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The Netherlands suffered a painful defeat at the start of their qualifying campaign for next year’s World Cup, losing 4-2 away against Turkey. A hattrick by 35-year-old Burak Yilmaz proved to be decisive.
It was the number 32 in the FIFA rankings playing host to number 14 and the difference may have been reflected in ball possession and shots on goal, but not in the final result. Turkey’s defensive and disruptive playing style eventually won the day, in addition to their extraordinary effectiveness. Two shots on goal by veteran striker Burak Yilmaz meant two goals in the first half.
The Turks extended their lead with a wonderful curled shot by Hakan Calhanoglu right after the break. The Netherlands fought back with two goals in quick succession, from substitutes Davy Klaassen and Luuk the Jong. But with nine minutes to go, Yilmaz completed his hat-trick with a well-taken free-kick, dashing Dutch hopes.
Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum told Dutch reporters that he felt his team were unlucky: “Turkey scored right after one of their defenders made a handball in their own penalty area. They scored through a deflected shot. Next came the penalty and a Matthijs de Ligt header that crossed the goal-line. It seemed everything went against us. Of course, the referee made some mistakes, but we only have ourselves to blame. We could have repaired the game. The result has nothing to do with the ref. Instead, we should ask ourselves why our opponents were so effective. We played a weak match tonight and will have to improve our game. Our response will have to come in the next qualifier [at home against Latvia on Saturday], which must end with a victory.”
The junior Netherlands side fared a little better in their opening game of the Under-21 European Championships finals in Hungary. Erwin van de Looi’s men drew 1-1 against a tough Romania side, who equalised with a magnificent free-kick by Andrei Ciobanu halfway through the first period. The midfielder levelled proceedings just four minutes after Perr Schuurs had opened the score with a powerful header.
With 69 percent ball possession, the Netherlands dominated much of the game, but Romania took control in the final minutes, resulting in a handful of efforts that were all saved by goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen. On Saturday, the Netherlands face Germany Under-21, who convincingly defeated hosts Hungary 3-0.
The latest news in Dutch about the Netherlands national team