THE PLANK JUNE 20, 2008
I've never seen anything quite like today's Croatia–Turkey quarterfinal game in Euro 2008. A full 119 minutes with no goals (I snuck out of the office to do some, ah, on-site reporting from ESPN Zone at about the 70th minute), then a major goalkeeping blunder leads to an improbable, ugly goal by Croatia. And then this two minutes later on the last play of the game:
And then Turkey wins on penalties. Absolutely stunning. It's hard to see where Turkey goes from here, since like half their lineup is suspended for their semifinal game against Germany thanks to yellow-card accumulation, but after coming back from the dead twice in a week, who could bet against them?
Croatia may have a leg up over Turkey in the race to join the European Union, but you probably couldn't find too many Croatians who wouldn't trade it for one timely save. And it's hard not to appreciate the historical overtones to a Turkish performance of this magnitude in Vienna, of all places--they've been waiting 325 years for this. (It can't be long until Mark Steyn says 'I told you so.')