|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Turkey out to ruin Croatia's title challenge
June 20, 2008 10:56 IST
Croatia will defend a 100 percent record at Euro 2008 [Images] when they meet Turkey in the second quarter-final of the championship on Saturday (00.15 IST).
Coaches Slaven Bilic and Fatih Terim have both had a testing time preparing for the game in Vienna.
Bilic lost Croatia defender Dario Knezevic and striker Igor Budan for the rest of the finals although he did receive good news when midfielder Ivan Rakitic shrugged off his knee injury.
Terim had an even harder task, with only 17 players to choose from.
Defender Servet Cetin is missing with a knee injury and captain Emre Belozoglu has been sidelined with a hamstring problem since the opening game.
Emre Gungor is out for the rest of the tournament with a calf injury while goalkeeper Volkan Demirel and Mehmet Aurelio are suspended and midfielder Tumer Metin is injured.
Turkey showed their battling qualities in the group stages, rallying from 1-0 down to defeat Switzerland [Images] 2-1 and scoring three times in the last 15 minutes against Czech Republic to snatch a thrilling 3-2 win.
Croatia sailed through the first round, beating Austria 1-0, Germany [Images] 2-1 and Poland 1-0.
"On paper we are the favourites to go through but we have to live up to that billing because it promises to be a delicately balanced encounter," said Croatia midfielder Luka Modric.
The winners will face Germany in the semi-finals in Basel on Wednesday after the triple champions beat Portugal 3-2 in the first quarter-final on Thursday.
Complete Coverage: Euro 2008