Mert Günok’s save at Euro 2024 sparks Türkiye celebrations, even praise from foe Austria

A moment of Mert Günok brilliance sparked celebrations for Turkish fans and a big exclamation from Austria rival Michael Gregoritsch, who described it as one of the best saves he’d ever seen.

Goalkeeper Günok pulled off one of the saves of the 2024 European Championship deep into injury time on Tuesday to secure Turkey’s place in the quarterfinals.

Türkiye’s Mert Günok makes REMARKABLE, game-ending save vs. Austria | Every Angle

Türkiye's Mert Günok makes REMARKABLE, game-ending save vs. Austria | Every Angle

He leaped instinctively into a full-stretch dive to his right to palm away a close-range header from Austria’s Christoph Baumgartner four minutes into stoppage time, preserving his team’s 2-1 win and preventing the round-of-16 match from going into extra time.

“I think that’s one of the best saves I’ve ever seen live on the field,” Gregoritsch said. “You have to give credit to the Turkish goalkeeper because I think it was extremely difficult to stop. Unbelievable, really.”

Austria coach Ralf Rangnick was asked if the save reminded him of England goalkeeper Gordon Banks’ famous stop to deny Pelé at the 1970 World Cup.

“True,” he replied.

Later, Rangnick rued the save, saying he was sure that if the ball had gone in, Austria would have gone on to win the match.

“With Gordon Banks in goal, that was the last chance that we had,” the German coach said.

It was Günok’s fourth big save of the game, including a one-on-one situation against Marko Arnautovic.

It meant Merih Demiral’s two goals were enough to send Turkey through to a quarterfinal against the Netherlands in Berlin’s Olympiastadion on Saturday.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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