Latvia faces Turkey in football playoffs

Latvia will face Turkey in games Nov. 15 and 19 as it vies for a spot in the UEFA Euro 2004 football (soccer) finals, according to Latvian media reports.

The first game is scheduled at 8:15 p.m. local time in the Skonto stadium in Rīga, but the Nov. 19 match will be played in Istanbul, Turkey.

Latvia is one of 10 teams in the playoffs for a spot in the final tournament. The five winners of the playoffs will join 11 other teams already qualified for the finals, which are scheduled between June 12 and July 4 in Portugal.

Latvia earned a spot in the playoffs by gaining runner-up status in its group in qualifying games played between September 2002 and October 2003. Other national teams in Latvia’s group included Hungary, Poland, San Marino and Sweden, which came in first and advanced to the finals.

Other teams already in the finals are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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