Wesley Sneijder saves Netherlands for stoppage-time draw vs. Turkey

Holland continued to struggle in their European Championship qualifying campaign as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Turkey at the Amsterdam ArenA on Saturday.

Burak Yilmaz fired Turkey into the lead thanks to a deflection in the 37th minute and Holland had to wait until second-half stoppage time for Wesley Sneijder to score the equaliser which saw them narrowly avoid their third defeat in Group A.

The result left them six points adrift of leaders Czech Republic and one point ahead of Turkey in third place, five behind Iceland who defeated bottom side Kazakhstan 3-0 earlier in the day.

Holland started the game brightly with Memphis Depay looking lively on the left wing and they dominated possession.

However, it was Turkey who took the lead when Galatasaray striker Yilmaz smashed the ball from the edge of the box after Holland failed to clear Gokhan Tore’s cross from the right, with defender Bruno Martins Indi deflecting the ball past Jasper Cillessen.

Holland had the majority of the ball but the were unable to find the equaliser as Turkey went in at half-time worthy of their lead as they posed a constant threat on the break.


The hosts went close to getting back on terms just before the hour mark when Ibrahim Afellay’s powerful left-footed strike from 20 yards was tipped over the bar by Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Babacan.

Sneijder then narrowly missed the target with a curling free-kick 10 minutes later but he found the back of the net in stoppage time with a rasping shot from the edge of the box which looked to have taken a deflection off Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on the way.

Despite salvaging a late point, the result was still a disappointment for Guus Hiddink’s side, who surely now must take maximum points against Latvia in June to keep their hopes of qualification alive.