Oguzhan Ozyakup goal helps Turkey sink woeful Netherlands

Sport360 staff 00:07 07/09/2015
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40,000 Turkish supporters created a hostile Konya Arena atmosphere.

The Netherlands’ hopes of making the Euro 2016 finals hung by a thread on Sunday after last year’s World Cup semi-finalists were convincingly downed 3-0 by a well-organised Turkey.

In front of 40,000 Turkish supporters creating a hostile atmosphere in the packed-out Konya Arena, Turkey combined cohesion with physicality as the Dutch fell short in every department. 

Rushing through from midfield, Ozyakup connected with an inch-perfect pass from Turan and slotted the ball neatly past goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen as the Dutch defence vaporised.

The Dutch nightmare continued in the 26th minute when Turan surged into the penalty area past the hapless Stefan de Vrij to wedge the ball past Cillessen and the near post.

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Burak Yilmaz of Galatasaray then hammered a devastating nail into the Dutch coffin in the 86th minute with a third goal following a spectacular solo run down the left wing by Caner Erkin.

The Netherlands’ star Turkey-based players Wesley Sneijder and Robin Van Persie failed to make any impact up front. 

With the Czech Republic clinching qualification on Sunday and Iceland set to take the second automatic qualification spot going in Group A, Turkey and the Netherlands are in a straight fight for third and likely entry into the play-offs for the finals in France.

Elsewhere, Wales manager Chris Coleman said his players could not disguise their disappointment after squandering a chance to qualify for Euro 2016 in a goalless draw with Israel.

Victory at the Cardiff City Stadium would have taken Wales to a first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup, but despite dominating, they were repeatedly thwarted by Israel goalkeeper Ofir Marciano.

Wales require only two points from their final two games, away to Bosnia-Herzegovina and at home to minnows Andorra, but while they remain masters of their own fate, Coleman had been banking on a different outcome.

“You can sense a bit of disappointment on their faces,” said the former Wales centre-back, whose side won 1-0 in Cyprus on Thursday. “We’ve all been thinking about it — celebrating after the game with the Welsh public. They’re waiting for us.

Coleman felt Wales were denied a “blatant” penalty in the second half when a cross from Gareth Bale struck Eytan Tibi on the hand and criticised the goal-line assistant, standing three yards away, for not flagging.

“I still don’t know what they (goal-line assistants) do, to be honest,” he said. “Maybe they’re talking in the referee’s ear, but when they’re in a better position than the referee, they need to make the call. That’s what they’re there for.” 

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