Decidmated by injuries and suspensions, Turkey go into their semifinal match against favourites Germany on Wednesday with the same never-say-die attitude, hoping it will be enough to carry them to the final.
The Turks beat Croatia on penalties on Friday after equalising a late extra-time Croatia goal with the last kick of the match.
Semih Senturk, known among his club Fenerbahce fans as “The Lifeguard” for his late decisive strikes, scored in stoppage time in the second half of extra time to take the match to penalties where Turkey won 3-1.
But their victory comes at a high price and when they take the field against Germany, even more players will be missing than against Croatia.
Coach Fatih Terim had only 15 outfield players to choose from for their quarterfinal. That could seem like a luxury.
After picking up their second yellow cards, midfielder Arda Turan, forward Tuncay Sanli and defender Emre Asik are suspended against Germany.
First choice keeper Volkan Demirel is also serving out a two-match suspension for a red card against the Czech Republic, with an appeal to have it shortened to be ruled on Monday.
Captain Emre Belozoglu is extremely doubtful, nursing a hamstring injury since their opening game and injured central defender Servet Cetin said he would not be fit by Wednesday.
Germany look to Klose
Germany striker Miroslav Klose said on Saturday the fighting-spirit of comeback kings Turkey is his side’s biggest concern ahead of next Wednesday’s Euro 2008 semi-final.
Klose scored in last Thursday’s 3-2 quarter-final win over Portugal and Germany will now return to Basel to face Turkey.
Turkey have earned a reputation for grabbing wins at the death.
Klose said Germany must make sure the Turks earn no late reprieve in Basel.
“Just looking at the way Turkey play and the will-power they show, we will have to counter that,” said the Bayern Munich frontman.