Saturday, June 09, 2019
World champion France was given a cold shower on Saturday in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Turkey, who kept up pressure throughout the game for a 2-0 home win and placed itself 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.
Turkey’s Under then increased the score 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 defending 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.
‘Slap in the face’
France’s manager Didier Deschamps fielded nine of the players that started last year’s World Cup final. But France struggled to create chances, while Hugo Lloris denied Turkey on a number of occasions.
“That was a slap in the face for us and there’s not a lot I can say,” Deschamps told TF1.
“We have a different challenge on Tuesday and I have to say well done to Turkey. We need to get back to basics.”
“When you play like that on a collective level there is nothing positive you can take from the game.
“We didn’t put in the match we needed to against a team that played their game. That’s top-level football and it’s the same whether you are world champions or not.”
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 now lead Group H with nine points having won all three games so far. They are followed by France then Iceland, both on six points.