Netherlands 2-1 Turkey: Dutch set up England semi-final after Euro 2024 comeback

Netherlands 2-1 Turkey: Dutch set up England semi-final after Euro 2024 comeback

A second-half comeback booked the Netherlands’ place in the Euro 2024 semi-finals as Turkey ran out of steam in Berlin.

Vincenzo Montella’s thrilling side looked set to be facing England in the final four on Wednesday when Samet Akaydin headed home, but the Dutch hit back with a Stefan de Vrij header before Cody Gakpo forced Mert Muldur into an own goal to seal their first trip to the European Championship semis in 20 years.

The Oranje looked capable of instilling their authority on the tie when, after only 59 seconds, Memphis Depay wriggled free and slashed a shot over from inside the box.

Turkey’s move to a 5-4-1 ensured a rigid, deep defence but their midfield quartet, three of which were ostensibly attack-minded players, had little desire to track back and that left huge gaps for the Dutch to play the ball into.

But there was plenty of space for Turkey to counter and the tireless Baris Alper Yilmaz involved himself in a fascinating, developing battle with Virgil van Dijk.

Denzel Dumfries’ decision to allow the ball to go out for a goal kick after 34 minutes proved decisive as the ensuing award of a corner led to a deep ball finding Arda Guler at the edge of the box. The Real Madrid teenager’s delicious cross was met at the far post by Akaydin to power his header home via the underside of the crossbar and give Turkey the lead.

Turkey took confidence from going ahead and began to defend more as a team now they had something to hold onto, while backed by their vociferous fans who dominated the Olympiastadion both in terms of numbers and volume.

Wout Weghorst was Ronald Koeman’s answer in a half-time substitution but their initial short burst of pressure wasn’t able to produce the sort of moment the needlessly talented Guler managed on 56 minutes. After being fouled by Nathan Ake, he swung a left-footed free-kick around the wall and off the bottom of the post.

Weghorst was soon needed in defence to throw in a perfectly-timed tackle to prevent a rebound from Kenan Yildiz’s hit from range being turned home, and with every Turkish move forward there was an overwhelming sense that the Dutch were hanging on.

But the tide soon began to turn and the quarter-final was turned on its head by two goals in six minutes as the Turks began to tire.

A short corner allowed Depay time and space to cross for De Vrij to head home, unmarked from the penalty spot.

The Netherlands began to overload their opponents’ flanks with deep crosses and a ball in found Gakpo to bundle home off Muldur on 76 minutes and complete the comeback.

It was not until the final five when Turkey rallied a serious response and substitute Micky van de Ven saved the Oranje by diverting Zeki Celik’s shot off the line with his goalkeeper in no man’s land.

Bart Verbruggen made amends with a sturdy stop from Semih Kilicsoy’s header as Turkey came alive, but it was a case of too little, too late with Kerem Akturkoglu also unable to make the most of a chance at the far post as they pumped balls forward before collapsing to their knees at the full-time whistle.