Turkey stun France; Italy, Germany march on | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 10, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, June 10, 2019

Turkey stun France; Italy, Germany march on

World champions France slumped to a 2-0 loss to Turkey in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday amid a red-hot atmosphere in Konya.

Kaan Ayhan headed Turkey ahead on the half-hour mark and Cengiz Under fired in a second before half-time to give the hosts a first ever win over France.

Didier Deschamps fielded nine of the players that started last year’s World Cup final but France struggled to create chances, while Hugo Lloris denied Turkey on a number of occasions.

Victory pushed Turkey three points clear of France at the top of Group H after Senol Gunes’ side won for the third time in as many outings.

They continue their qualifying campaign away to Iceland on Tuesday while France will expect to rebound on their trip to minnows Andorra.

In Athens, Italy crushed Greece 3-0 to notch up their third win in as many games and pull three points clear at the top of their Euro 2020 qualifying group.

Nicolo Barella opened the scoring after 23 minutes with Lorenzo Insigne and Leonardo Bonucci adding two more in a 10-minute blitz which followed.

The Italians next play Bosnia-Herzegovina, who fell 2-0 to Finland, in Turin on Tuesday, while Greece play Armenia, who beat Liechtenstein 3-0.

Italy have nine points, with Finland second with six points, followed by Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina on four.

Andrea Belotti marked his return to the Azzurri by setting up 22-year-old Barella to rifle in just his second international goal.

Insigne then broke through after half an hour curling in from 15 metres out to leave Vasilios Barkas with no chance in the Greek goal.

Three minutes later the Greeks were reeling when Bonucci latched onto an Emerson Palmieri cross to head home.

Meanwhile, Germany assistant coach Marcus Sorg hailed an “impressive” performance after his team eased to a routine 2-0 win over Belarus in Saturday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Borisov.

“It was a bit unusual today but everything went well. We are all looking forward to Jogi’s return,” Sorg told broadcaster RTL.

“It was an impressive performance today and one we can build on,” he said.

Leroy Sane and Marco Reus scored either side of half-time in a dominant display which saw Germany notch up 23 shots to Belarus’ six.

The win puts Germany second in Group C, having played one game fewer than leaders Northern Ireland, who beat Estonia earlier on Saturday.

Germany pushed forward straight from the kick-off, and were rewarded with the opener on 12 minutes. Joshua Kimmich released Sane into the box, and the Manchester City winger swept the ball into the bottom corner.

Their inexperience briefly showed as they wobbled at the back after taking the lead. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer twice bailed them out in the first half, first with a reflex save and then with some fancy footwork outside his penalty area.

By the time the second half got underway, however, Germany had already re-established a firm grip on the game.

Reus sealed the win just after the hour mark, picking up a fine diagonal ball from Matthias Ginter and clipping it into the roof of the net.

Germany face Estonia in Mainz in their third qualifying game next Tuesday.

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