Turkey coach Fatih Terim said his team’s amazing late comeback to beat the Czech Republic 3-2 demonstrated the spirit and resolve of his players.
The Turks came back from 2-0 down to book a quarter-final tie against Croatia.
“I’m proud that I have players who know that the match ends with the referee’s whistle,” he said. “We showed the whole world what kind of a team we are.
“We came here to play to the end. We’re working to make that goal come true.”
With Turkey looking like they were on the way out of the competition, but Nihat took advantage of ablunder from Petr Cech – considered one of the world’s greatest keepers, before firing a winner in off the bar.
“At that moment, I just thought of shooting to where I saw,” said Nihat on his 89th-minute winning goal.
“It went well and it got in, thank God.
“Seeing the ball in the nets and knowing that the goal was bringing a win and the quarter-finals, it was an unbelievable feeling.”
Terim encouraged the Turkish public to enjoy the result.
“I send a message to my country and I say to the people ‘get on the streets, celebrate this victory, profit from this moment’!” he said.
“We’re in the top eight. Hopefully it will get only better from now.”