Istanbul – The Netherlands suffered a terrible blow in losing to Turkey at the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign today, coach Frank de Boer said.
A hat-trick from veteran striker Burak Yilmaz helped the home team to a 4-2 win in Istanbul after the Dutch had threatened a comeback as they fought back to 3-2 from 3-0 down.
“This is a very bad result and a blow, but it was only the first of the 10 qualifiers that we will play so we now have to make sure we don’t drop anymore points. They were a good opponent, but certainly not one that we had to lose to,” De Boer told Dutch television after the Group G match.
“We knew that they are on the lookout for counter-attacks and their first goal was a textbook example of that. We needed to foul so that they could not make the transition but that did not happen.”
De Boer also bemoaned the pace of the Dutch play.
“It seemed like we were not that aggressive or alert, but we certainly had good opportunities ourselves,” he said.
“We have to keep up the positivity, however, because things can change fast in football. We have to turn on the switch and with the experience of the boys I’m sure they will do just that.
“We think this is terrible, but I’m not standing here with tears in my eyes. We must do much better,” he added.
The Netherlands continue their campaign at home to Latvia on Saturday and Gibraltar away on Tuesday. ― Reuters