Netherlands Mount Euros Comeback with A Stunning 2-1 Victory over Turkey

Netherlands stunned everyone by defeating Turkey 2-1 on Saturday thanks to two goals in the second half in the quarterfinals of the Euro 2024 competition.

They will play England in the semifinals as this victory guarantees them a spot.

Netherlands Mount Euros Comeback with A Stunning 2-1 Victory over Turkey
After scoring the equalizer for the Netherlands, Stefan de Vrij celebrates with Xavi Simons. Photo Credit: Sky Sports

The Netherlands overcame a 2-1 deficit to defeat Turkey on Saturday and go to the Euro 2024 semi-finals against England after scoring two goals in the second half of only seven minutes. Turkey’s lead was given by Samet Akaydin in the first half, but Stefan de Vrij headed a header to tie the score, and after 76 minutes, Murt Muldur gave way to pressure from Cody Gakpo, giving the Netherlands the win.

A diplomatic spat between Turkey and Germany overshadowed the build-up to their quarterfinal match in Berlin, following the suspension of their last-16 hero Merih Demiral for two matches for a contentious salute. As a result, tens of thousands of supporters showed up to the Olympiastadion to watch the game, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan among them. The supporters welcomed each extended Dutch possession spell with a flurry of whistles.

Netherlands made it to the Euros semi-finals for the first time since 2004 by overcoming pressure from the crowd, Turkey’s aggressive approach, and a flurry of late chances.

In an attempt to allow his inexperienced team to catch the Netherlands on the counterattack, Turkey’s coach Vincenzo Montella started with five players at the back. The initial opportunity was created by the 1988 Euros winners, when Gakpo and Memphis Depay teamed up well before the latter scored a goal.

Koeman led the Netherlands to victory 36 years prior, but the Dutch appeared incapable of contending for the title until their comfortable 3-0 victory over Romania in the round of 16, as they finished their group in third place.

After their early intrusions, they reverted to that lesser version of themselves in the first half, which gave Turkey a strong advantage in the match. With a series of set pieces, Montella’s team started to put pressure on the Netherlands. After 35 minutes, Arda Guler capitalized on a partially cleared corner.

With his weaker right foot, the 19-year-old Real Madrid maestro curled in a cross that was oozing with temptation. Akaydin, who had come back from suspension to replace the suspended Demiral, then headed the ball home from a distance.

Raising flares in joy, Turkish fans—who, not unexpectedly, occupied three-quarters of the stadium given their sizable diaspora in Germany—roared.

After the break, Koeman had to have a change of heart and replaced Steven Bergwijn with Wout Weghorst, the team’s hero versus Poland in their first game. The Netherlands regularly looked for a target to hit up front after the big Burnley striker made an immediate impression.

Guler kept probing on the opposite end, but as he got close to breaking loose, Nathan Ake scythed him down. With the goalie scrambling, the young player took the subsequent free-kick himself and slammed a low effort against Bart Verbruggen’s post. Baris Alper Yilmaz, who was moving quickly and passed Virgil van Dijk on the right wing, was booked for a foul.

Turkey nearly scored a second goal in their first major tournament quarterfinal since 2008, but Verbruggen made a great save to deny Kenan Yildiz’s low, stinging shot from the edge of the box.

Weghorst forced a deft save from Mert Gunok with twenty minutes remaining, but after seventy minutes, De Vrij defeated the Turkish goalie. Following a brief corner, Memphis Depay whipped in a cross, and Inter Milan defender De Vrij met it with a powerful header to tie the score.

Six minutes later, Denzel Dumfries flicked in a dangerous low cross that Muldur, under intense pressure from Gakpo, the joint-top scorer for the Euros, knocked into his own net, giving the Netherlands the lead. It was the competition’s tenth own goal.

Also Read: England’s Victory Over Switzerland in Penalty Shootout Secures Them Euro 2024 Semi Final Spot

Netherlands Mount Euros Comeback with A Stunning 2-1 Victory over Turkey
Samet Akaydin rejoices after scoring for Turkey. Photo Credit: Sky Sports

Weghorst did not directly contribute to either goal, but his presence in the box rattled Turkey’s defense, which had managed to hold the Netherlands at bay for the most of the first half.

Zeki Celik and Kerem Akturkoglu’s efforts prevented Turkey from leveling the score, and the Netherlands survived to play England on Wednesday in Dortmund.

Virgil van Dijk, Captain of the Netherlands, said:

“How’s my heart feeling? It’s alright. Now that we’re in the semi-finals, you know they’re going to take a lot more chances. With such a large crowd, this is both highly significant and incredibly beautiful. I’m proud of these men, but we knew there would be a lot of Turks in the stadium.

“We were careless in the end, but we didn’t reveal anything. In the second half, we needed to maintain composure and capitalize on our opportunities. Naturally, we believed everything would work out; otherwise, things would not have worked out so well. We’ve come one step nearer. We can start working now!”

Hakan Calhanoglu, the Captain of Turkey, said:

Sadly, we were only able to travel so far. If we can instill excitement in our country, that makes me pleased. We naturally desired to keep going in this direction. Regretfully, football also involves losing. Once again, thank you to all of our fans.

“We retreated in the second half after a poor start. We tried long balls and took our chances after the second goal.
“I am happy with how far I have come. Everyone gave the best possible representation of their nation. I want to express my gratitude to my entire team.”

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