Istanbul, Memphis Depay was on fire with a hat-trick and an assist as the Netherlands thrashed 10-man Turkey 6-1 on Tuesday to storm past them to the top of their World Cup qualifying group.
New Barcelona forward Depay set up Davy Klaassen after less than a minute for the opening goal and then found the net himself in the 16th, 38th and 53rd in Amsterdam, his second a cheeky “Panenka” penalty.
Substitutes Guus Til and Donyell Malen completed the rout for Louis van Gaal’s men before Turkey got stoppage time consolation from Cengiz Under.
And when Depay was fouled shortly before intermission Turkey’s Caglar Soyuncu was sent off for this second bookable offence, dpa reports.
The Dutch improved to 13 points and top Group G alongside Norway who beat minnows Gibraltar 5-1, with star striker Erling Haaland like Depay getting a hat-trick. Turkey slumped to third on 11 points and next host Norway in October.
Only the group winner advances directly to next year’s finals in Qatar, with the Dutch hosting Norway on the final matchday in November.
“I believe it was a really great evening. You start in outstanding fashion which helps a lot. Lets hope we can got through,” captain Virgil van Dijk told broadcasters NOS.
“This will surely give a boost. We have made a fresh start with a new coach, you can feel that that we are building up something nice.”
Turkey had started the campaign with wins over the Dutch and in Norway but stuttered lately and crashed to their first defeat Tuesday.
The hosts drew first blood after less than a minute, three days after a 4-0 over Montenegro. Turkey failed to clear twice and Ajax striker Klaassen fired in off the left post after a one-two with Depay.
Klaassen then set up Depay for the second with a brilliant flick with his back towards goal, and Depay chipped the penalty into the middle of goal with Ugurcan Cakir diving to his left, after Klaassen was fouled in the area.
The dismissal of Leicester defender Soyuncu added to Turkey’s woes, and Depay ended their comeback efforts nine minutes after the restart when he headed in for 4-0 from point-blank range after Steven Berghuis nodded a cross from Steven Bergwijn into the goalmouth.
Feyenoord’s Til struck with 10 minutes left with his maiden national team goal, Borussia Dortmund forward Donyell Malen found the same bottom left corner in the 90th off debutant Devyne Rensch.
Some sloppy Dutch defending gave Turkey stoppage time consolation from Under, with van Dijk hurting his ankle but the Liverpool man who had missed almost the entire past season said later: “It’s Ok, luckily.”
Source: Bahrain News Agency