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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 July 2024

European Championship: Arda Guler missile helps Turkey win 3-1 against debutants Georgia

Arguably the best game of the tournament so far, it had everything from great goals to shots flying off the woodwork to late drama in an intense atmosphere created by the deafening Turkish fans

Reuters Dortmund Published 19.06.24, 10:03 AM
Turkey’s Arda Guler scores their second goal inthe Euro 2024 Group F match against Georgia inDortmund on Tuesday

Turkey’s Arda Guler scores their second goal inthe Euro 2024 Group F match against Georgia inDortmund on Tuesday Reuters

A stunning long-range strike from teenager Arda Guler helped lift Turkey to a 3-1 win in their Euro 2024 Group F opener against tournament debutants Georgia, as they slugged it out in the pouring rain at a raucous Dortmund BVB Stadion on Tuesday.

Arguably the best game of the tournament so far, it had everything from great goals
to shots flying off the woodwork to late drama in an intense atmosphere created by the deafening Turkish fans, thanks to Germany’s large Turkish population.

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Turkey had most of the possession but were often exposed in defence and had to dig deep as Georgia gave as good as they got. Mert Muldur gave Turkey a deserved lead in the 25th minute, smashing a swerving volley past helpless Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili from the edge of the box.

Kenan Yildiz thought that he had Turkey’s second a little over a minute later in a quick counterattack, but his goal was ruled out for offside.

Georgia, playing in their first major international tournament, equalised in the 32nd minute when Georges Mikautadze turned Giorgi Kochorashvili’s cross past Mert Gunok, who should have done better in covering his near post.

Turkey looked livelier in the second half and controlled the action again. But it wasn’t until the 19-year-old Guler, coming into the tournament fresh from a run of goals
for Real Madrid, scored in the 65th minute that Turkey were able to turn their dominance into a lead.

Man of the match Guler struck an unstoppable curled shot into the top corner beyond the reach of the keeper. “I am just thrilled, no words to describe how I feel. I was dreaming of this goal constantly,” Guler said after the match. “I’ve been practising this particular shot.”

Georgia pressed for a late equaliser but, with Mamardashvili coming all the way up the field for a series of corners, Kerem Akturkoglu broke away, dashed down to the other end and passed into an empty net in added time to make it 3-1.

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