Wales face Euro 2024 play-off after controversial draw with Turkey
Wales are heading to the Euro 2024 play-offs after drawing 1-1 with Turkey on a dramatic night in Cardiff.
Neco Williams’ seventh-minute goal – his third for Wales – offered hope they could bridge the two-point gap between them and Croatia for the second automatic qualifying spot.
But Yusuf Yazici’s controversial penalty 20 minutes from time – awarded after Wales had three stronger spot-kick appeals rejected – handed Turkey a share of the spoils and the point required to top Group D.
In the end, Yazici’s leveller did not matter in denying Wales qualification as Croatia kept their side of the bargain by beating Armenia 1-0 at home.
Wales go into the March play-offs where a home semi-final against Finland, Iceland and Ukraine awaits.
Thursday’s draw will determine who Wales will play, with Poland and Estonia contesting the other semi-final.
Wales had lost control of their destiny by drawing in Armenia on Saturday, with a performance that was as poor as the result.
Boss Rob Page reacted to that disappointment by making three changes, one of which was enforced with Chris Mepham suspended and Luton defender Tom Lockyer making his first competitive appearance for Wales since September 2021.
Brennan Johnson and Nathan Broadhead were also introduced on the back of Wales’ makeweight attack in Yerevan.
Turkey skipper Hakan Calhanoglu, the Inter Milan midfielder, was absent through illness but Vincenzo Montella had started his managerial reign with three victories – including taking the scalps of Croatia and Germany – and their travelling support was as noisy as ever.
Wales showed an intensity that was missing in Yerevan as Broadhead seized on a mistake and curled wide of the far post.
But Wales did not have to wait long for the