Euro 2020: Turkey face near impossible task to progress after losing to Wales

Another poor display from Turkey in their group game means them remain pointless after they were well beaten by Wales in Baku.

Led by captain Gareth Bale, the Welsh side dominated the game in the first half, scoring just before half time.

Bale collected the ball near the half-way line and sent a brilliant pass that cut through the heart of the Turkish defence for Aaron Ramsey to latch on to. The Juventus midfield calmly brought the ball down and coolly finished with a low drive to give Wales the lead on the 42nd minute.

A trip at the edge of the penalty box by Zeki Çelik gave Bale the chance to double Wales’ lead and kill off the game, but the Real Madrid player sent his penalty flying over the bar.

The Turks tried to harder in the second half to find an equaliser and came closest through Burak Yılmaz, whose close-range volley, headed-on to him by Kaan Ayhan from a corner, was just over the bar.

Willed on by some 30,000 Turkish-Azeri fans at the Baku Olympic Park, substitute Merih Demiral nearly scored three minutes before the end, but his powerful header was well saved by Welsh goalkeeper Danny Ward.

A second Bale assist in added time had the final say in the game. The Welsh captain picked up the ball from a corner and drove into Turkey’s box along the goal line, laying on the perfect pass for Connor Roberts to drive in.

Roberts’ goal silenced the home crowd, which included both the Azerbaijani and Turkish Presidents, Ilham Aliyev and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while sending the few hundred visiting fans delirious.

After drawing with Switzerland in their opening game, who were soundly beaten 3-0 by Italy in Rome on Wednesday night, Wales go second in Group A with four points, and now have a strong chance of qualifying to the knockout stage.

Gareth Bale celebrates with Wales team mates after beating Turkey 2-0, Baku Olympic Stadium, 16 June 2021. Photo © Twitter/ UEFA Euro 2020


Italy have already qualified with a maximum of six points from their first two games.

For the Turks, bar a miracle in the final group games, their back-to-back defeats looks set to mean an early exit from the Euros.

Only the top two sides of each of the six groups are guaranteed to progress to the knockout stages, along with the four best placed third placed teams.

Turkey would need to beat Switzerland by a handsome margin and pray results elsewhere go their way.

Their final group match will again be played in Baku on Sunday 20 June. Kick-off is at 5pm UK time, with the game broadcast live on ITV.


Main photo, top, Turkey ready to step out to face Wales in their second Euro 2020 Group A game, Baku Olympic Stadium, 16 June 2021. Photo © Twitter/ UEFA Euro 2020