Second-half strike settles Amsterdam encounterNetherlands recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Turkey in the Amsterdam Arena in a rather disappointing international friendly.
The away side dominated play in the first half, but failed to find the net. Oranje were the better side of the two after the interval and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar helped the home side to a 1-0 victory.
The visitors started the match with attacking intentions and it was no surprise that they got the first chance of the match. Nuri Sahin set up Burak Yilmaz, who went past John Heitinga and Joris Mathijsen before unleashing a low shot that forced Maarten Stekelenburg to fully stretch himself in order to save it.
The away side continued to dominate play and the Dutch failed to seriously trouble the Turkish back-line until the half hour mark. PSV star Ibrahim Afellay then cut inside from the left before firing in a low shot toward the near post. Nevertheless, the winger's attempt went just wide.
Turkey goalie Volkan Demirel was called in action again minutes before the half-time whistle after a free kick from Wesley Sneijder, but Demirel parried the powerful shot with a good reflex. Minutes later, Rafael van der Vaart hit the side netting with a curled shot from a narrow angle.
The home side made a better start to the second half and came close to opening the scoring via Van der Vaart in the 50th minute, but the Tottenham playmaker aimed wide. The hosts had more luck only minutes later after sloppy defending from Ismail Koybasi. Hedwiges Maduro won the ball off Koybasi's feet before setting up Huntelaar and the Schalke striker coolly slotted home from close range.
The 'away side' came close to levelling the score at the hour mark after a good cross from the left. Forward Umut Bulut beat his marker to the ball and sent a strong header toward the Dutch target. However, Stekelenburg pulled off another good save to Netherlands in the lead. Colin Kazim-Kazim should have restored parity with fifteen more minutes to go, but the substitute somehow managed to miss a clear chance from five yards out.
Huntelaar almost added a second for the Dutch in the dying minutes of the game, but failed to put the match to bed. Afellay set up the former Milan striker with a brilliant through pass, but Huntelaar was rushed into an early shot and aimed his shot wide. The Turks got two late chances as well, but Stekelenburg proved to be too much of an obstacle for the away side's strike force.
Netherlands will resume their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign on 25 March 2011 when they take on Hungary in what could be a difficult away game. Turkey on the other hand will have to wait until 29 March 2011 until they play their next official game. The Turks host Austria in about four months time.