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The Netherlands have come closer to securing a berth in the 2022 FIFA World Cup after thrashing their main rivals, Turkey, 6-1 on Tuesday.
Billed as crucial, this final fixture of the second triple header in Group G was about more than qualification for next year’s World Cup. It was also about making up for the Netherlands’ upset 4-2 defeat in Turkey in March. And about restoring at least something of the Oranje’s reputation as a side to be reckoned with. On all scores, Louis van Gaal’s men succeeded.
The seasoned head coach has only been in charge of the Netherlands for a few weeks and the squad has already made great strides. The results have been positive and the team’s form and performance have markedly improved.
In their third qualifier in eight days, the Oranje got off to a flying start with Davy Klaassen opening the score in stunning fashion after a deft one-two with Memphis Depay. Only 15 minutes, it was the other way around with Memphis striking home after a brilliant one-two with Klaassen. The Barcelona striker netted again with a Panenka penalty on 38 minutes, his sixth goal in as many qualifiers.
The drubbing caused frustration among the guests, leading to the dismissal of Çaglar Söyüncü after a second booking for a bad foul just before the break. Game over for the Crescent-stars, who spent the second half trying to limit the damage.
That didn’t stop Memphis, who was quick to complete his hat-trick with a header on the goal-line, bringing his total tally for the Netherlands to 33 goals. Memphis now shares the number eight position on the Netherlands goal scorers list with two other football legends: Abe Lenstra and Johan Cruyff.
Ten minutes from the final whistle, substitute Guus Til scored his first goal for the Netherlands with a strike from outside the box. The goal prompted the Turkish fans to leave the stands while the home supporters paid tribute to the new manager, chanting his name towards the end of this memorable match.
The final minutes were eventful, with another Netherlands substitute, Donyell Malen, scoring after an assist from 18-year-old debutant Devyne Rensch, followed by a surprise Turkey goal by Cengiz Ünder after a bad foul on Oranje captain Virgil van Dijk. Apart from the pain, Van Dijk must have felt elated by this hoped-for result which revived the Netherlands’ chances of going to Qatar next year.
Netherlands starting line-up
Justin Bijlow, Virgil van Dijk, Stefan de Vrij, Daley Blind, Denzel Dumfries , Frenkie de Jong, Davy Klaassen, Georginio Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay, Steven Bergwijn, Steven Berghuis.
Turkey starting line-up
Ugurcan Cakir, Caglar Söyüncü, Merih Demiral, Mert Müldür, Kaan Ayhan, Okay Yokuslu, Orkun Kökcü, Kenan Karaman, Cengiz Ünder, Burak Yilmaz, Hakan Calhanoglu.
The latest news in Dutch about the Netherlands national team