Davy Klaasen was the only positive as a sub-par Netherlands side was beaten 4-2 by Turkey in their opening FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers outing.

Netherlands dominated the early exchanges, but it was Turkey who grabbed the lead against the run of play, as Burak Yilmaz’s long-range strike was deflected into the goal by Matthijs de Ligt. The visitors continued to see more of the ball, but could not really create any meaningful openings. And, their predicament was worsened just past the hour mark when Donyell Malen conceded a penalty.

Yilmaz stepped up to take the spot-kick, which was converted with ease, as Turkey were two to the good heading into half-time. Two became three in the opening minute of the second half, as Hakan Calhanoglu scored a sumptuous long-range goal before Netherlands finally hit back courtesy two goals in as many minutes by Davy Klaasen and Luuk de Jong.

However, any hopes of a swift comeback were dashed shortly after, as Yilmaz completed his hat-trick with a brilliant free-kick, making it 4-2 and dashing all Dutch hopes. With their qualifying campaign for the FIFA World Cup 2022 kicking off in a disastrous fashion, The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Frank de Boer’s men.

Tim Krul: 5/10

There was not much that Krul could have done to deny Burak Yilmaz for any of the three goals he scored. However, the veteran goalkeeper really should have reacted better to stop Hakan Calhanoglu from scoring, which could have perhaps, given Netherlands a slightly better chance to mount a comeback.

Kenny Tete: 4/10

Favoured over Denzel Dumfries, Tete gave no reason why he should be persisted with, as he failed to complete his crosses and only stitched together simple ground passes. Never looked comfortable at the back, although he was not tested a great deal either.

Matthijs de Ligt: 6/10

Not the best of starts to the game for de Ligt, although he was hardly culpable as Yilmaz’s first goal came via a wicked deflection off of him. For the rest of the game, he was rock solid at the heart of the defence, winning 6 duels while completing 3 clearances and making an important block.

Daley Blind: 6/10

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The centre-backs were not to be blamed for any of the goals that were conceded by Netherlands and Blind was reasonably solid on the night, winning each of the ground duels he contested (3/3) while making 2 clearances and as many tackles. Sent in a couple of inviting crosses as well.

Owen Wijndal: 4/10

Starting a game for the fourth time for Netherlands, Wijndal was poor in the left-back slot. Won just 3 of the 6 duels he contested in the game while none of his crosses managed to find the intended target. With Patrick van Aanholt also in contention, this was a missed opportunity.

Marten de Roon: 5/10

Handed a chance to impress and he squandered it. Marten de Roon was nervy off the ball while being wasteful on it. Was never really sure of his positioning in either phase of the game and this also meant that he lost Calhanoglu in the build-up to the AC Milan playmaker’s goal.

Frenkie de Jong: 5/10

The usually reliable Frenkie de Jong was quite disappointing against Turkey, as he could not assert Netherlands’ control over the game despite the fact that the visitors had 66 percent of the possession. Did complete 92 percent of his passes, but he was too passive at times.

Georginio Wijnaldum: 4/10

Poor from the Dutch skipper, who drifted in and out of the game. His usual precision was also missing when linking up with teammates while Wijnaldum never really managed to test Cakir in the Turkey goal either. To make matters worse, he gave away the free-kick that Yilmaz converted to make it 4-2 and sink Netherlands.

Steven Berghuis: 5/10

The Netherlands attack was sub-par on Wednesday, to say the least and Berghuis was no different. The 29-year-old tried a lot to make things happen and even played in as many as 3 key passes. But, there were some wasteful deliveries as well, while he lost possession 16 times. Needs to take his chances better.

Memphis Depay: 4/10

Not what you expect from a team’s talisman. Just a disappointing performance by Depay, who could not manage to put the Turkey defence under pressure, although he did create a few decent chances (4 key passes in all). To rub salt into his wounds, he ended up missing a late penalty as well.

Donyell Malen: 4/10

An evening to forget for Malen, who was utterly wasteful on the ball (32/46 passes completed) and never really looked like posing a threat to the Turkey goal apart from one moment when he shot straight at Cakir. To make matters worse, he conceded the penalty that Yilmaz converted with ease in a moment of sloppiness at the back. Has to do better.


Luuk de Jong: 6/10

On for de Roon, Luuk de Jong was a little slow off the blocks before finding himself in the right place at the right time to find the back of the net, helped by a mix-up at the back for Turkey.

Denzel Dumfries: 6/10

On for the underwhelming Tete, Dumfries was reasonably solid in the final half-hour or so. But, he could not do much to impact the proceedings on a larger scale.

Davy Klaassen: 7/10

The player who ignited hopes of a comeback, Klaasen produced a brilliant touch just a few minutes after coming on before following it up with a composed finish. Heaped the pressure on Cakir to force a mix-up and help Luuk de Jong to his goal. Fine substitution.

Patrick van Aanholt: N/A

On for Wijndal, van Aanholt did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Ryan Gravenberch: N/A

A late introduction, Gravenberch showed some good touches on debut for Netherlands but did not have enough time to make an impact.

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