Sports

Netherlands beat Turkey 2-1 to book semi-final date with England

The Netherlands secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over Turkey in their Euro 2024 quarter-final match on Saturday, setting up a highly anticipated semi-final clash with England. After falling behind in the first half, the Dutch team staged a remarkable comeback with two goals in seven minutes during the second half.

Turkey Takes Early Lead

Turkey’s Samet Akaydin opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a powerful header, capitalising on a well-delivered cross from 19-year-old Real Madrid playmaker Arda Guler. The goal sent the predominantly Turkish crowd at Berlin’s Olympiastadion into a frenzy, igniting flares and chants in celebration.

Koeman’s Tactical Changes

Dutch coach Ronald Koeman, who led the Netherlands to Euro glory in 1988, made strategic adjustments at halftime.

Also Read: Resilient England beat Switzerland on penalties to reach Euro 2024 semi-finals

Wout Weghorst, the hero of their opening match against Poland, was brought on for Steven Bergwijn, providing a much-needed target up front. Weghorst’s presence immediately made an impact, giving the Dutch attack a new dimension.

Second-Half Comeback

The Netherlands equalised in the 70th minute when Memphis Depay’s cross was met by Stefan de Vrij, who powered home a header.

Just six minutes later, Denzel Dumfries’ low cross caused Turkish defender Murt Muldur to turn the ball into his own net under pressure from Cody Gakpo, one of the tournament’s joint-top scorers with three goals.

Late Drama and Near Misses

Turkey came close to levelling the match in the dying minutes, but their efforts were thwarted by the Dutch defence. Zeki Celik and Kerem Akturkoglu both had shots blocked, while Dutch goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen made crucial saves to keep the Netherlands’ lead intact.

Diplomatic Tensions

The build-up to the match was overshadowed by a diplomatic row between Turkey and Germany, following the two-match ban of Turkey’s last-16 hero Merih Demiral for a controversial salute. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the match, adding to the charged atmosphere.

Looking Ahead

The Netherlands’ victory means they will face England in the semi-finals on Wednesday, July 10, in Dortmund. The winner of this match will advance to the final in Berlin on Sunday, July 14.

Euro 2024 Leading Scorers

After Saturday’s quarter-final matches, the tournament’s leading scorers include Georges Mikautadze (GEO), Jamal Musiala (GER), Cody Gakpo (NED), and Ivan Schranz (SVK) with three goals each. Other notable scorers with two goals include Niclas Fuellkrug, Kai Havertz, and Florian Wirtz (all GER), as well as Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane (both ENG).

Semi-Final Line-Up

The semi-final line-up for Euro 2024 is now complete. Spain will face France on Tuesday, July 9, in Munich, while the Netherlands will take on England on Wednesday, July 10, in Dortmund. The stage is set for an exciting conclusion to the tournament, with the final scheduled to be played in Berlin on Sunday, July 14.

Samuel Bolaji

Samuel Bolaji holds a Master of Letters in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is an experienced researcher, multimedia journalist, writer, and Editor. He is currently the Editor of Arbiterz.

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