Turkey-Czech Republic: Scripted by Hitchcock, Played to Perfection!

raam shankerContributor IJune 15, 2008

By far this is the most intriguing and edge-of-the-seat game of the European Championships until now. This game had the possibility of history being created, because if the game were drawn, we'd head to a shootout to decide the winner.

The first twist or rather thrill in the plot came when Jan Koller stamped his authority on the game with a superb header, just after half an hour. The game did not have much until Plasil made a steaming run and popped a peach to double the Czech's advantage, around the hour mark.

This is when the Turks came to life. Suddenly we could see movement on the right flank, with Colin Kazim-Richards making those incisive runs with Tuncay, Aurelio and Altintop and the transformation was a treat to the eye.

Here comes the first twist in the tale. Turkey pulled one back through Arda Turan and Cech can do nothing about it. The timing of this was what got me stunned. Only moments before this goal did we hear the Turkish fans go silent, losing all hopes.

Well there's more to it. What should have been a routine punch was messed up by Cech as he tried to catch a slippery ball from Altintop's cross and Nihat pounced on that little mistake to draw Turkey level, three minutes before time.

The situation was similar to the way we started. Turkey and Czech Republic were level on goals scored, conceded and goal difference and also level on points. This meant that if the game ended this way we would see a shootout to decide the winner.

Suited me just fine as I'd just prepared another cuppa tea. The fourth official indicates a minimum of four minutes added time. Twist in the plot again. Turkey break loose, Tuncay to Nihat and he surls the ball past Czech and into the back of the net! Turkey 3, Czech Republic 2!

The drama is not over yet. The Czechs come to life again and the Turks somehow get the ball away after a mix up between Volcan and Servet. And then, Volcan gets sent off, for pushing Koller to the ground.

Replays confirmed the decision and we will have Rustu Recber in the QF clash with Croatia, looks like it. Now Tuncay dons the gloves as Turkey have used up all their substitutions. However there are no more chills, thrills or spills in this game and Turkey romp home to a memorable win.

As far as thrill and excitement go, this ranks number one for me in the Championships so far.

I'd like to go back earlier in the game to recollect Koller and Polak's misses and I cant help thinking how significant they proved to be!

As of now, I am off to catch a good night's sleep after a fantastic match that would make Alfred Hitchcock proud any day, as I have a long week ahead.