Turkey vs Netherlands, final score 0-2: Dutch dash Turkish World Cup hopes

Lars Baron

Turkey must wait four more years to have another crack at World Cup qualification.

Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder struck at the start of either half to give the already qualified Oranje a 2-0 victory. Turkey needed to match or better Romania's victory against Estonia in order to clinch a playoff place. As a result, they'll watch next summer's World Cup on TV.

With the pressure off his side, Dutch coach Louis van Gaal rotated his side. One of those changes saw Ajax's Jasper Cillessen being given a chance to stake a claim in goal.

The Netherlands silenced the boisterous Turkish crowd after only eight minutes. Robben's free kick bounced past everyone and took Volkan Demirel by surprise, with the ball finishing in the far corner of the net.

The shotstopper redeemed himself minutes later, closing the angle on Robben after the winger advanced menacingly towards the byline. The Dutch continued to assert their dominance. Jeremain Lens slalomed inbetween his marker to create a chance for Sneijder. Unfortunately for him, Robin van Persie couldn't get out of the firing range in time and inadvertently ricocheted the ball to safety.

Turkey woke up and enjoyed a good spell midway through the first half. Both Mehmet Topal and Semih Kaya failed to turn Selcuk Inan's teasing free kick into the net. A last ditch challenge by Lens thwarted Arda Turan, after he ran on to Burak Yilmaz's flick on. Turan had another chance, but miskicked his shot and the ball fell tamely into Cillessen's hands.

Robben was given licence to run at goal throughout the game. Late in the first half, the Bayern Munich winger cut inside from the right, but ballooned over from the edge of the box. Hasan Kaldirim crossed for Umut Bulut to head Turkey's best chance over five minutes before the break. At the other end, Omer Toprak's half clearance was snatched upon by Sneijder, who saw his snapshot whistle just past the far post.

On the stroke of half time, Yilmaz seized on Robben's weak defensive header to race through on goal. However, a poor first touch allowed the ball to run straight to Cillessen.

Van Gaal shuffled his pack during the interval and the changes paid instant dividends. The second half was just two minutes old when Dirk Kuyt moved the ball through to Sneijder. The Galatasaray midfielder coolly finished the move with a low shot into the net. He opted not to celebrate his goal in the country where he still plies his trade.

Demirel tipped over a Lens chip on 55 minutes. Turkey huffed and puffed, but couldn't produce the midas touch. Substitute Gokhan Tore tested Cillessen midway through the second half, but the Ajax keeper was at his best to beat away a deflected shot at his front post. Fellow sub Olcay Sahan then sent a header over at the far post after racing to meet Tore's cross.

Cillessen almost gifted the Turks a goal on 70 minutes. The young custodian allowed a backpass to wriggle under his feet, but the ball didn't go over the line. He regained his composure to save Turan's half volley and smother Sahan's volley. The Istanbul crowd lost their volatility as it dawned on them that this wasn't to be their night.

Turkey: Demirel, Gonul, Kaya, Toprak, Kaldirim, Inan, (Tosun 74) Turan, Topal, Adin, (Tore 56) Yilmaz, (Sahan 56) Bulut

Netherlands: Cillessen, Janmaat, Vlaar, Indi, (Bruma 46) Blind, Clasie, Fer, Sneijder, Robben, Lens, (Depay 89) van Persie (Kuyt 46)

Goals: Robben 8 (N) Sneijder 47 (N)

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