Turkey, victory during the classification for the Qatar World Cup

Turkey rekindles hopes of qualifying for World Cup in Qatar

A penalty goal in the injury time from Burak Yılmaz allows the Turks to continue dreaming of the World Cup in Qatar.

Turkey rekindled their hopes of qualifying for the Qatar World Cup in 2022 thanks to a goal in the final moments by Burak Yılmaz, during the match between the Turkish national football team played against Latvia yesterday.

The match, played at Riga’s modest Daugava Stadium, was scoreless until in the 70th minute Merih Demiral scored an own goal when he clumsily tried to clear a Roberts Savalnieks cross in the small area, establishing a 1-0 in favor of the Latvian national team. However, the Milli Takım managed to recover, and just 5 minutes later Serdar Dursun equalised the score with a lucky header from Cengiz Ünder.

In fact, the Turks clearly dominated the entire match (68% ball possession, 23 shots versus only 6 for the Latvians) forcing Latvia to resort to counterattacks to seek scoring chances and to fouls to try to stop the Turkish attacks, something it achieved until the final minutes.

It was then that the referee – after a long and controversial consultation with the VAR – signalled a penalty in the minute 5 of the injury time committed by Kaspars Dubra, when he allegedly knocked down Burak Yılmaz in the area; Yılmaz successfully executed 4 minutes later the penalty himself, setting the final 1-2 on the scoreboard and unleashing absolute joy on the Turkish side.

With this result, Turkey places third with 15 points in Group G (2 behind Norway) and maintains its hopes of qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar, which seemed to have vanished after the historic defeat against the Netherlands that forced the Turkish national coach, Şenol Güneş, to resign.