Georgia promise to keep building, Turks start to dream big

June 19 – Georgia manager Willy Sagnol said his team can build on their encouraging debut performance that ended in a 3-1 defeat to Turkey in Group F.

The Frenchman stopped short of calling his team “happy losers” but reflected on his side’s loss with a sense that the experience and exposure had been a reward for the development of the Georgian game.

Georgia hit Turkey with lethal counters and pushed their opponents until the very last kick of the game when Kerem Akturkoglu ran the length of the pitch to grab a third for his team. Sagnol however believes that Georgia’s future is bright.

“For us, it’s most important to provide a good performance, that is how you get better – competitions like this will help you to be stronger,” said Sagnol.

“In the future, Georgia won’t lose this kind of game anymore, Georgia will learn.”

Sagnol expects a repeat performance from his side on Saturday when they take on the Czech Republic who lost 2-1 to Portugal in their tournament opener.

The Frenchman attributed Georgia’s rise in the game to “years of development” with the local FA playing a key role.

Much of the early evening, Georgia and their opponents had everyone on tenterhooks amid a rambunctious atmosphere at the BVB Stadium. Turkey manager Vincenzo Montella hailed the match “worthy of the European championship” and called it “the perfect gift” on his 50th birthday.

The Italian wants Turkey to break the glass ceiling at this tournament. He commented: “It has never happened in our history to win the first match, we have never gotten past the group stage. Our dreams were focused on this match, there have been a lot of first times: we beat Croatia, we qualified for the first time top of the group, we won for the first time in Germany in 72. My dream is to win the next game and to qualify for the next round and then more dreams will emerge.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1721245532labto1721245532ofdlr1721245532owedi1721245532sni@i1721245532tnuk.1721245532ardni1721245532mas1721245532