Netherlands fight back to crush Turkish dreams


Netherlands 2-1 Turkey

Netherlands struck twice in quick succession as they came from behind to book a Euro 2024 semi-final against England with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Turkey.

Samet Akaydin gave Turkey a 35th-minute lead in a tense quarter-final encounter in Berlin on Saturday but the Netherlands rallied after the break.

Stefan De Vrij headed the equaliser after 70 minutes and the turnaround was completed six minutes later when Mert Muldur turned into his own net under pressure from Cody Gakpo.

Turkey piled forward in search of a late equaliser but Bart Verbruggen produced a brilliant reaction save to deny Kerem Akturkoglu in a nervous finale.

Samet Akaydin heads Turkey into the lead.

The Netherlands started brightly with Memphis Depay shooting over after playing a one-two with Gakpo, who then dragged a shot wide himself.

Yet the positive opening was not to last in what was a largely-scrappy first half.

Turkey finally began to settle towards the end of the opening period and went close when Kenan Yildiz flashed a shot over.

The Dutch failed to heed that warning and were punished after 35 minutes when clearing a corner only as far as Arda Guler.

The Real Madrid youngster lifted the ball towards the far post where Akaydin powered home a header.

The ball is bundled past Mert Gunok into the Turkish net by Mert Muldur under pressure from Cody Gakpo.

It was not until the second half, following the introduction of Wout Weghorst, that the Netherlands began to threaten.

Weghorst immediately stretched the Turkey defence and his dangerous header across goal was almost turned in by Depay, although the flag was raised.

Turkey remained dangerous and Guler struck the outside of the post with a low free-kick.

Turkey also wanted a penalty after Verbruggen parried a Yildiz shot and Weghorst tangled with Kaan Ayhan in the aftermath, but the Dutch escaped.

Weghorst turned his attention to the other end and tested Mert Gunok, while Depay also shot at the goalkeeper.

As pressure increased, the equaliser came as Depay exchanged passes with Jerdy Schouten and crossed for De Vrij to rise and score with a firm header.

Bart Verbruggen makes a dramatic late save to stop Turkey from taking the game to extra time.

Turkey were still reeling when the Dutch snatched the lead soon after.

Denzel Dumfries broke down the right and fizzed a dangerous low ball into the box towards Gakpo.

The Liverpool forward attacked the ball but the final touch came off Muldur as it was bundled in.

Turkey threw themselves forward but were thwarted as Schouten and Micky Van de Ven blocked from Zeki Celik and Akturkoglu respectively.

Akturkoglu had one last chance in stoppage-time but Verbruggen denied him at point-blank range as the Dutch clung on.

Turkey’s frustration was evident as unused substitute Bertug Yildirim was shown a red card for his antics on the touchline.

Today’s earlier result:

  • England 1-1 Switzerland AET England win 5-3 on penalties

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