Tuesday 12 October 2021
Turkey wins in the 99th minute
Stefan Koontz weeps tears of redemption
Turkey is mired in injury time, the new team from successful coach Stefan Koontz, four points behind Norway. The World Cup dream threatens to explode. But a penalty too late brings relief. A lot of pressure drops from Koontz who can’t hold back his tears.
Stefan Koontz waved his arms wildly, frightened for a long time, and then cheered after all—he was even crying. In the ninth minute of stoppage time, Burak Yilmaz secured Turkey’s first victory under their new coach and Kontz’s emotional explosion. With a penalty kick after video analysis, the veteran secured a 2-1 (0-0) victory on Monday evening, and thus was a spark of hope to participate in the World Cup.
Because of the success, Turkey remains close to Norway. They are two points behind the second-placed Scandinavians. In a head-to-head duel, Koontz had to settle for a 1-1 draw on his debut. It was not long before the Turkish press was criticized. And the sports newspaper “Fanatik” published a headline: “The German vaccination did not work.”
Fans and journalists were likely to be even more nervous when Mire Demiral scored an own goal after 70 minutes. Serdar Dursun started the race to catch up (75). Turkey ran continuously in the last stages, while the home team tried by all means to equalize as time went on.
However, they did not always act fairly. The alleged handball has not yet been punished. But after a foul by Caspars Dobra, referee Andreas Ekberg looked at the scene again and decided on a penalty. Yilmaz ran and remained frozen.
It was then that Koontz could see salvation. He walked back and forth in dismay, always wiping tears from his eyes, before his job team congratulated him. Turkey no longer has qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in their hands. Against Gibraltar on November 13 and in Montenegro on November 16, victories must be won in the qualifiers if the Norwegians make a mistake. Norway must travel to the Netherlands on the last day of the match.