Turkiye Beat Bosnia to Earn Euro Ticket
(ebru News/AP) Striker Nihat Kahveci scored just before halftime to give Turkiye a 1-0 win over Bosnia last night and a place in the 2008 European Championship finals.
Turkiye finished second in Group C, behind Greece who had already secured their place before Wednesday's final qualifying matches. Norway, beaten 2-1 by Turkiye on Saturday, finished third one point behind the Turks after a 4-1 win in Malta.
Nihat scored in the 43rd minute when Hamit Altintop found him with a cross and the Villarreal striker fired beyond Bosnia keeper into the corner of the net.
The result was a huge relief to Turkiye, World Cup semi-finalists in 2002, after they failed to reach the finals of the last European Championship and the 2006 World Cup.
"This is an important success," Turkiye coach Fatih Terim said. "All the teams in Euro 2008 are strong. It is up to Turkiye to take on a role at the tournament."
Nihat's goal came from a string of chances which fell to the striker, who was a constant threat to the Bosnian defence.
Bosnia were content to sit back in defense and hit Turkiye on the counter-attack but only managed a couple of efforts on goal. Midfielder Misimovich went close in the 42nd minute with a long-range effort which flew just over the bar.
The streets in Istanbul around Taksim and other city centers were filled last night by revelers celebrating the victory. Flag sellers crowded the corners, selling red and white star and crescent flags to the crowds rushing to join in the victory celebrations.
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