Turkey's Montella regrets own goal 'bad luck' in Euro 2024 loss to Portugal

AFP , Sunday 23 Jun 2024

Vincenzo Montella on Saturday rued Samet Akaydin's own goal which led to Turkey being soundly beaten 3-0 by Portugal and left in the balance his team's hopes of reaching the Euro 2024 knockout stage.

Vincenzo Montella
Turkey s Italian head coach Vincenzo Montella looks on during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group F football match between Turkey and Portugal at the BVB Stadion in Dortmund on June 22, 2024. AFP

Akaydin's sloppy backpass crawled into his own net not long after Bernardo Silva's 21st-minute opener as Portugal cruised to victory and won Group F.

"We had our chances and we didn't capitalise, they punished us for every little error. It was an even match and the bad luck of the second goal -- which can happen in football -- changed the balance of the game," Montella told reporters.

"It was a fairly obvious misunderstanding. Every now and again it happens and unfortunately it happened to the team I manage, I would have preferred it to happen to the opposition but there you go."

Turkey need a draw with the Czech Republic in their final group match on Wednesday to guarantee second place behind Portugal and a last-16 spot.

And Montella was encouraged by his team's display in front of a partisan crowd of Turkish supporters in Dortmund.

"For long periods of the match we played on the same level as one of the best teams at this tournament. They were just more clinical than we were," added Montella.

"They have more players used to playing in matches like this and maybe that made a difference."

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