PORTUGAL TRASH TURKEY 3-0 TO QUALIFY FOR NEXT ROUND AS GROUP WINNERS

Portugal booked their place in the last 16 as group winners at Euro 2024 following a routine victory over Turkey in Dortmund.

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva opened the scoring midway through the first half, striking first time past goalkeeper Altay Bayindir after Nuno Mendes’ cross from the left was deflected into his path.

A calamitous own goal doubled Portugal’s lead when defender Samet Akaydin failed to look up before passing it back to Bayindir, who could not prevent the ball from rolling into his own net.

That dampened the exuberant Turkish support, which had begun with hundreds of fans marching to the stadium from the city centre, draped in flags.

Portugal’s support was equally impressive, if fewer in number, and they celebrated as their side played with fluidity and composure.

Their team sealed the win when Cristiano Ronaldo unselfishly teed up Bruno Fernandes for a tap-in to make it 3-0 before an hour was played.

The 2016 champions will take on Group F opponents Georgia on Wednesday knowing their job is complete in the group stages, while Turkey can still qualify when they travel to Hamburg to face the Czech Republic.

Portugal show quality as Turkey keep hope

Manager Roberto Martinez said Portugal had prepared better for this game than they had for their narrow opening victory over the Czech Republic – and it showed.

Spearheaded by the legendary Ronaldo for the second match, Portugal had numerous chances and tested Turkey’s defence throughout.

Silva was busy in attack, linking up nicely with Vitinha and Joao Cancelo, while Mendes was a livewire on Portugal’s left-hand side.

Vincenzo Montella’s Turkey side had a few chances of their own – Kerem Akturkoglu could not make clean contact a few yards out, and later forced goalkeeper Diogo Costa into a smart save at his near post.

Orkun Kokcu also tested Costa in the first half, while Yusuf Yazici drilled one straight at him in the second half.

Turkey fans were unhappy with the officials, and their players confronted German referee Felix Zwayer, who they felt had awarded Portugal too many free-kicks.

Turkey still have high hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages for the first time in their history, with three points in the bag after winning their first match against Georgia.

Meanwhile, Portugal’s performance only validated their supporters’ hopes that they can go all the way in Germany.

Saturday’s game was also tarnished by several people running onto the pitch, bypassing security guards, to try to get pictures with Ronaldo.

The first was a young boy and the Portugal captain posed, but the forward later grew frustrated as others attempted to follow suit.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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