Netherlands vs. Turkey  2 - 0

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Van Gaal´s selections please Willems

8 September 2012 18:50

Netherlands defender Jetro Willems praised coach Louis van Gaal after his young side beat Turkey 2-0 on Friday.

Van Gaal's team kicked off their World Cup qualifying game with the convincing win – which came thanks to goals from Robin van Persie and Luciano Narsingh – at Amsterdam Arena.

The Dutch were made to work hard for their win, but Willems is certain they will improve, and that the young squad will come good in time.

"(Van Gaal) knows what he's doing. He chooses based on his style, not on age," PSV Eindhoven left-back Willems told Goal.com after the game.

"As long as you can fill in the role he has pictured in his head, (you will get a chance)."

Van Gaal's appointment has also led to a shift in tactics for the Netherlands, with the side now employing the 4-3-3 formation, as opposed to previous coach Bert van Marwijk's preferred 4-2-3-1.

"Playing in his system takes little effort," Willems said. "At PSV we play in a 4-3-3 as well. It's a true Dutch system, what I grew up with."

Article

Strootman hails collective effort

8 September 2012 18:37

Netherlands midfielder Kevin Strootman believes his side's 2-0 win over Turkey was the result of a resolute team performance.

The Dutch were made to work hard to secure their first victory under Louis van Gaal as the visitors created several chances, only to squander them.

"It wasn't about me, but the team as a whole," Strootman told Goal.com.

"You help each other. The beginning of the second half didn't go too well, but we picked ourselves back up after that. We're starting over with a lot of new faces, so when you win right away, it is relieving.

"You need to win the first game against one of the group's better teams, especially at home. Of course it wasn't a perfect performance.

"We gave away some chances in the beginning, but we recovered and our character got us the win. Everyone wanted to fight for each other.

"A team needs that, especially when things aren't really going well in a footballing sense."

The Netherlands will be looking to build on their opening win when they travel to Hungary on Tuesday.

Article

Krul thrilled with Netherlands chance

8 September 2012 16:46

Netherlands goalkeeper Tim Krul has expressed his delight with his starting berth in his side's victory over Turkey on Friday.

The Dutch claimed all three points with a hard-earned 2-0 victory against Abdullah Avci's men, marking their first win under Louis van Gaal, who fielded a host of youngsters in their opening World Cup qualifier, including the Newcastle shot-stopper.

Krul, however, has revealed he was not surprised with his place in the starting 11, despite admitting that the former Bayern Munich boss was hard to read.

"It's hard to read van Gaal's intentions, but I've had a lot of contact with (the Netherlands goalkeeper coach). He came to visit me a few times in Newcastle," the 24-year old told Goal.com.

"You feel... No, you don't feel it coming, you can't. But you do hope it happens."

Krul's starting berth meant that both Maarten Stekelenburg and Michel Vorm were dropped, despite the pair being considered Bert van Marwijk's preferred choices at Euro 2012.

"The trainers took me aside on Tuesday, and told me I was currently Netherlands' number one keeper. It's a dream come true, something I've always hoped for. Fantastic," he said.

"At the Euros I was still third choice, but with a new trainer comes new chances, and everyone has to start from scratch. The trainer trusts me."

Despite keeping a clean sheet, Krul did not put in the most solid of performances, but he believes the team is continuing to grow together.

"We got lucky a few times, but you need that in games like these. We played with a lot of young players. We have to get used to each other, but that will happen in time," he said.

"I wasn't nervous ahead of the game. Now I have to perform every game."

Netherlands will be looking to build on their opening win when they travel to Hungary on Tuesday.

Article

Van Gaal lauds important win over Turkey

8 September 2012 08:53

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal was delighted with his side's hard-fought 2-0 win over Turkey in Friday's 2014 World Cup qualifier.

The Dutch struggled to contain the Turks after grabbing an early lead via Robin van Persie, but they eventually bagged the full three points as Luciano Narsingh put the match to bed well into stoppage time of the second half at the Amsterdam ArenA.

"It was squeaky bum time until we netted that second goal. Turkey are a great team with some very good players, yet we beat them. This is a very important victory," Van Gaal told Dutch television station SBS6.

The former Bayern Munich coach opted to field a rather inexperienced team as he left out several regulars, but Van Gaal does not feel that he took too much risk by fielding a number of promising youngsters.

"I do not think that I did anything crazy, but I did expect more from our defence. Bruno Martins Indi and Jetro Willems bounced back after the interval, though. That was rather impressive," he said.

"We created a lot more chances than Turkey and should have decided the match at an earlier stage. That is something we will have to improve on."

The Netherlands resume match action on Monday when they take on Hungary.

Article

World Cup qualifying wrap: Dutch delight over Turkey

8 September 2012 00:05

Netherlands made a solid start to their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign on Friday while Portugal scraped to a victory.

Louis van Gaal's Dutch side, fresh from a disappointing Euro 2012 showing, recorded a 2-0 win over Turkey at the Amsterdam Arena.

In-form Manchester United forward Robin van Persie headed in the opener after a quarter of an hour – his 30th international goal – before Luciano Narsingh sealed the win in additional time.

In other Group D matches, Hungary thrashed Andorra 5-0 and Romania were 2-0 victors in Estonia.

Portugal needed to come from behind to eventually defeat minnows Luxembourg 2-1 at Stade Josy Barthel in Group F.

Daniel da Mota gave the hosts a shock 13th-minute lead with a long-range effort, which Cristiano Ronaldo cancelled out before Helder Postiga scored the winner early in the second half.

Russia made a bright start in the same group, defeating Northern Ireland 2-0 thanks to goals from Viktor Fayzulin and a Roman Shirokov penalty in Moscow.

In Baku, Ruslan Abishov cancelled out Bibras Natkho's 50th-minute opener to see Azerbaijan secure a 1-1 draw at home to Israel.

Italy were held to a 2-2 draw by Bulgaria in Sofia to make a poor start in Group B as Armenia sit top after Artur Sarkisov's winner gave them a 1-0 victory over Malta in Ta' Qali.

Belgium moved top of Group A after a 2-0 win against a 10-man Wales at Cardiff City Stadium.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany and Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen were on the scoresheet after James Collins was given his marching orders on 26 minutes for a dangerous tackle.

England thrashed Moldova 5-0 thanks to a first-half brace from Frank Lampard in Group H, while Montenegro and Poland drew 2-2.

Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby was on the scoresheet as France edged Finland 1-0, while Georgia beat Belarus by the same scoreline in Group I.

Croatia made an unimpressive start in Group A, edging Macedonia 1-0 at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb.

Everton striker Nikica Jelavic struck the only goal of the game in the 69th minute to secure all three points for Igor Stimac's side.

In Group C, the Republic of Ireland began their campaign with a hard fought 2-1 win over minnows Kazakhstan thanks to two late goals.

Germany did what was expected of them, beating the Faroe Islands 3-0 thanks to a brace from Mesut Oezil.

Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko netted a second-half hat-trick as Bosnia and Herzegovina crushed Liechtenstein 8-1.

Also in Group G, Lithuania and Slovakia played out a 1-1 draw as both teams finished the encounter in Vilnius with 10 men and Greece recorded a come-from-behind 2-1 win in Latvia.

In Group E, Albania struck twice late on to beat Cyprus 3-1, Switzerland defeated Slovenia 2-0 and Iceland registered a 2-0 win at home to Norway.

In South American qualifying, Argentina beat Paraguay 3-1 with Angel di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi all on the scoresheet.

Ecuador accounted for Bolivia 1-0, while Colombia crushed Uruguay 4-0 with Teofilo Gutierrez scoring a brace, and Peru got past Venezuela 2-1.

In the CONCACAF region, Jamaica pulled off a major upset with a stunning 2-1 victory over United States.

Clint Dempsey gave the visitors the lead inside the first minute, but goals to Rudolph Austin and Luton Shelton sealed the victory for the Jamaicans.

In other matches, Canada defeated Panama 1-0, Mexico were too good for Costa Rica 2-0, Guatemala accounted for Antigua and Barbuda 3-1 and El Salvador and Guyana played out a 2-2 draw.

Article

Kuyt: Netherlands no long feared

5 September 2012 16:41

Netherlands forward Dirk Kuyt admits opponents no longer fear the Dutch, but he believes they can still go far at the 2014 World Cup.

The Dutch endured an abysmal Euro 2012 campaign from which they crashed out at the group stages with no points, despite being one of the pre-tournament favourites.

They then lost 4-2 to Belgium in new coach Louis van Gaal's first game in charge.

Former Liverpool attacker Kuyt says the team is still recovering but feels the spirit in the Netherlands camp is good as they prepare for their upcoming World Cup qualifying matches against Turkey and Hungary.

"The fear of our opponents is gone, we have to rebuild," the Fenerbahce forward said.

"It is good that the expectations for the next World Cup are still to reach the semi-finals.

"The Netherlands go to each tournament with the idea that we want to win, otherwise I'd rather just stay at home."

The 32-year-old believes the team's confidence is still suffering from the humiliation in Poland and Ukraine and other teams are no longer intimidated by them.

But Kuyt says discussions about the future have been positive.

"The players that are still here since the European Championships are coming off a huge disappointment," he said.

"Under (Bert) van Marwijk we played with great confidence for three-and-a-half years. We felt like we would go out and win, no matter who was in the team or who we were playing.

"But that feeling has disappeared. The fear of our opponents has disappeared very quickly. It is important that we regain our confidence.

"I thought all the conversations we had in the three days around the Belgium game were very important. They have given me the feeling that everyone is serious to make something out of it."

Kuyt added: "The most important thing in football is realising that the team is more important than you.

"If anyone, even a country like Greece, can become European champions then we can do something at the next World Cup.

"We still have plenty of older guys who can perform at the World Cup and who knows where some of the younger talents will be in two years? A lot can happen in two years."

Netherlands play Turkey on Friday in their opening qualifier before they face Hungary on Tuesday.