Goals from Robin van Persie
and Luciano Narsingh got the Netherlands back on track after a
disappointing European Championship when they beat Turkey 2-0 in
their opening World Cup Group D qualifier on Friday.
Van Persie put the Dutch in front after 17 minutes and
Narsingh broke through on the counter-attack in stoppage time to
seal an 11th successive World Cup qualifying win for the hosts.
The home side's rejigged defence, including 20-year-old
Bruno Martins Indi and teenager Jetro Willems, made a shaky
start, allowing Omer Toprak to go close with a first-minute
header for the visitors.
Despite the Turks enjoying the better of the opening
exchanges backed by about 20,000 fans, the Dutch opened the
scoring when Van Persie met a Wesley Sneijder corner.
The goal boosted the home side's confidence but their
careless defending continued when Willems lost the ball to Arda
Turan, only for the midfielder to shoot wide.
Just before the break Netherlands keeper Tim Krul hesitated
and almost let in Umut Bulut whose header hit the bar.
Turkey began to run out of ideas and energy in the second
half, allowing the Dutch to regroup and take the game to the
Van Persie and Arjen Robben had decent chances before
Narsingh wrapped up the victory.
"We should have decided this match earlier as we used the
space on their flanks well, but then failed to play it out
properly," Dutch coach Louis van Gaal told reporters.
"We played sloppy in possession and some players who didn't
reach their normal level, like [Daryl] Janmaat and [Jordy]
Clasie, but we always maintained our organisation.
"The chances we gave away were only with corner kicks and
personal fouls, but besides that we created more."
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