The Netherlands made a poor start to World Cup qualifying as Burak Yilmaz inspired Turkey to a big Group G win on Wednesday.
Burak Yilmaz rolled back the years to score a brilliant hat-trick as Turkey withstood a fightback and consigned the Netherlands to a 4-2 defeat in their 2022 World Cup qualifying opener.
Veteran striker Yilmaz had not scored an international goal in two years prior to a first-half brace that had Turkey in control by half-time of the Group G contest at the Ataturk Stadium.
Hakan Calhanoglu’s fine effort 31 seconds into the second half left the Dutch reeling but quickfire goals from substitutes Davy Klaassen and Luuk de Jong offered hope of an unlikely point with 15 minutes to go. But 35-year-old Yilmaz wrapped up the points and made sure he was leaving with the matchball with an outstanding free-kick nine minutes from time, the visitors’ miserable outing consigned by Memphis Depay’s late penalty miss.
🇹🇷 Burak Yılmaz ⚽️⚽️
— European Qualifiers (@EURO2020) March 24, 2021
Yilmaz needed a helping hand to end a run of 10 internationals without a goal, with the captain’s innocuous toe-poke deflecting off Matthijs de Ligt and wrong-footing Tim Krul. Donyell Malen had two great chances either side of the opener and was then judged to have pulled Okay Yokuslu to ground in the area, with Yilmaz emphatically doubling his tally from the spot after 34 minutes.
De Ligt headed against the post and was convinced the ball had crossed the line before Okay’s headed clearance but the visitors trailed by two at the break. Things worsened less than a minute into the first half when Milan star Calhanoglu’s 25-yard effort dipped and deceived Krul before nestling in the bottom-right corner.
Steven Berghuis curled a free-kick narrowly wide and saw penalty claims for handball against Okay from another set-piece waved away as the visitors tried to rally.
Klaassen pulled one back after a turn in the area befitting of the legendary Johan Cruyff – fittingly on the fifth anniversary of the Barcelona’s great’s death – and De Jong saw one trickle in after Ugurcan Cakir tried to deal with a ball into the area to set up a grandstand finale.
But Yilmaz quickly snuffed out Dutch hopes with a thunderous free-kick from the left of the area into the top-far corner and Depay was denied by Cakir from 12 yards after Ozan Kabak felled De Ligt in the area to round out an outing to forget for the visitors.
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