Turkiye’s Montella regrets own goal ‘bad luck’ in loss

It wasn’t me!: Turkiye goalkeeper Altay Bayindir and Zeki Celik (right) react after an own goal by teammate Samet Akaydin (not in picture) as Portugal’s Bernardo Silva runs by happily. — AP

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

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 said.

“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.”

Turkiye 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.” — AFP

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