Mon, Jun 10, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Turkey upset world champions France 2-0 at home

Reuters, ISTANBUL, Turkey

France forward Olivier Giroud, center, vies against Turkey defender Merih Demiral, left, in their UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier in Konya, Turkey, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

World champions France were given a cold shower on Saturday in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier against Turkey, who kept up pressure throughout the game for a 2-0 home win and placed themselves in the lead in Group H.

Turkey started the game strong, scoring their first goal in the 30th minute with a header from Kaan Ayhan, following Cengiz Under’s free-kick into the penalty area.

Under then raised the difference in the 40th minute, slipping the ball past Hugo Lloris after a sprint down the right wing to the French goal.

Les Bleus upped the pressure in the second half of the game, but missed several chances to score due to strong defense from their opponents and a solid performance from goalkeeper Mert Gunok.

Burak Yilmaz missed the chance to put Turkey further ahead at the 85th minute, sending the ball narrowly past the right post after a one-on-one with Lloris.

In other games in the group on Saturday, Iceland earned a 1-0 home win against Albania, while Moldova beat Andorra 1-0 at home.

Turkey lead Group H with nine points, having won all three games so far. They are followed by France then Iceland, both at six points.


Reuters, ATHENS

Italy continued their perfect start to qualifying with a comfortable 3-0 win over Greece in Athens, which sent them three points clear at the top of Group J.

Roberto Mancini’s side are in pole position after picking up three wins from their opening three games without conceding a goal.

The visitors blew Greece away with three goals in 10 first-half minutes, with Nicolo Barella opening the scoring when he met an Andrea Belotti pull-back to sweep in the opener.

Lorenzo Insigne doubled Italy’s lead with an exquisite curling finish, before Leonardo Bonucci completed the rout by heading in a third after 33 minutes.

Finland moved into second place on six points with a 2-0 win over Bosnia in Tampere.

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki struck both goals inside 12 second-half minutes, striding through the visiting defense to open the scoring before adding the second with a delicate chip.

Finland are now unbeaten in their past 10 home games, winning eight and drawing two, and sit two points ahead of Greece in third and Bosnia in fourth.

Armenia beat Liechtenstein 3-0 in a meeting between the bottom two teams to earn their first points of the campaign and leave the visitors at the bottom of the group with three defeats.

In the next round of fixtures tomorrow, Italy host Bosnia in Turin, Armenia face Greece in Athens and Finland travel to Liechtenstein.


Reuters, BORISOV, Belarus

Germany eased past hosts Belarus 2-0 to make it two wins from their first two Group C qualifiers.

Germany took a 13th-minute lead when Sane shook off his marker and fired in from close range.

The visitors struck again with Reus in the 62nd minute after a clever assist from Matthias Ginter and hit the post through Sane’s 84th-minute header.

The result lifted the Germans to six points, three behind leaders Northern Ireland, who beat Estonia 2-1.

Belarus suffered their third straight loss and are in last place, having scored only one goal.

“The win was above everything. Overall, we did it well,” said Germany assistant coach Marcus Sorg, who is also to be in charge in tomorrow’s qualifier against Estonia.

Earlier on Saturday, Northern Ireland came from a goal down to beat Estonia 2-1 in Tallin.

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