September 5, 2017 / 8:53 PM / in a year

Turkey revive World Cup prospects with 1-0 win over Croatia

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A goal from Cenk Tosun earned Turkey a 1-0 win over Croatia on Tuesday to revive his country’s prospects of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and deal a blow to the group leaders with two games left to play.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Turkey vs Croatia - Eskisehir, Turkey - September 5, 2017 Croatia's Mario Mandzukic in action with Turkey's Caglar Soyuncu REUTERS/Umit Bektas

The Turkish striker broke the deadlock in the 75th minute when Croatian keeper Danijel Subasic could only push a shot from Oguzhan Ozyakup away towards the feet of Tosun who fired the ball into the net.

Turkey’s prospects had been dented on Saturday when they lost 2-0 to Ukraine but they are back in contention after the win in front of a raucous home crowd in the northwestern Turkish city of Eskisehir.

Slideshow (7 Images)

Chances fell to both teams in an attacking opening spell, with Croatia almost scoring from a Luka Modric free kick in the 10th minute that ricocheted of Burak Yilmaz’s shoulder and onto the post as he tried to clear.

A minute later Turkey had a good opportunity to take the lead when Arda Turan crossed to Tosun, but he fired the ball wide from close range.

The second half started in a similar attacking fashion, with a Modric free kick setting up Dejan Lovren, who could only head the ball straight at Turkish keeper Volkan Babacan.

A few minutes of sustained Turkish pressure then followed but both Kaan Ayhan and Burak Yilmaz fired wide.

Tosun’s goal took Turkey up to 14 points in Group I after eight games, level with Ukraine on points and trailing Croatia and Iceland who both have 16 points after the latter beat Ukraine.

Writing by Daren Butler,; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and Toby Davis

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