Saturday, July 13, 2024

Netherlands face unpredictable Turkey


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Berlin, July 5: Although not the glamour tie of the quarterfinals, Netherlands and Turkey could provide one of the most memorable encounters.
Netherlands nervy qualification in third sport in their group was followed by their best performance of Euro 2024 in the last round when they beat Romania 3-0 in a comprehensive victory.
Turkey, among the most entertaining teams to watch in Germany, dominated their round of 16 tie against Austria, but in the end, only edged the victory 2-1.
The Dutch were anything but impressive in the group stage, where they suffered a sloppy defeat to Austria and shared a dour goalless draw with France. But Ronald Koeman’s side have bounced back at the right time with the tournament in its knockout phase.A convincing win over Romania – courtesy of goals from Cody Gakpo and a brace from Donyell Malen – has given the Oranje confidence ahead of the quarterfinals, but they face a similarly upbeat team let alone their fans.Turkey’s calibre came under doubt when they suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Portugal in the group stage, but they made a surprising run to the last eight by knocking out in-form Austria, who were themselves emerging as dark horses.The Turks have now snatched that tag from Austria and could be on course to progress to the semifinals for only the second time in history.
Dutch-born Ferdi Kadioglu, the stand-out player in Turkey’s win over Austria, is excited at the prospect of going up against the country of his birth.
“The Netherlands must certainly be afraid of us,” he said. “If you look at how much energy we put into a match. We also created dangerous chances and we played well defensively. We fought super hard. We also have the 12th man with the fans.”
Turkey’s Real Madrid starlet, Arda Guler, has played with a maturity far beyond his 19 years, displaying calm and skill as he acts as an outlet for his side’s counters, and he provided an assist for the second goal against Austria. Dutch winger Xavi Simons had a similar effect for his side, creating the opener for Cody Gakpo against the Romanians from his position on the right wing.
With the Dutch dominating possession against Romania and Turkey happy to let Austria have the ball and hit them on the counter, Berlin’s Olympiastadion is likely to see more of the same, with plenty of young talent on display.
The winner of this contest will face either England or Switzerland in the semifinals in Dortmund.
Kickoff at 12:30 am IST. (Agencies)


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