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Dutch second-half surge too much for Turkey

Netherlands 3-2 Turkey
A cagey first half gave little hint of what was to come: five different goalscorers and victory for the Dutch in their Group A opener.

Dutch second-half surge too much for Turkey
Dutch second-half surge too much for Turkey ©UEFA.com

The Netherlands cut the ribbon on the UEFA European Under-17 Championship with victory against Turkey.

Maarten Stekelenburg's team looked destined to suffer a similar fate to the 2005 final, where they lost to the same opponents, when the prolific Enes Ünal put Turkey in front. However, a second-half surge, featuring goals from Calvin Verdonk – a penalty – Abdelhak Nouri and Bilal Ould-Chikh, gave the 2011 and 2012 winners the perfect start to Group A. Turkey's late second was merely a scare.

Only Germany, who received a bye to the elite round, reached the finals having scored fewer goals than Turkey's nine. Enes struck six of those, but appeared at first to have left his shooting boots at home. The Bursaspor striker, the youngest-ever goalscorer in the Turkish Super League, shot wide on 17 minutes after being released by Sabit Yilmaz's delightful dink.

The Jong Oranje were guilty of first-half profligacy of their own, Marlon Slabbekoorn snatching at the rebound after Tarık Çetin had parried Anthony Berenstein's effort. However, Hakan Tecimer's Turkey created the better chances and could have gone ahead either side of half-time, Sabit blasting wide with just Yanick van Osch to beat, and Enes having his attempt from barely a metre out blocked on the line.

It was not long, though, before the 16-year-old reaffirmed his clinical reputation, swivelling adroitly to fire in from close range after Ertuğrul Ersoy had headed back Hasan Özkan's lofted cross. In charge and in control, Turkey were pegged back 11 minutes later after Bahadir Çiloğlu was adjudged to have felled Steven Bergwijn and Verdonk converted the spot kick.

That turned the tide, Bergwijn and Bilal Ould-Chikh both going close in quick succession before Nouri turned in from close range after Tarık Çetin had parried Jari Schuurman's shot. Schuurman subsequently struck the bar, before Ould-Chikh raced on to a lofted pass, checked back and sent a delightful chip sailing over Tarık Çetin.

Fatih Aktay's bullet header, just a minute after coming on, gave Turkey hope, but Sabit Yilmaz was off target with a half-chance in added time.