LEIPZIG: An opportunist first-minute goal and a magnificent last-minute save fired Turkey into the quarter-finals of the UEFA European Championship for the first time since 2008.

Back then, 16 years ago, the Turkish dream eventually ended in a semi-final defeat by Germany in finals hosted by Austria and Switzerland so it was by happy irony that this time they return to the last eight after beating the Austrians 2-1.

In the quarter finals the Turks, second-youngest squad at the finals, will face Netherlands.

Turkey set up an end-to-end thriller when they opened the scoring with just 57 seconds on the clock. Arda Guler’s corner was fumbled between two defenders and goalkeeper Patrick Pentz and Turkey defender Merih Demiral pounced to score from close range in Leipzig.

Just before the hour the same partnership struck again with another right-wing corner from Guler being glance-headed home by Demiral.

Austria had not managed a shot on target in the first half improved with the introduction of substitutes Michael Gregoritsch and Alexander Prass. They dominated possession but made little significant impression on the massed Turkish defence.

Austria pulled one goal back when Stefan Posch flicked on Marcel Sabitzer’s corner for substitute Gregoritsch to score.

In the last minute of stoppage time keeper Mert G√ľnok leaped to his right for the save of his life from Christoph Baumgartner. That save took Turkey into the last eight.

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