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Euro 2024 latest: 'Europe here we come!' Unstoppable Demiral blasts Turkey off to quarter-finals

Turkey's Merih Demiral celebrates scoring his side's opening goal against Austria during a round of sixteen match at the Euro 2024 tournament in Leipzig, Germany
Turkey's Merih Demiral celebrates scoring his side's opening goal against Austria during a round of sixteen match at the Euro 2024 tournament in Leipzig, Germany Copyright AP/Thanassis Stavrakis/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright AP/Thanassis Stavrakis/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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Turkey are the last team to make it to the Euro 2024 quarter-finals after beating Austria 2-1

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Ready for the quarter-finals? Turkey are the last team to book a ticket for the Euro 2024 final eight.

Merih Demiral blasted the Turks off to the next round thanks to a brace that knocked Austria out 2-1 with goals in the 2nd and 59th minutes.

Austria narrowed the gap with Michael Gregoritsch in the 66th but ultimately failed to find the leveller despite increasing the pressure in the final minutes, as Turkey's goalkeeper Mert Günok made a miracle to save a powerful Austrian header from close range in stoppage time.

Mert Günok's stunning save in stoppage time against Austria defended the 2-1 lead
Mert Günok's stunning save in stoppage time against Austria defended the 2-1 leadAP/Ebrahim Noroozi

Turkey will face the Netherlands in the next round.

The quarter-finals will take place next Friday (Spain vs Germany, France vs Portugal) and Saturday (Netherlands vs Turkey, Switzerland vs England).

Here's what the table looks like.

Turkey seal breathtaking victory to reach Euro 2024 final eight

The Turkey-Austria tie got off to a ferocious start. Both teams had chances inside the first 30 seconds and Demiral scored inside the first minute after the Austrian defence failed to deal with a corner.

Baumgartner’s attempted clearance rebounded back off teammate Stefan Posch to goalkeeper Patrick Pentz, who scooped it off the line only for Demiral to pounce on the rebound and score.

UEFA clocked the goal at 57 seconds, making it the second-fastest ever at the Euros after Albania's one against Italy.

Demiral nets the first goal in for Turkey in the Euro 2024 knockout against Austria after just 59 seconds
Demiral nets the first goal in for Turkey in the Euro 2024 knockout against Austria after just 59 secondsAP/Ebrahim Noroozi

Austria almost responded but Demiral somehow did enough to keep Baumgartner from scoring on the line.

The Austrians pushed hard for an equaliser but the Turkish players matched their intensity and were close to scoring more, as Turkey star Arda Guler tried his luck from the distance and Demiral went close from the corner.

Austria's boss Ralf Rangnick responded at the break by sending on forward Michael Gregoritsch to partner Marko Arnautovic, who was then denied in a one-on-one by Gunok.

A corner gave Turkey respite. A shower of beer cups rained down on Guler but he wasn’t discouraged as he delivered a perfect cross for Demiral to head his second goal in the 59th.

Turkish players celebrate qualifying for the Euro 2024 quarter-finals after beating Austria 2-1
Turkish players celebrate qualifying for the Euro 2024 quarter-finals after beating Austria 2-1Darko Vojinovic/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Gregoritsch was left free at the back post for Austria's response after another corner but neither team could add any more despite a flurry of chances in the rain, with Gunok coming up with his biggest save in the final seconds.

Both teams were without their captains. Turkey's Hakan Calhanoglu was suspended and Austria's David Alaba, arguably the country's best player, is still recovering from a knee injury that kept him from playing in the tournament.,

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Netherlands 3-0 Romania: Dutch through to QFs after blistering display

The Netherlands offered their best performance at Euro 2024 so far with a convincing 3-0 on Romania.

Cody Gakpo broke the deadlock in the 20th minute and substitute Donyell Malen scored two late goals to send the Dutch to their first quarterfinal in the tournament since 2008.

The Netherlands had missed a plethora of earlier opportunities to add to the lead and captain Virgil van Dijk also hit the woodwork.

“I think we played a good game and showed a great reaction from the last one,” Gakpo said. “Especially after the last game we needed a reaction and today was a good step in the right direction. We talked a lot about the aggression, the intensity and defending like a team.”

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It was Gakpo’s third goal of the tournament, making him the joint top scorer along with Germany’s Jamal Musiala, Georges Mikautadze of Georgia and Ivan Schranz of Slovakia.

Romania had dominated possession until Gakpo’s goal, but never really tested Netherlands goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen.

Instead, the opener came when Xavi Simons surged forward before finding Gakpo on the left. The Liverpool forward cut inside the blue-haired Andrei Rațiu and fired into the near bottom corner.

Cody Gakpo, left, scores the opening goal against Romania's Marius Marin and Andrei Ratiu during a round of sixteen match between Romania and the Netherlands
Cody Gakpo, left, scores the opening goal against Romania's Marius Marin and Andrei Ratiu during a round of sixteen match between Romania and the NetherlandsAP Photo/Frank Augstein

The goal seemed to give the Dutch confidence and they had several chances to extend their lead. A huge section of their orange-clad fans thought they scored again six minutes later when Stefan De Vrij was allowed a free header on a corner but he planted it just wide of the right post, rippling the side-netting.

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A goal-saving tackle from Radu Drăgușin denied Memphis Depay a tap-in, while the Netherlands went even closer to doubling its lead on the stroke of halftime.

Denzel Dumfries did well to keep the ball from crossing the byline and cut it back to a completely unmarked Simons, who took a touch allowing the Romania defenders to close him down and - under pressure - he fired wide off the right post.

Netherlands fans and players celebrate their victory during a round of sixteen match between Romania and the Netherlands at Euro 2024
Netherlands fans and players celebrate their victory during a round of sixteen match between Romania and the Netherlands at Euro 2024 AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

Romania came very close to putting the ball in their own net when Bogdan Racovițan cleared Depay’s effort off the line and it came off teammate Marius Marin, but the ball fell into the arms of goalkeeper Florin Niță.

Van Dijk also saw a header come off the right post.

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Gakpo had a second-half goal chalked off for offside, but turned provider seven minutes from time as he managed to just keep the ball in play, under pressure from Drăgușin, and prodded it back from the byline for Malen to poke home.

And the Dutch capped a dominant performance in stoppage time when Simons released Malen for a surging run from the halfway line before slotting past Niță.

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