Turkey sealed their Euro 2016 qualification with a 1-0 win against already qualified Iceland. The 10-men Turks secured the game with Selcuk Inan’s late free-kick winner in the 89th minute, also sealing the fate of the Holland side, as their loss to the Czech Republic ended their hopes of qualifying.
The victory ensured Turkey’s direct qualification to the tournament after finishing above the Netherlands in Group A and being the competition’s best third-placed team.
Turkey only needed a point in Konya to see off the Dutch, who lost 3-2 at home to the Czechs. Last time Holland failed to qualify tot he competition was back in 1984.
The Turks skip the playoffs, where they were beaten in 2011 by Croatia to miss out on Euro 2012. Back then, Turkey lost 3-0 at Istanbul and drew 0-0 in Zagreb to prevent their qualification.
Coach Fatih Terim said, “As a country we really needed this win to feel happy, even for a few hours maybe. We are so happy to have offered some happiness to our people” referring to last weekend’s bombing in the capital Ankara that killed almost 100 people.
“We have a young team and it makes us even more proud that it has achieved this. It is easy to speak today, so that after our trip to Latvia [a 1-1 draw in October last year], we remained modest.
“We played every game as a final by [you] telling us that we should not lose. My wife could not be here today, but I told her all my love is here.” Terim says.