VIDEO: Latvia grinds to draw with Turkey in crucial Euro 2016 qualifier

  • 2014-10-14
  • From wire reports, RIGA

A Latvian player controls the ball against Turkey in Riga on Monday night (photo: LETA)

Latvia ground to a 1-1 draw against a poor Turkey side in Riga on Monday night

Turkey player Bilal Kisa netted a long range effort two minutes after the break, however, the lead was cancelled out by Latvia's number ten Valerijs Sabala who scored from the penalty spot.

Despite dominating possession, Turkey opened the first half of the game goaless. 

The second half saw more attacking flair by both teams. Talented midfielder Janis Ikaunieks played his first game for the national team yesterday.

This was a crucial  match for both teams, not only because Latvia and Turkey both are near the bottom of Group A in the UEFA 2016 Euro qualifying campaign, 

At the moment, the Czech Republic and Iceland lead Group A with nine points each, the Netherlands has three points, followed by Latvia with two points, and Kazakhstan and Turkey with one point each.

Latvia is currently ranked 99th in FIFA rankings, whereas Turkey is in 38th place.

Latvia earned one point from a scoreless draw with Kazakhstan earlier this month before being beaten by Iceland 3-0 in a later game. Latvia faces the Netherlands in mid-November.

The top two teams in each of the eight qualification groups will automatically qualify for EURO 2016, while the third place finishes will play in a special play-off stage for the final four spots in the tournament.