Football: Turkey beat Azerbaijan 2-1 in build-up to Euro 2020


ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey beat Azerbaijan 2-1 with goals from Halil Dervisoglu and Kaan Ayhan in an international friendly on Thursday as they built on their preparations for the Euro 2020 tournament.

Midfielder Emin Mahmudov gave the visitors a surprise lead in the 28th minute, running into the penalty area onto a cross from the right wing and firing a shot into the left corner beyond goalkeeper Altay Bayindir.

Playing in Alanya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, Turkey pulled level from a free kick six minutes later thanks to a glancing header from striker Dervisoglu.

Ayhan put the home side ahead from a corner in the 44th minute, tapping the ball in from close range as the ball saved by the Azeri goalkeeper Emil Balayev fell into his path.

Turkey face Italy, Wales and Switzerland in Group A at the June 11-July 11 Euros, led by captain Burak Yilmaz who played a key role in Lille winning their first Ligue 1 title in 10 years this season.

Turkey coach Senol Gunes is looking to repeat the success of his 2002 World Cup campaign, when he led the team to an unexpected third-place finish.

(Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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