Turkey needed a hero. With their backs against the wall, a talented squad looked set to leave their potential unfulfilled.
The future of Turkish football, Hakan Calhanoglu, and its present, Arda Turan, had failed to light up the European stage, unable to prevent a 1-0 defeat to Croatia and a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of reining European champions Spain.
Turkey’s last hope was to defeat the Czech Republic. From there, it would be fingers crossed.
The 2008 semi-finalists returned to the European Championship finals this month hoping to build on the momentum of a late return to form in qualifying that secured their place in France.
It didn't happen, and Turkish fans were left needing something to hold onto. Some hope. If not for the present, nor the immediate future, then beyond that.
Eighteen-year-old Emre Mor may just have gave them what they were looking for. The Denmark-born winger is among those making his UEFA EURO debut this month and he turned in a breakout performance on Tuesday.
In his first international start, he announced his arrival immediately by racing down the right before looking up and clipping a pinpoint cross into the path of Burak Yilmaz for a simple opening goal.
At just 18 years and 332 days, Mor had become third-youngest player to register an assist in a EUROs finals game since 1980.
That goal prompted Czech pressure, however. Another EURO debutant, Ladislav Krejci, helped knit together a number of slick moves which very nearly brought an equaliser.
Twenty-three-year-old Krejci was slightly more involved in his team’s play, completing 15 passes and creating a hat-trick of chances for his colleagues as they battled to draw level.
But it was Mor who caught the eye, despite only finding team-mates on 12 occasions. In a low-scoring game, one isn’t necessarily required to be constantly involved for 90 minutes, but to make the biggest impact.
Mor created just once chance, but it made the difference. Moreover, his pace and trickery with the ball consistently pushed the Czechs back, halting their attacking momentum.
Perhaps the greatest example of the talent already being tipped to take him to superstardom arrived in the second half when, darting forward on the right after another Czech move broke down, Mor plucked the ball out of the sky and set off on a mazy run that left three opponents in his wake.
His shot cannoned high over the bar but Turkish fans were witnessing the birth of a new star. Another youngster, 21-year-old Ozan Tufan, slammed in a second on 65 minutes and, with 20 minutes remaining, Mor departed to a rapturous ovation.
It would all end in disappointment for Mor, as results elsewhere meant his country did not progress to the knockout round. But in the Borussia Dortmund starlet Turkish football may well have found its future hero.
You could also make your debut at UEFA EURO 2016 by showing your passion in a photo on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #MakeYourDebut to win a pair of tickets. There are lots of different match tickets for grabs, so go and enter now!