Turkey qualify for Euro 2020 with draw against Iceland | The Daily Star
09:46 AM, November 15, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:53 AM, November 15, 2019

Turkey qualify for Euro 2020 with draw against Iceland

France also secure spot

Turkey qualified for the Euro 2020 finals with a goalless draw in a Group H against Iceland on Thursday, with the result also ensuring France a place in the championships.

They join Belgium, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain and Ukraine as the teams who have already qualified for the tournament that will be staged across 12 European countries from 12 June to 12 July 2020.

Turkey lead Group H with 20 points although France can overtake them at the top if they beat Moldova later on Thursday. Third-placed Iceland are out of the running as they have 16 points with one qualifier remaining.

Both teams struggled to make an impact with Turkey striker Burak Yilmaz failing to find a way past Iceland keeper Hannes Halldorsson.

The hosts pressed harder in the second half but Iceland's defence kept them from scoring.

Midfielder Ozan Tufan came close to scoring in the 63rd minute but his effort brushed past the crossbar.

Iceland also missed a chance to score in the closing stages when Hordur Magnusson's header was blocked by Turkey defender Merih Demiral on the line.

Before kickoff, Turkish fans whistled as Iceland's national anthem was played.

 

-- Giroud spot-kick gives France hard-fought win over Moldova --

France's efforts to celebrate their qualification for Euro 2020 were almost spoiled by Moldova, with an Olivier Giroud penalty sparing their blushes as they came from behind to win 2-1 and go top of Group H on Thursday.

Turkey's scoreless draw with Iceland earlier in the evening ensured they and world champions France would qualify from the group, but the Moldovans were intent on spoiling the French party.

The visitors took the lead in the ninth minute when France defender Clement Lenglet followed up a bad defensive header with an even worse one, giving Moldovan striker Vadim Rata the chance to poke the ball home.

France equalised in controversial circumstances in the 35th minute as Giroud contested with Moldova keeper Alexei Cosele for a free kick lifted into the box, forcing Cosele to spill the ball for Raphael Varane to head into an empty net.

The Moldova players protested vehemently that their keeper was fouled by Giroud, but Lithuanian referee Gediminas Mazeika waved away the protests and allowed the goal to stand.

Despite the glittering array of attacking players at their disposal, France struggled to break down the dogged Moldovans, and it took a 79th-minute Giroud penalty for a foul on Lucas Digne to secure the three points.

Elsewhere in the group, Albania had to come from behind to grab a 2-2 draw at home to Andorra.

France, who travel to Albania for their final game, top Group H on 22 points, two ahead of Turkey, who host Andorra to round off their qualifying campaign.

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