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Euro 2008

Turkey shock Croatia in penalty drama

  • Story Highlights
  • Turkey beat Croatia 3-1 on penalties to reach semifinals of Euro 2008
  • Recber Rustu saves from Mladen Petric to seal victory for Turkey
  • Ivan Klasnic put Croatia ahead in final minute of extra time
  • Semih Senturk equalized for Turkey moments later to force shootout
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VIENNA, Austria (CNN) -- Turkey will play Germany in the semifinals of Euro 2008 after winning a dramatic penalty shootout against Croatia in Vienna.

Turkey goalkeeper Rustu is submerged by his triumphant teammates after his crucial save.

Croatia, who largely dominated Friday's match, looked to have won in the final minute of extra-time as substitute Ivan Klasnic headed hone from Luka Modric's cross.

But never-say-die Turkey responded with a sensational last gasp equalizer from Semih Senturk which stunned the Croatians ahead of the shootout.

Modric and Ivan Rakitic missed two out of the first three penalties for Croatia to give Turkey a 3-1 advantage, confirmed as Recber Rustu saved from Mladen Petric to spark wild celebrations.

Turkey coach Fatih Terim was overjoyed by the unlikely outcome.

"What has happened to us is unique in our history," said Terim.

"We have become one of the great footballing nations. Our people can rejoice. And if our people are proud of us then we are proud of them," he added.

It was hard lines on Croatia who carved out the best chances from the start of the match in the Ernst Happel stadium with Darijo Srna denied early by the timely intervention of Hakam Balta.

Croatia's midfield maestro Modric became steadily more influential and from a typical forward run down the right he crossed for Ivica Olic to slam his shot from close range against the crossbar.

Niko Kranjcar was following up and headed the rebound over, leaving Croatia coach Slaven Bilic an exasperated observer.

Croatia looked the more menacing and 35-year-old Turkish keeper Rustu had to be sharp to get ahead of Olic from a cross by the ever dangerous Rakitic.

But Turkey enjoyed more possession near halftime and had their best opportunity as Mehmet Topal was not closed down and sent a 25 meter shot narrowly wide.

The second half was barely five minutes old when Olic came close again as he headed over Rustu and after sloppy defending had a second chance which was hacked off the line.

Turkey were offering no attacking threat and another great chance fell to Rakitic who played a neat one-two with Olic only to blaze over under pressure.

Rakitic returned the favor moments later with Rustu left scrambling as Olic's header looped wide.

The veteran keeper kept his side in the game with seven minutes of normal time on the clock as he brilliantly turned away Srna's free-kick after Petric had been fouled on the edge of the area.

Rustu was again called into action as Modric crossed for Olic, but it was the last significant action in regulation play.

Extra-time started with Turkey showing more ambition as Croatia lost their grip on the match and near the end of the first period Sanli Tuncay went desperately close with a low shot.

Then came the late goal drama with Rustu at fault as he unnecessarily dashed from his line allowing Modric to cross for Klasnic to head home neatly.


But Semih's dramatic strike gave the giant keeper a chance of redemption he seized with both hands.

It was another remarkable show of resilience by Turkey, who had started the match with seven regular first teamers either injured or suspended, but a formidable test awaits in Germany next Wednesday in Basle.

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