It'll go down as one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the European Championships.
Down 2-0 in the second half and facing elimination, Turkey scored three goals in the final 15 minutes of regulation time to post a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic Sunday in Geneva and earn a quarter-final berth at Euro 2008.
Turkish forward Nihat Kahveci broke the hearts of the devastated Czechs, scoring in the 87th and 89th minute to propel Turkey to the most improbable of victories.
"Seeing the ball in the nets and knowing that the goal was bringing a win and the quarter-finals, it was an unbelievable feeling," Nihat said.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech took the blame for the loss after his error led to Kahveci's first goal.
"It was my mistake that decided that we have to go home," the Chelsea goalkeeper said.
Also on Sunday, co-hosts Switzerland defeated Portugal 2-0 in Basel in a meaningless game. Portugal clinched first place in Group A with a 3-1 win over the Czechs on June 11, while Switzerland was already eliminated from contention.
Portugal won Group A with six points ahead of Turkey (six points), the Czech Republic and Switzerland (three points apiece).
Portugal will meet the second-place team from Group B — either Germany, Austria or Poland — in the quarter-finals from Basel on Thursday. Turkey takes on Group B winner Croatia on Friday in Vienna.
"The Turkish national team is in the top eight. Hopefully it will get only better from now on," Turkey coach Fatih Terim said.
"I'm proud that I have players who know that the match ends with the referee's whistle. We showed to the whole world what kind of a team we are," Terim added. "We had said that we came here to go until the end. We are working to make that goal come true."
Turkey played a tactical and crafty game right from the opening kickoff, while the Czechs were committed to playing attacking soccer. The Czechs used constant offensive pressure to pin back the Turks inside their half and after carving out several scoring chances, they broke the deadlock in the 34th minute.
Zdenek Grygera delivered a perfect cross from the right wing into the penalty area and Jan Koller shook off two defenders to powerfully head the ball beyond the reach of Turkish goalkeeper Volkan Demirel and underneath the crossbar.
After sleepwalking their way through the opening 45 minutes, Turkey sprung to life at the start of the second half, dominating possession and putting constant pressure on the Czech defence with their speed and slick passing game.
But in a cruel twist of fate, it was the Czechs who notched the next goal.
Moments after Koller failed to score on a breakaway, Libor Sionko swung a deep cross into the box and Jaroslav Plasil deflected it in at the far post to give the Czechs a commanding 2-0 lead.
Undeterred, the Turks valiantly fought back and made it a one-goal game when Arda Turan scored his second goal of the tournament with 15 minutes left in regulation.
Turkey furiously pressed for the equalizer and swarmed the Czech penalty area before finally tying the game in dramatic fashion in the 87th minute.
Petr Cech, considered among the best goalkeepers in the world, uncharacteristically let a weak cross slip through his fingers, allowing Kahveci the chance to pounce and score.
Kahveci wasn't done, though.
Just two minutes later, the Turkish terror beat the offside trap and curled a magnificent right-footed shot from 22 yards out off the crossbar and past a helpless Cech.
The drama still wasn't over, as Demirel earned a red card in injury time for knocking down Koller inside the penalty area. Because Turkey had used all three of its substitutions, midfielder Tuncay Samli replaced him in goal for the final seconds.
Demirel's red-card offence means he is ineligible to play for Turkey in the quarter-finals.
Czech Republic — Petr Cech: For all the wrong reasons.
Turkey — Nihat Kahveci: For all the right reasons.With files from Associated Press