A look at Euro 2008: Quarterfinal No. 2

Incredible, incredible finish as Turkey comes back yet again to stay alive at Euro 2008.

In case you missed it, here is a brief recap of today’s quarterfinal contest:

CROATIA 1, TURKEY 1 2OT (Turkey won the shootout 3-1): With the last kick of double overtime, substitute Semih Senturk scored for Turkey to send the game into a shootout, which the Turks won 3-1 to advance into the semifinals. Senturk’s stoppage-time goal capped yet another extraordinary Turkish comeback. Ivan Klasnic seemed to have clinched a Croatia win when he scored in the 119th minute, but it wasn’t to be as Turkey came back for the third time at Euro 2008.

MY ANALYSIS: That was just silly.
I’m still having a hard time wiping the smile off my face from watching this one. It was truly extraordinary.
I wrote after Turkey’s ridiculous 3-2 comeback against Czech Republic to advance to the quarters that I thought that game would go down as one of the best group-stage games in European Championship history.
No way the Turks could possibly top themselves, right? Wrong.
This quarterfinal win over the Croatians won’t be remembered as a classic game from start to finish ‘ it was intense and absorbing but far from a classic ‘ but that finish will rank right up there with just about anything.
As I just read through the live updates on the BBC’s website, I ran across an insane stat ‘ through four games at Euro 2008, Turkey has led for just two minutes.
Yes, two minutes.
Logically speaking, Turkey has no business being in the semifinals. But those guys just don’t know when to quit, and they’re captivating many, many people as this quite fantastic tournament progresses.
Whether Turkey can find a way through Germany in the semifinals is highly debatable. Turkish stars Tuncay Sanli, Arda Turan and Emre Asik will all miss the game through yellow-card accumulation suspension.
But after watching what they did today, I have but one question: How can you not like the Turks?

TODAY’S STAR MAN: Semih Senturk, Turkey. This striker came on in the 76th minute, and with the last kick of the quarterfinal, he saved the Turks with a fantastic shot.

TODAY’S TOP GOAL: Semih Senturk’s goal vs. Croatia. With literally the final kick of the quarterfinal, this substitute struck into the upper-left corner of goal to save the Turks after keeper Rustu Recber had hopefully booted the ball forward. It appears Senturk’s shot may have taken a slight deflection, but it was nonetheless brilliant.

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE:
Quarterfinal round
Netherlands vs. Russia, ABC, 12:45 p.m.

For those of you who caught today’s action, what did you think of the proceedings? Any disagreements with my choice for player of the day or goal of the day?

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