The Miracle of Geneva (German: Das Wunder von Genf) was a decisive match at the 2008 UEFA European Football Championships played between the Czech Republic and Turkey on June 15, 2008, at the Stade de Genève stadium in Switzerland. The Czechs and Turks were both in group A, along with Portugal and co-host Switzerland. Turkey and the Czech Republic each had to win to qualify, having lost and won the same amount of games, in addition acquiring the same goals for and goals against. If the match had ended in a draw it would have gone to penalties - the first group stage penalty shootout in a major international tournament.
Coined by Christian Eichler in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt General Newspaper) as the "Wunder von Genf" (playing on the famous "Miracle of Bern" reference which involved the German win over Hungary at the 1954 World Cup), the game between the Czech Republic and Turkey was one of historic proportions in terms of football.
The Match[editovat | editovat zdroj]
With a place in the quarter-finals to play for, Turkey and the Czech Republic each had to win to qualify. Turkey had not beaten the Czechs since 1956 (then known as Czechoslovakia). The Czechs went into half time 1–0 up, and doubled their lead soon after half-time. With Turkey 2-0 down, everything seemed set for the Czech Republic to play Croatia in the quarterfinals. However, Arda Turan brought the Turks back into the game in the 75th minute, before Petr Cech made an uncharacteristic error to allow Nihat Kahveci a simple finish. Boosted by the equaliser, Turkey went for the win, and Nihat curled the ball past Cech from 20 yards. Then, with just moments left to play, the Czech Republic put the ball into the box only for the ball to drift out for a goal kick. However, believing that he had been caught by Jan Koller, the Turkish goalkeeper, Volkan Demirel, pushed the big Czech striker to the floor and was immediately shown a red card. With all three substitutions already made, Turkey had to put Tuncay Sanli in goal, but managed to secure their place in the quarter-finals. Tempers continued to boil over as Czech players Tomáš Ujfaluši and Milan Baroš received yellow cards in the final two minutes of the match, despite the fact that Baroš was on the bench for the whole game. With the realization of such a shock defeat, the Czechs retreated into depression as Turkey fans celebrated into the night, having played one of the most extraordinary matches of the tournament, and in footballing history.
Match Overview[editovat | editovat zdroj]