Turkey spark Green & White Army roars with Czech Republic victory
Czech Republic 0-2 Turkey
Burak Yilmaz and Ozan Tufan fired Turkey to a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic that sent Northern Ireland into the last 16 of Euro 2016.
Anything other than a Czech success or huge Turkish winning margin was always going to be enough to prolong the Green and White Army's stay in France - and the 2-0 scoreline made for a relaxing evening as far as Michael O'Neill's men were concerned.
The result ensures that, while Turkey are still sweating on their own involvement in the tournament, Northern Ireland cannot be overtaken in the battle of the third-placed sides and are guaranteed to finish above Albania and at least one other team - sufficient to secure progress to the knockout stages.
Turkey's victory was deserved but hard-earned. The Czechs made a positive start but were caught on the break after just 10 minutes.
Emre Mor, the highly-rated 18-year-old winger snapped up by Borussia Dortmund earlier this month, raced away down the touchline and clipped the ball into the box. Yilmaz got himself ahead of Tomas Sivok and neatly turned the ball in at the near post. The Czechs were not ruffled and went close to a quick equaliser when Sivok headed against the post from a corner.
Turkey doubled their lead midway through the second half after the Czechs failed to deal with a free-kick lobbed into the area by Selcuk Inan.
The ball found its way to the feet of Mehmet Topal and he laid off for Tufan to smash a shot into the top corner.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Cech, Kaderabek, Sivok, Hubnik, Pudil, Pavelka (Skoda, 57 mins), Darida, Plasil (Kolar, 90 mins),Dockal (Sural 71), Necid, Krejci.
Unused subs: Vaclik, Kadlec, Gebre, Selassie, Limbersky, Rosicky, Suchy, Skalak, Lafata, Koubek.
Yellow cards: Plasil, Pavelka, Sural.
TURKEY: Babacan, Gonul, Topal, Balta, Koybasi, Mor (Sahan, 69 mins),Tufan, Inan, Sen (Ozyakup, 60 mins), Turan, Yilmaz (Tosun, 90 mins).
Unused subs: Kivrak, Kaya, Calik, Sahin Calhanoglu, Erkin, Malli, Ozbayrakli, Tekin.
Goals: Yilmaz 10,Tufan 65.
Yellow cards: Koybasi, Balta.
Referee: Willie Collum (Scotland)
Match rating: 6/10
Man of the match: Mehmet Topal
Possession: Czech Rep 52% Turkey 48%
Shots on target: Czech Rep 5 Turkey 2
Fouls committed: Czech Rep 16 Turkey 14