Turkey coach hails extraordinary Calhanoglu's world class finishing
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Turkey coach hails extraordinary Calhanoglu's world class finishing

Czech Republic's Tomas Soucek scores their first goal. (Reuters photo)
Czech Republic's Tomas Soucek scores their first goal. (Reuters photo)

HAMBURG: Turkey coach Vincenzo Montella lauded captain Hakan Calhanoglu as the complete player after a rocket of a goal helped his side beat the Czech Republic 2-1 on Wednesday, firing them into the knockout stages of the Euros for the first time in 16 years.

Calhanoglu put Turkey ahead in the 50th minute with a venomous shot fired into the far corner of the net using the outside of his boot, sparking hysteria in Hamburg among Turkey's army of fans.

The Czechs -- now eliminated -- had levelled through Tomas Soucek before Turkey's Cenk Tosun sealed the win and second place in Group F behind Portugal when he skipped around the defence before unleashing a stoppage time shot into the net.

Montella said Calhanoglu's finishing was world class.

"He's a very complete player. He can play all over midfield," he said.

"He managed to score an extraordinary goal. If you look at the way he took the shot, there are few players in the world that can take a shot like he does.

"And sending the ball to the far corner using the outside of your foot, he's an extraordinary player. And he's an extraordinary man."

In a thrilling but ill-tempered match, the referee dished out two red cards and 16 yellows, including to Calhanoglu who was booked for unsporting conduct in appealing against the Czech Republic goal.

He is set to miss the round of 16 match with Austria.

"These 18 bookings show how intense the match was," said Montella.

"Calhanoglu was just asking the referee for an explanation," he said. "He's the captain. That's his role. He's allowed to do that. I'm sure he said nothing offensive. That was a bit too strict. And we will pay for it dearly."

He described next opponents Austria as like a club side, physical, fluid and well organised, but said he preferred to focus on what his young players had achieved under the weight of what he called huge and unfair pressure.

"This qualification will allow us to be a little more relaxed, to feel less pressure, to be less emotional," he said.

"Tonight, we just want to celebrate and enjoy this victory because we deserved it ... starting tomorrow, we want to keep on making history. That's for sure."

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