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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Croatia vs Turkey Preview and Live Score: Euro 2008

If you are interested to get the online live score and updates of Germany vs Turkey first semi final match then visit the following link:

Euro 2008: Germany-Turkey match Live Updates

If you are interested to get the online live score and updates of the Croatia vs Turkey first quarter final match of Euro 2008 then visit the following link:
Croatia vs Turkey Live Score and Updates

Croatia and Turkey are going to face each other in the second quarter final match of Euro 2008 tomorrow (20 June 2008). You may not think that it is a high profile match because neither Croatia nor Turkey is considered as a football power in world football. However, considering their performance in the group stage, you may not afford to miss the match, at least if you are an avid fan of football who likes to enjoy classic football. The match will take place at the Ernst Happel, Vienna in Austria.

Match: Croatia vs Turkey, Second Quarter Final, Euro 2008
Date: 20 June 2008, Friday
Venue: Ernst Happel, Vienna in Austria

Croatia vs Turkey: Road to Quarter Final
Croatia came to quarter final with hundred percent winning record as they won all three group matches. In the first match, they defeated co-host Austria by one goal. However, their performance was not that much impressive in the opening match. They appeared with their prime form against Germany in the second match and defeated the pre-tournament favorites 2-1 to ensure a place in the quarter final. Then in the last group match, Coach Slaven Bilic played a seemingly second string team in order to rest the regular members on yellow card. However, Croatia did not have any problem to win over Poland 1-0 in order to ensure their domination in Group B. Croatia progressed to the last eight as the winner of Group B.

Turkey did not have a good start in the tournament. They lost to Portugal 0-2 in the first match. However, it was not until Turkey recorded a superb 2-1 victory over co-host Switzerland in the second match coming back from a goal down in the match. A stoppage time goal thanks to Arda Turan secured an inspirational victory for Turkey in the match against Switzerland. In the last match Turkey required a victory against Czech Republic to get into the quarter final of the tournament. Turkey presented with a performance that will be remembered for a long time as one of the greatest comeback by a team in a major football tournament. With 15 minutes left in the match, Turkey was 2-0 down in the match, Arda Turan replied with a goal in the 75th minute. Then in the 87th and 89th minutes, Captain Nihat Kahveci scored two goals to ensure an emphatic victory for the Turkish team. With that victory, Turkey secured the second place of Group A behind leader Portugal.

Croatia vs Turkey: Head to Head and Recent Form
Croatia and Turkey faced each other thrice in which Croatia won one and other two matched ended in draw. Croatia defeated Turkey 1-0 in the opening match of Euro 1996. Now, this time, Turkey has a good chance to take a revenge of that defeat.

Croatia seems to be better in terms of recent form. Croatia won four out of last seven matches along with two draws and a defeat. Turkey, on the other hand, also recorded four victories out of last seven matches, besides two defeats and a draw.

Turkey Coach Fatih Terim Praises Croatia
Ahead of the Croatia encounter, Turkey Coach Fatih Terim has been full of praise about Croatia. However, he is not interested to look back to their previous performances and record because he thinks that at this stage of the tournament past results do not mean much. Indicating Croatia’s win over Germany, Terim thinks, Croatia is a good team, but also says that Turkey is good too. He insists, Turkey will go into the match with the hope of staying in the tournament.

International Herald Tribune reported:

"The situation is much different from how it was in 1996," said Turkey coach Fatih Terim, who was also the head of the team 12 years ago. "The Croatian team had a good performance both in qualifiers and in the championships. But at this stage of the competition, names or past results do not mean much."

"Croatia is a good team, they beat Germany, but we are a good team, too, and we will get better as each day passes," Terim said. "The Croats play well, but as far as we are concerned we will go to Vienna and lets hope we stay there, it is the winner takes all now."

Turkey Appealed against the Two-Match Suspension on Goal Keeper Volkan Demirel
Turkey might miss their regular goal keeper Volkan Demirel for the quarter final match against Croatia. Turkey’s no. 1 goal keeper Volkan Demirel was sent off during their spirited 3-2 victory over Czech Republic and is now facing a two-match ban. Turkey has already appealed against this ban ahead of their quarter final encounter against Croatia. After pushing Czech player Jan Koller to the ground in the closing minutes of the game, Volkan was shown red card. Turkish coach Fatih Terim said that if his suspension is sustained despite the appeal, experienced goal keeper Rustu Recber will come on in goal against Croatia in the quarter final match.

Croatia Coach Slaven Bilic Wary of Turkey’s Ability as a Comeback Side
As I earlier mentioned that Turkey recorded two inspirational victories in their last two group matches coming from behind. Now, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic is also worried about this ability of Turkish side. Slaven Bilic has been full of praise regarding Turkey terming them a quick and aggressive side. However, Bilic also indicates that like all the teams, Turkey also has weaknesses.

Reuters reported:

"Their comebacks in those two games were quite remarkable and showed they are a force to be reckoned with," Bilic told a news conference.

"Turkey are quick and aggressive and have several very skilful players, so I am really not surprised that they progressed to the quarter-finals.

"We will take nothing for granted although we would certainly like to score first because they are by no means invincible. Like all teams in the tournament, they have weaknesses too."

Both Sides Suffering from Injury Problem
Ahead of the quarter final clash on Friday, both Croatia and Turkey are facing injury problems. Croatia has lost two members of its squad for the rest of the tournament. Defender Dario Knezevic picked up a knee injury during Croatia 1-0 victory over Poland in their last group match and was substituted by defender Vedran Corluk in the first half of the match. Recently, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has recently confirmed that Dario Knezevic’s tournament has come to an end with strained knee ligaments. However, the coach has also ensured that the defender’s injury is not serious in the long term, but Bilic admitted that the absence of the centre back is a huge blow for Croatia.

Coach Slaven Bilic will be missing another player for the rest of the tournament. Striker Igor Budan has suffered a knee injury and now has to sit out the rest of Croatia’s European Championship. The striker, who came in as a substitute in Croatia’s first match against Austria and then was among the reserve, now has to undergo an arthroscopic surgery. Coach Bilic has said that the team will consider for a replacement if they can get into the semi final of the tournament. Midfielder Darijo Srna and Ivan Rakitic are expected to be available for the Turkey encounter recovering from minor injuries.

Turkey has also got to worry for something on injury ground. Turkey defender Emre Gungor has been out of the rest of the Euro 2008 competition with a calf injury. Gungor suffered a torn muscle fibre in the left calf during Turkey’s inspirational 3-2 victory over Czech Republic and was substituted after 63 minutes of the match.

Croatia Coach Slaven Bilic: Quarter Final was Original Goal, but Not Enough Now
Ahead of the Croatia vs Turkey quarter final match, Croatia coach now look to reach the semi final of Euro 2008 by defeating Turkey in the last eight of the competition. He has said that quarter final was Croatia’s main goal initially, but now it is not enough. According to Bilic, Croatia has the strength and quality to beat Turkey in the quarter final tomorrow. The coach has also expressed his respect for Turkey team saying that their comebacks in the previous two matches were impressive, but also pointed out that the way Turkey trialed in the games also indicates something for Croatia.

Canadian Press reported:

"Our quarter-final berth may be a surprise for some, but it isn't for us," coach Slaven Bilic said. "Our original goal was to reach the quarter-finals, but now that's not enough. We will do everything to beat Turkey. We have the strength and the quality to do it."

"The way they managed the comebacks in those games was impressive," Bilic said. "But, the way they trailed in those games also tells us something. Their strength is obviously somewhere in between."

Bilic has been impressed with the performance of Ivan Klasnic, who scored the winning goal for Croatia against Poland. Klasnic has come into the tournament after a kidney transplant. The coach considers him as one of the strongest assets for the next match.

Croatia vs Turkey: Online Live Score and Updates
The fans of both sides are now eagerly waiting for this match and might be planning to watch the match on television, except those who are going to the stadium to enjoy the match. However, still some of you might not be able to watch the match on television due to personal or professional works. However, you can get the online live score and updates of the match from different live score websites. Here, I am giving some links of some of the online live score websites:

Live Score
Goalzz
Euro 2008
Goal.com
football-data
Sky Sports
Live Score.cz

Croatia might seem to be a bit ahead of Turkey considering their hundred percent winning record in the group stage. However, taking Turkey’s superb comebacks in the last two group matches into account, I think, Turkey has the ability to defeat Croatia in the match. So, to be honest, I do not see any favorite team for this match, as both the teams have some strong sides that would help them in the quarter final. The question lies here is that if the two sides will be able to continue their impressive form in the quarter final as well. The answer will make the difference between the two teams in the match. However, one thing is for sure that both sides know it very well that a semi final berth would take them very close to winning the title of Euro 2008. So, don’t you think that an excellent match is waiting there at the Ernst Happel, Vienna in Austria?

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