Updated on October 12th, 2021, 1:29 PM

  • The final minutes of the game between Turkey and Latvia were dramatic.
  • In the ninth minute of stoppage time, coach Stefan Kuntz’s team is released.
  • He reacts very emotionally after the redeeming hit.

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Stefan Kuntz waved his arms wildly, feared for a long time, then cheered after all – and was even moved to tears. In the ninth minute of stoppage time, Burak Yilmaz ensured Turkey’s first victory under their new coach and the emotional outburst at Kuntz. With a penalty kick after video analysis, the veteran secured the 2-1 (0-0) success over Latvia on Monday evening and thus a spark of hope for participating in the World Cup.

Due to the success, Turkey stays close to Norway. They are two points behind the second-placed Scandinavians. In a direct duel, Kuntz had to be content with a 1-1 draw on his debut. The criticism of the Turkish press was not long in coming. The sports newspaper “Fanatik” had a headline: “The German vaccination did not work.”

Fans and journalists are likely to have been even more nervous when Merih Demiral made an own goal after 70 minutes. Serdar Dursun started the race to catch up (75th). Turkey ran continuously in the closing stages, while the home team tried with all means to bring the draw over time.

World Cup qualification 2022: penalty saves Turkey – and Kuntz

However, they did not always act fairly. An alleged handball has not yet been sanctioned. But after a foul by Kaspars Dubra, referee Andreas Ekberg looked at the scene again and decided on a penalty. Yilmaz started up and stayed freezing.

After that Kuntz could see the redemption. He walked back and forth in dismay, always wiping the tears from his eyes, before he was congratulated by his function team. Turkey no longer has the qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in their own hands. Against Gibraltar on November 13th and in Montenegro on November 16th, victories are a must to get into the playoffs if the Norwegians make a mistake. (dpa / ska)


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