Wales v Turkey: Euro 2024 qualifying – live | Euro 2024 qualifying
An unnecessary scuffle breaks out. Roberts is in the thick of it, and he’s shown a yellow card. A sour end to an evening that for 36 first-half minutes promised much.
If Wales are to make it to Euro 2024, they’ll have to do so via the play-offs.
90 min +4: Brooks sends a flat one in. A Turkish head flicks out for a corner. Brooks to take. Ward to come up for it!
90 min +3: Roberts is knocked over under a high ball. A free kick out on the right. Everyone lines up on the edge of the box. Brooks to curl it in.
90 min +2: Dan James crosses low from the left. His namesake Jordan extends a leg and tries to steer into the bottom left. Always going wide.
90 min +1: The first of four additional minutes ticks by.
FULL TIME: Croatia 1-0 Armenia. It’s the play-offs for Wales.
89 min: Özcan becomes the latest player to go into the referee’s jotter.
88 min: Wales press Turkey back, but Ampadu needlessly tugs at Yazıcı and releases the pressure. “A few months ago, I’d written everything off,” writes Matt Dony. “Since the win against Croatia, I’ve been a lot more hopeful. But, eh, tournament football’s overrated, isn’t it? Just because Euro 2016 was one of the most amazing months of my sporting life, doesn’t mean I want it again. Honest. This is all fine. Sigh.”
87 min: Dan James sends Roberts into space down the right but his cross doesn’t find Moore. Turkey counter through Aktürkoğlu, who nearly gets clear down the right but is stopped by a sterling cruncher from Rodon. Proper last-ditch heroics.
85 min: Moore comes on for Williams.
84 min: … and Cardiff sighs again as Brooks dinks a ball down the inside-right channel to release Johnson, who draws Bayındır, wedges over the keeper, and sends the ball in off the base of the left-hand post. But he’s gone too early. A roar then a groan. Clearly offside.
83 min: Roberts fails to beat the first man. Cardiff sighs as one.
82 min: A free kick for Turkey out on the right. Aktürkoğlu swings it in. Ward claims with confidence and sets Wales off on the counter. Kadıoğlu shoves Brooks into touch down the right, and it’ll now be Wales’s turn to stick one into the mixer. Before the set piece can be taken, Aktürkoğlu is booked for having his say.
80 min: Dan James comes on for Harry Wilson.
78 min: Sari makes way for Kaan Ayhan.
76 min: A little of the fight has gone out of Wales. They could do with remembering that it’s still only 1-0 to Croatia against Armenia.
74 min: Wilson loses possession in the Turkish half and Sari romps off on the counter. Sari has options in the middle, but decides to go it alone. He cuts in from the right and unleashes a glorious rising diagonal shot towards the top left. Ward is beaten all ends up. The ball skims off the top of the post and out for a goal kick. That was so close to a sensational strike.
72 min: Wales feel aggrieved, and not just about the penalty. Yüksek clatters Wilson and avoids yellow. Çelik then skittles Williams; he isn’t so lucky. He’ll miss Turkey’s next competitive match.
Yazıcı gives Ward the eyes. Ward goes early. Yazıcı slips the ball into the bottom right as the keeper goes the other way. So calm. Wales in trouble now.
69 min: … Davies needlessly shoves Yıldız with Ward busy claiming the long punt. The referee points to the spot, then books Davies.
68 min: Ward flaps at a cross. He gets away with it. But then another long ball’s pumped into the box, and …
66 min: Viaplay have their critics. But after the mics catch a frustrated Welsh fan effing and jeffing in a very clear manner, they signally don’t bother to issue a craven apology. Hats off to them. We’re all grown ups and it’s after the watershed, after all.
64 min: Kadıoğlu embarks on a sensational dribble down the left flank to win a corner. It comes to nothing, but Turkey have looked much better since the break. It’s still 1-0 to Croatia against Armenia in Zagreb. Nerves jangling all across the continent.
62 min: Rob Page makes his first change of the evening. Nathan Broadhead, who has played very well tonight, makes way for David Brooks. The new man immediately gets involved, unfortunately so, as Johnson dribbles in from the left and shoots, only for his effort to be blocked by the over-eager sub.
60 min: Now it’s Wales’s turn to send a close-range header straight at the keeper. Good work by Wilson down the right; he stands one up for Ampadu, whose effort from six yards is easy pickings for Bayındır.
59 min: Kenan Yıldız comes on for the disappointing Barış Alper Yılmaz.
58 min: Sari and Çelik combine crisply down the right. The latter’s low cross looks dangerous but is deflected out by Ampadu. And from the resulting corner, Ward’s palms are warmed at last! Akaydin fires a header straight at the keeper from six yards. Either side of Ward and that was in, but it was a fine save nonetheless.
56 min: Çelik busies himself down the right and wins a corner. Aktürkoğlu swings it in. Rodon batters a header clear. Turkey continue to enjoy the lion’s share of possession, but have still to seriously warm Ward’s hands.
55 min: Some strange decisions tonight.
53 min: Wilson and Ampadu combine at warp speed down the inside-right channel. Wilson goes over and wants a penalty. He’s not getting one, though Yazıcı had accidentally stood on his foot once possession had been lost. When play stops, Yazıcı is booked, presumably for something he said.
51 min: Sarı crosses from the right. Rodon heads clear. Özcan chests down and attempts to dispatch a screamer goalwards. He sends the ball high, wide and not so handsome. Full marks for ambition, mind; had he got that on target, it’d have been a belter.
50 min: Nothing comes of the corner.
49 min: This is better! Broadhead slips a pass down the inside-right channel to release Johnson, who enters the area and whistles a low diagonal drive towards the bottom left. It’s heading in, and Bayındır does exceptionally well to fingertip around the post for a corner.
48 min: It’s all pretty shapeless right now. “Wales were pretty impressive in the first half but I’d be surprised if Türkiye don’t pull this one back,” sighs Dean Kinsella.
47 min: It’s still an odd atmosphere. Nobody’s particularly happy with their lot at the moment.
Turkey get the ball rolling again, having made another tactical change. Zeki Çelik comes on for Cenk Özkacar.
HALF TIME: Croatia 1-0 Armenia. Confirmation that the Croatians lead at the break in Zagreb thanks to Ante Budimir’s 43rd-minute goal.
Wales are doing all they can. Croatia, leading against Armenia, aren’t playing ball. As things stand, it’s Croatia and Turkey who’ll qualify automatically from Group D; Wales will be heading to the play-offs in March.
45 min +4: … ah no, Wilson dummies and Broadhead takes it instead. He sends it over everyone’s head and out for a throw. That should be pretty much that for the first half.
45 min +3: Wilson nips in from the right flank and draws a clumsy foul from Özkacar. He’ll get up and send this free kick into the box.
45 min +1: The news of that Croatian goal has sucked all of the air out of the stadium.
45 min: There will be four added minutes.
44 min: Wilson spins in the box and aims to thread a shot into the bottom left. Bayındır parries with great uncertainty, but claims at the second attempt. The effort isn’t met with much cheer, though, as news filters through that Ante Budimir has given Croatia the lead against Armenia just before half time. As things now stand, Croatia will win the group and Wales will have to navigate the play-offs.
42 min: The first period of sustained Turkish possession nearly results in a goal. Ping, pass, probe. Then Özkacar crosses from the right. Yazıcı flicks on, and Aktürkoğlu blazes over from six yards. He should have hit the target at the very least. He probably should have scored.
40 min: Rodon ushers the ball out for a goal kick. Yimlaz clambers over his back and then falls on him deliberately. Rodon thinks about losing his rag, then decides against taking the bait. Turkey’s frustration is betraying them.
38 min: Ward fizzes a long pass wide left. Davies heads on for Williams, and he’s away down the wing. Turkey showing very little resistance right now. Fortunately for the visitors, Williams doesn’t have anyone in support and the slick move fizzles out.
36 min: Aktürkoğlu tries to hook a right-wing cross goalwards. He only achieves a waft, and it’s easy pickings for Ward, who has been a virtual bystander so far.