Euro 2024: Netherlands faces tough test against fired-up Turkey

A routine 3-0 win for Netherlands over Romania at Euro 2024 was overshadowed hours later by a tenacious Turkish victory over Austria to set up an enthralling quarterfinal in Berlin on Saturday.

With the Dutch dominating possession against Romania and Turkey happy to let Austria have the ball and hit it on the counter, Berlin’s Olympiastadion is likely to see more of the same, with plenty of young talent on display.

Turkey’s Arda Guler has played with a maturity far beyond his 19 years, displaying calm and skill as he acts as an outlet for his side’s counters and he provided an assist for the second goal against Austria.

Dutch winger Xavi Simons had a similar effect for his side, creating the opener for Cody Gakpo against the Romanians from his position on the right wing.

Although the Dutch appear to be finally finding their groove, Turkish fans in Germany are in a frenzy at the thought of a repeat of Euro 2008, where they made the semifinals.

Berlin boasts one of the largest Turkish diasporas in the world, and its 2-1 win over Austria in Leipzig was greeted by flag-waving fans and horn-tooting cars taking to the city’s streets until the early hours.

“We’ve got huge following. There’s passion and the love is really visceral back home in Turkey, so I’m very happy to have handed Turks a bit of pride,” coach Vincenzo Montella said of his side’s progress so far.

With single yellow cards written off after the quarterfinals, Turkey have nine players who will have to tread carefully as another booking would rule them out of a semifinal should they win. The Dutch have four players in the same position.

Turkey will be without the suspended Orkun Kokcu and Ismael Yuksek, but they receive a major boost with the return of captain Hakan Calhanoglu who was banned from the Austria game.

Euro 2008 was also the last time the Dutch made the quarterfinals, and they have come through the ignominy of a 3-2 loss to the Austrians that left them third in their group.

“We learned our lessons from the Austria game. We had a lot of conversations last week. I think we did very well, especially in the pressing, especially in ball possession,” defender Denzel Dumfries said.

The winner on Saturday will meet England or Switzerland in the last four.

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