Netherlands – Turkey (2-1): the Dutch overturn the Turks and reach the semi-finals twenty years later

Netherlands – Turkey (2-1): the Dutch overturn the Turks and reach the semi-finals twenty years later
Netherlands – Turkey (2-1): the Dutch overturn the Turks and reach the semi-finals twenty years later

France – Spain and England – Netherlands. This will therefore be the menu for the semi-finals of Euro 2024. After England’s very sluggish qualification on penalties (5-3 against Switzerland, 1-1) a little earlier, the Netherlands joined them in the last four by winning against Turkey (2-1) who pushed them to their limits.

This duel between the English and the Dutch, next Wednesday (9pm), will inevitably be undecided. With them, despite their great attacking individualities, we have often been left wanting more since the start of this Euro.

The Netherlands had not played in a Euro semi-final for twenty years, including the 2004 edition. Gareth Southgate’s England, who celebrated his 100th match as coach against Switzerland, often placed but never winning, will want to erase the trauma of Euro 2021, during which they were beaten in the final by Italy on penalties.

In a first period that was hardly exciting, during which the Netherlands stammered their football after a rather convincing performance in the 8th final against Romania (3-0), Turkey played without complexes, showing themselves to be aggressive in the duels and vigilant defensively. Arda Güler (19 years old), the little Turkish wonder of Real Madrid, even managed her 3rd decisive pass of the Euro by depositing the ball on the head of Samet Akaydin (0-1, 35th).

If the Netherlands finally accelerated after the break, Güler came close to making the break, but he saw his free kick deflected by Bart Verbruggen onto his post (56th). The Netherlands goalkeeper was again decisive on a strike from Kenan Yildiz (65th).

But while Koeman’s players nearly had a penalty, they managed to equalize on a Memphis Depay corner headed by Inter Milan defender Stefan de Vrij (1-1, 71st), their 4th goal for the national team. After having wasted a lot of energy in defense, Turkey cracked by conceding a 2nd goal five minutes after the equalizer. On a cross, Merit Mülder, pressed by Cody Gakpo, scored an own goal (2-1, 75th). The dream is over for this courageous Turkey who, by playing with heart and a big defensive block, came very close to the feat for their first Euro quarter-final in sixteen years.

The Dutch fans will be able to continue to liven up the streets of German cities as they have been doing since the start of this Euro. On Wednesday (9pm) in Dortmund, against the English, who are also very popular, it will also be a shock in the stands.

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