Can Turkey Qualify for Euro 2016? An analysis of their current position.
The Turkey national football team has a unique history in the annals of the UEFA European Championship. The team has only qualified for three Euro events over the course of the tournament’s 55-year history. However, of those three appearances, the Turkish side made quite a splash in two of them, reaching the quarterfinals in 2000 and reaching a podium position (third place) in 2008. Can Turkey qualify for Euro 2016 and put on another strong performance, or will they miss out on qualification for the second Euro event in a row?
Right now, the odds seem to be leaning in the latter direction for the wearers of the Turkey football jersey. Despite a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan in a June 12th qualifier, Turkey are currently in fourth place in their Euro 2016 qualifying group. In addition to Turkey and Kazakhstan, qualification Group A also includes Iceland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Latvia.
Group A: The Current State of Affairs
Most of the groups in this year’s Euro qualifying competition feature six different teams. The qualifiers are done in a round robin fashion, with each team playing the other five twice—once at home, and once away. As such, the majority of the soccer teams vying for Euro 2016 qualification have to play 10 matches to get there.
So far, in Group A each team has played six matches. Iceland, rather surprisingly, is on top of the group with five victories and one loss. The Czech Republic are also in qualifying range, with four wins, one draw, and one loss. The Netherlands, in spite of their success in the past two World Cups, are in third with three wins, one draw, and two losses. Turkey are in fourth, with two triumphs, two draws, and two losses.
With four games left, things could still shift around a bit, but the Iceland and Czech Republic sides certainly look like the frontrunners for qualification at this point. The Dutch are a possible spoiler, though it’s unclear whether or not the team have lost their mojo since the departure of World Cup manager Louis van Gaal.
If Turkey is going to qualify for next year’s European Championship, they are at very least going to have to worm their way into third place. The third place squads progress either to the final tournament or to a playoff for a last chance at qualification. Soccer teams in fourth place or lower, meanwhile, are eliminated.
Turkey’s Qualification Campaign…So Far
Right now, Turkey is just two points behind the Netherlands in the Group A standings. In other words, if the Crescent-Stars can win their next qualifier (a September 3rd home match against Latvia) and the Dutch lose theirs (a home game against Iceland, on the same day), then the Turkish football side will slide into third place.
The odds of that happening seem pretty good, too: the Dutch lost big to Iceland the last time the two teams met, while Turkey tied 1-1 with Latvia in an October 2014 fixture. They should do better with the home field advantage on their side.
Still, the wearers of the Turkey away jersey 2014 – 2015 are going to have to get more consistent if they are going to turn a corner in the final four games of the 2016 European Championship qualifying campaign. The team’s defense has been shoddy at best throughout the qualifiers so far, allowing Iceland to net three goals in the first game of the campaign and losing an early lead against the Czech Republic for an eventual loss.
In fact, the Crescent-Stars also gave away early leads in their 1-1 draws against Latvia and the Netherlands. Needless to say, with a slightly stronger defense, Turkey’s situation in the Euro 2016 qualifiers could be quite different.
In any case, help the Turkish national football team land their first berth in the UEFA European Championship since 2008. Start by picking up a new Turkey soccer jersey 2014 – 2015 from Soccer Box, then mark Turkey’s remaining qualifying games on your calendar. The Crescent-Stars play on September 3rd (Latvia), September 6th (Netherlands), October 10th (Czech Republic), and October 13th (Iceland). Follow their progress by connecting with Soccer Box on social media, on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.