Van Persie carries Dutch past Turkey
AROUND THE WORLD ...
Robin van Persie grabbed his 30th international goal and Luciano Narsingh scored his second to give an inexperienced Netherlands team a 2-0 win over Turkey in their opening World Cup qualifier Friday.
Van Persie, who scored four times in his last two matches for Manchester United, gave the Netherlands the lead in the 17th minute from Wesley Sneijder's corner, rising between three Turkey defenders to send a glancing header into the far corner. Narsingh rounded off a quick break to add the second in injury time.
''We won on willpower and effort,'' captain Sneijder said.
With the Netherlands coming of a disastrous European Championship campaign, new coach Louis van Gaal picked a revamped back four that featured three players with a total of seven caps between them and a goalkeeper, Newcastle's Tim Krul, with only three international appearances.
Blunders by the inexperienced Dutch defense nearly gifted Turkey two goals in the first half, but the visitors could not capitalize in the Group D match at Amsterdam Arena.
Shortly before Van Persie scored, Bruno Martins Indi almost headed an innocuous cross he should have left for Krul into his own net. The Feyenoord defender made amends by scrambling back to clear the ball off the line.
Ten minutes later, left back Jetro Willems lost the ball to Arda Turan close to his own goal, but the Turkey and Atletico Madrid forward sent his shot wide.
''There were a few individual mistakes. We were lucky they weren't punished,'' Sneijder said.
Turkey came closest when Umut Bulut outjumped Krul but headed against the bar four minutes before halftime and Krul dived to his right in the second half to save a fierce drive by Hamit Altintop.
As Turkey pushed forward for the equalizer, Narsingh gathered a long clearance almost at the final whistle and calmly lifted the ball over goalkeeper Tolga Zengin to seal the Dutch victory.