Turkey, the 1994 European champions, beat the Netherlands, who finished third last year in Israel, 1-0 at South Leeds in Group B of the UEFA European Under-16 Championship.
Turkey’s Sabri Sarioglu forced a good save on five minutes to mark a lively start to the game at South Leeds stadium. Some lovely attacking play by the Turkish side then forced a last-gasp interception from Nigel de Jong as Mesut Balci bore down on goal.
It was an energetic first period with exciting attacking play but there were also errors aplenty. There were few chances early in the second half, although Wesley Sneijder came close for the Dutch with a shot that finished just wide of the near post.
Eventually Turkey broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when Dündar Denizhan stole in at the far post to score a neat goal following a terrific build-up. In the 72nd minute Turkish keeper ªener Özcan got down well to save from Sherjill MacDonald but that proved to be the last chance for the Netherlands.
'We can win'
Turkish coach Gunduz Tekin Onay said: “I don’t think either side played particularly well. Both sides know each other well and cancelled one another out for much of the game. We never hit our peak but we have played 23 times in 18 months and have an almost 100 per cent record during that period. We beat Germany in Germany 4-0 and believe that we have the players that can make us European champions at this level. We also believe that we have at least four players in this side that can progress to full international honours.”
'We played badly'
The Dutch coach Ruud Kaiser admitted: "We played badly in the first half, but I’d like to compliment the Turkish players on their good pressure which prevented us from building from the back. In the second half after 10 minutes we got a grip on the game and created the better chances but we only played well for the last 20 minutes. A draw would have been a fairer result given the chances."