EURO 2024: Turkey 2-1 Georgia for dramatic Montella birthday gift

EURO 2024: Turkey 2-1 Georgia for dramatic Montella birthday gift
EURO 2024: Turkey 2-1 Georgia for dramatic Montella birthday gift

Vincenzo Montella celebrated his birthday in style, as Turkey battled to a dramatic 3-1 win over Kvicha Kvaratskhelia’s Georgia, including an Arda Guler stunner.

It was a game packed with Serie A interest, starting with Turkey’s Italian coach Montella, Inter midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu and Juventus forward Kenan Yildiz on one side, Napoli winger Kvicha Kvaratskhelia on the other.

Montella’s men poured forward from the start and ex-Sassuolo defender Kaan Ayhan saw his first-time daisy-cutter from outside the box thump the base of the upright on 10 minutes, while Anzor Mekvabishvili forced Mert Gunok into a one-handed save.

Turkey’s domination finally paid off with a sensational volley from former Sassuolo defender Mert Muldur on the edge of the penalty area.

Juventus teenage sensation Kenan Yildiz had the ball in the net moments later, but his toes were offside on the flick-on.

Instead, Georgia equalised against the run of play with Georges Mikautadze tapping in the Giorgi Kocharashvili pull-back. It was an historic goal, the first for this nation in a major UEFA tournament.

There was very nearly another a few minutes later, Calhanoglu back defending and doing enough to put Mikautadze off on the acrobatic volley from 12 yards, as the tide of the game changed completely.

A trademark Hakan Calhanoglu free kick was parried, but Real Madrid teenager Arda Guler scored a fairytale left-foot curler into the far top corner from 26 metres, confirming Montella was right to use him in this advanced role.


What a goal for the "Turkish Messi" 🇹🇷#BBCEuros #Euro2024 #TURGEO

It still wasn’t over, as Kochorashvili squirmed through three defenders only to smash a shot against the crossbar.

Roma defender Zeki Celik came off the bench and immediately crossed for a Yusuf Yazici header well saved by Giorgi Mamardashvili.

Kvaratskhelia nearly set up an equaliser in stoppages, pulling back from the left by-line, but two Georgia players went for it and collided with each other.

That was only the start of the stoppage-time bedlam, as Kvaratskhelia’s free kick went past everyone and thumped the upright, then Samet Akaydin flung himself in the way of the Davitashvili follow-up.

On the resulting corner, Kerem Akturkoglu broke on the counter with the goalkeeper up the other end and rolled into an empty net for 3-1.

Turkey 3-1 Georgia

Muldur 25 (T), Mikautadze 32 (G), Arda Guler 65 (T), Kerem Akturkoglu 97 (T)

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