Portugal dominated Turkey on Saturday to book their place in the knockout round of the 2024 Euros. A Seleção das Quinas controlled the flow of the match throughout the afternoon, but were also aided by some key mistakes by Turkey’s defense.

The two teams entered the match as co-leaders of Group F in the competition. Turkey, however, previously held a minor advantage over the 2016 Euro champions due to holding a better goal differential.

Georgia and the Czech Republic previously played out to a 1-1 draw just prior to the afternoon fixture. As a result, the winner of the Turkey-Portugal matchup would take a stranglehold on the group.

Portugal takes two-goal lead into halftime due to Turkish blunder

After a fairly even start to the match, Portugal would take a lead in the 21st minute thanks to a goal by Bernardo Silva. Rafael Leao started the opportunity with a clever run down the left flank. The winger then found an overlapping Nuno Mendez inside the Turkish box.

Mendez subsequently pulled back a dangerous pass towards the center of the area. The ball clipped off of a defender and fell straight to the Manchester City star. Silva did not waste time and hit a quick shot just out of the reach of goalkeeper Altay Bayındır. It was the midfielder’s first goal for country at a major tournament.

Portugal then doubled their lead in bizarre fashion just eight minutes later. Turkish defender Samet Akaydin, despite not being under pressure at all, attempted to play a pass back to Bayındır.

The keeper, however, moved away from goal and towards his defensive teammate. Akaydin, unaware of the shot-stopper’s movement, played the ball across the line for an own goal. It was just the second such goal from outside of the penalty area in Euros history.

The match was disrupted on numerous occasions near the end as multiple pitch invaders ran onto the field of play
The match was disrupted on numerous occasions near the end as multiple pitch invaders ran onto the field of play

The match was disrupted on numerous occasions near the end as multiple pitch invaders ran onto the field of play

The match entered the halftime break with Portugal holding a comfortable lead. Nevertheless, the latter stages of the opening period were highlighted by a pair of controversial decisions.

The match referee first booked Leao for simulation, despite the fact that replays showed there was contact with a Turkish defender. Leao will now miss Portugal’s final group game due to the yellow card. Akaydin was also booked for a perceived foul, yet the defender clearly won the ball on the tough tackle.

Portugal polishes off match with second-half goal

While Turkey looked to get back in the game, Portugal grabbed yet another goal in the 56th minute. Silva helped create the score with a perfect lobbed pass through the opposition’s defense. The ball was arrowed towards Cristiano Ronaldo as he raced free on goal. The superstar seemed to be offside in the move, yet replays suggested otherwise.

Ronaldo, one-on-one with the keeper, unselfishly opted to square a short pass to teammate Bruno Fernandes instead of taking the shot. The Manchester United playmaker then sent an easy shot into the back of the net from close range. The goal essentially put the game to bed early in the second half.

Portugal will next finish off their group stage with a matchup with Georgia. Turkey, on the other hand, is set to attempt to get back on track against the Czech Republic.

A draw in the latter fixture will likely be enough for Turkey to advance on to the round of 16. Both games are scheduled for Wednesday, June 26th.

Photo credits: IMAGO / HMB-Media : IMAGO / PA Images