Turkey secure Euro 2012 playoff spot

Turkey has secured a spot in the playoffs for next year’s European Championships after defeating Azerbaijan 1-0 in Turkey on Tuesday.

A solo goal from Burak Yilmaz was enough to see off a tough Azerbaijan to allow Turkey to finish second in the Group A encounter. Turkey had needed Germany to beat Belgium to stand any chance of achieving the playoff spot and the Germans did just that, winning 3-1 against Belgium in Germany.

Turkish coach Guus Hiddink said: “It was not a very difficult game. I think we started the game very well, made a good press with very good possession play but the team got a little overexcited when the goal did not come. In the second half we were more in control.”

Turkey dominated possession but couldn’t find a way through a tough Azerbaijani defence in the first half. Hamit Altintop and Kazim Kazim both going close with efforts in the first half. Turkey finally found the breakthrough in the 60th minute with Burak Yilmaz converting neatly following a pass from Selcuk Inan.

Turkey held on the seal the win and earns a playoff spot for Euro 2012. The draws for the playoffs will be made on October 13th and the games will be played in the middle of November, the first legs taking place on November 11-12 and the second legs on the 15th. Turkey will be looking for an easy playoff to secure a place in next summer’s Euro 2012 tournament.

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