to all the others teams that they should never give up until the whistle.this would set a goos example for the italy frace game where after the italians scored the penalty, i noticed france wasnt motivated to win at all. because this is football anything can happen.

  14. woooow what a amazing match ha…. :)Congratulations TURKEY!!! I’m so happy & in ecstasy now :) Samih Senturk made this croats and showed that nevere and never TURKEY mustn’t give up..o’le ole ole ole ole

  15. @never give up

    No one gives up, just not everyone is soooooooooo lucky like Turks. Lucky,lucky,lucky,lucky,lucky,lucky,lucky,…. that’s all

  16. This is not the full performance of Turks. They can really play better then they did yesterday. Their best football players were out of team Yıldıray, Belezoglu, Tekke.. I expect better football from Turkey against Germany and a deserved win.

    Never give up..

  17. Luck? 11 yellow cards, 2 punished players, many handicapped players, a different goalkeeper, the penalties.

    If there’s any sort of luck, it should be the goal Croatia scored by the end of the game. If players like Hakan Şükür, Yıldıray BaÅŸtürk, Ãœmit Karan, Hasan ÅžaÅŸ, Ãœmit Davala, ended up playing in Euro 2008, the score wouldn’t be TUR/1-CRO/1 w penalties but something like TUR/5-CRO/0. Turkish team was only being gentle.

    Learn some stuff about football and stop calling the game “luck” anytime one side (as usual the TURKS) wins. It’s getting boring after a while.

    PS: Before giving lessons in English over here, learn how to play.

  18. Turko, think with your brain not with your heart.. watch the game again.. Croatia had a much more progressive strategy than Turkey, and along with it more chances to score…
    But the only mistake they made was calming down after the goal, they obviously thought the game was over and they’re through.. Stupid mistake.. Next time play until the end Croatia..

    Congrats to Turkey.. 😉

  19. owk i admit as a turk that croatia played better at first but maybe its because half the turkish team is injured or suspended?? ever thought of that? i doubt it!
    secondly the turks winning wasnt luck at all. actually the croatians scoring was luck as the goal keeper was nowhere to be seen. but when semih scored everyone wa there trying to stop him. thirdly the penalties were absolutly superb. the turks didnt even miss one!!
    so is it luck??
    i dont think so!

  20. when us turks do somethink we believe it in our hearts and we hve proved that



  21. I have to say I have never seen a game go into the 122 minute. Maybe if there was an injury in the extra time, but 2 minutes of added time?!?! I’ve never seen it before… The referee obviously wanted to give the Turks a chance and they scored. After that it was obvious that Croatia was destroyed and were going to lose. The great thing about football is that it’s not about who deserves to win, but who wins in the end.

    But 2 minutes of added time… that was unheard of…

  22. The Turks were an inferior opponent to Croatia. Croatia was tactically a stronger team. Turkey didnt have one meaningful shot at a goal until the very end which was obviously a lucky shot because, come on really, the goalkeeper hit the ball flying all the way to the other end where a one-last-chance shot was hit and was scored by chances of 1:1000000, plus, Semih Senturk stopped the ball using his hand(watch the fuking match again). In penalties Turkey had a psychological advantage over Croatia’s shock of recieving that last second goal, nothing more to it.
    I personally think Croatia played 10 times better and was unjustly sent home. They played with their brains and more importantly their hearts. They deserved to be Euro 2008 champions.

  23. You realized that Croatia played better when they beat Germany (you in this case), right? Yeah… We hear ya!

    PS: It’s pure luck that Germany took place in semi finals after playing that bad and lame in Euro2008. Portugal should have eliminated them, after all Portugal was a lot better and a stronger team.

  24. the goal was scored in 121:03 as the referee gave 1 minute stoppage time. if croats could just kick the ball to the sky they would win. ref didn’t do anything wrong there. they were too cocky that they couldn’t see turkey coming.

  25. german dude, ur having turks confused with was germans who were inferior to croats..big time. oh and you weren’t complaining when ballack pushed the portuguese defender to score the 3rd goal were you? and all u ppl who say 2 minute-extra time is unheard of, watch the damn game again. do you realize it took 1 damn minute for the game to restart after croatian goal. turkey scores in 121:01 and may i remind you the ref didnt even let croatia restart game? so it wasnt 2 minutes my friends. it was 1 minute of extra time. and turkey did it again. now stfu and just wait for ur german azz to get kicked by turks too. lol and greeks who came here to comment, dont even bother. you should be happy nikopolidis has finally retired and you should try to make this game beautiful like turkey does.

  26. I am enjoying the Euro 08
    with Turkey in it! So glad
    they r moving forward! Go Turkey!!!

  27. right now netherlands, playing even worse than france in euro08, is suffering against russia who was spanked by spain before (4=0).

    they scored a last minute goal which is damn “lucky!”

  28. Turkey is the best. our team is the most aggressive one, see how we much we fouled the stupid croatians. We will beat the shit out of the german players.

  29. If you talk about luck and deserving, Portugal played better than Germany but Germany won. But not much people complain because it’s Germany. But when it’s Turkey everyone say it’s luck and they didn’t deserve it. If we want to argue about ‘deserve’, we could argue on every World Cups and Euros, maybe add in club football as well like CL and EUFA cup, about who ‘deserve’ to win and ‘deserve’ the title. When is a knock-out competition doesn’t have some luck involved? That goes for everyone who think Turkey doesn’t deserve their spot in semi. I support Portugal, (hate how Germany played, but they won) but now I’m going to support Turkey. If you really want to say about best team in term of attacking play and easy-on-the-eye style, than Spain should won every Euro for the last 10 years. I mean, they’re the Brazil of Europe, minus the title after all. So stop talking about luck and deserve and start enjoying the matches, and the drama. By the way, Holland just went out to Russia when I write this. Does they ‘deserve’ to go out after their performance in the group stage? And to all fan of club football out there, I just want to say ‘Hala Madrid!’…

  30. we won it was a fantastic match us turks reay do rock lets se whats going to happen at the othe match i hope we win i bet we are going to win!!!!!


  32. Marznafri Turrrk
    If you weren’t so subjectively oriented and looked at things with your brains instead of your hearts you’d be honest and realize that Croatia is, statistically, a much better team. Instead of defending yourself by saying, and i quote, “Turkey is the best. our team is the most aggressive one, see how we much we fouled the stupid croatians. We will beat the shit out of the german players.” give me one example of turkish quality in the Croatia – Turkey match. Plus, the mentaliy of “let’s foul as much as we can” should have you disqualified. If we can’t win let’s foul as much as we can. The quality of your gameplay is shown in the number of your players having yellow cards. Disgraceful.
    “But when it’s Turkey everyone say it’s luck and they didn’t deserve it.” Thats honestly the dumbest thing I have ever heard. The fact is your players didn’t play as good. I mean, who knows, maybe against Germany they’ll show some quality but so far…not so much.

  33. Matches between Türkiye and Croatia in history except for Euro2008:
    4 games

    1 victory
    1 defeat
    2 scoreless
    türkiye has scored 7 goals
    croatia has scored 6 goals

    With Euro2008 that is:
    5 games

    2 victories (Tur)
    1 defeat (Tur)
    2 scoreless
    turkiye has scored 11 goals
    croatia has scored 7 goals

    I did the counting for you, my non-oriented brain thinking German friend. No, not really you’re not my friend.

    Don’t even get me started from the way of zee German thinking.

  34. So the goals are supposed to substitute for the 11 yellow cards and one red card? Don’t make me laugh my turkish “friend”. You know, its a bit more difficult to score a goal when your opponents arent physically beaten to death. Türko I can now honestly say you dont know what youre talking about. Please stop wasting my time. Thank you.

  35. Plus – non-oriented? You can’t be non-oriented, you’re either objective or subjective. My God, go read a book Türko.

  36. It’s called sarcasm, go read some satires. But hey, you’re a German, no worries.

    11 yellow cards was the cause of that cunt swedish referee from the czech game. If you do know -2% of football and are “objective” enough you understand what I mean, other way I advice you to do the same. Not to spend my time.

    Kein deutsch, kein deutsch. Go home. You should have reached home the time you played against Portugal but heck… Bad luck. (for Portugal) Hope on 25th, you’ll be back home by all means.

  37. Right, now its the referees fault. And I guess I hit a nerve so I best stop analyzing this game with you cause its obvious that an objective answer would be too much to ask after this point.
    Besides, I never said I was German, I’m just rooting for Germany. 😉 Take care my silly little friend and best of luck to Turkey in the upcoming matches and to all other teams. Italy and Spain are having a hard time as we speak. I hope I didnt make you too frustrated. 😉

  38. ok, it’s obvious now you know no shit about football since you play scrabble over here.

    silly? little? hahah…

    you can hardly make me frustrated… i mock you, how can i be frustrated? frustration is of inability. haven’t you learnt that by now?

    you’re not a german who supports germany.. it’s even worse than being a german. i feel real (honestly) sorry for you now.

    now the word “silly” has gained a meaning on your behalf.

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