Yeliz Özel makes Turkey happy

MAL7445 V EHF / Björn Pazen

Round 3 of the Women's EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers started with a bang on Wednesday evening as Turkey took their first points in group 6 in a true thriller, beating Iceland 30:29.

In a match which Iceland seemed to be on the way to winning, 41-year-old veteran Yeliz Özel scored the winning goal goal for Turkey 46 seconds before the end. Crucially, it was Turkey's first and only lead of the match.

Turkey vs Iceland 30:29 (15:16)

  • Iceland were constantly ahead in their first duel against Turkey and extended the gap to five goals for the first time at 11:6 in the 17th minute
  • boosted by the goals of their top scorers Asli Iskit (eight goals) and Fatma Kücükyilidiz (seven goals), who combined to score 50 per cent of Turkey's goals, the hosts were on an equal footing soon after half-time
  • Turkey levelled the score six times but only took the lead in the last 46 seconds to win the match
  • 10 saves from goalkeeper Merve Durdu were key to Turkey's sensational success
  • Turkey's win is even more impressive, as Iceland had beaten Serbia in round 2 – and they now remain on two points like the victors

A four-year wait came to an end

Since Turkey's women's team beat Lithuania 30:24 on 25 March 2018, they were without a win in the EHF EURO qualifiers. 

On Wednesday evening, they made it a night to remember. In the EHF EURO 2016 qualifiers, Turkey only took one victory – 37:31 against Portugal.

In the EHF EURO 2014 qualifiers, Turkey beat Italy twice. But Turkey have now managed to beat a top team and join Iceland and Serbia on two points in the group 6 standings.

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