An injury time strike from Wesley Sneijder rescued Netherlands a 1-1 draw against Turkey after another terrible performance from the Oranje under Guus Hiddink.

000 maWith Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben out for the Oranje, the pressure of carrying the team was put onto the shoulders of Wesley Sneijder, who was making his 112th appearance for the national team, which equals the record for an outfield player with Frank de Boer. The midfielder proved to be crucial with a last minute equaliser which spared Guus Hiddink’s blushes.

Netherlands started the game with a lot of possession, but with Nigel de Jong in the holding role the passing was too slow and lethargic with a lot of sideways passes between Martins-Indi and Stefan de Vrij. The only real chance for Netherlands in the opening stages fell to Memphis Depay, who played a one-two with Daley Blind before sending a shot aimed at the bottom corner which Babacan palmed away.

Turkey looked dangerous on the break, and Burak Yilmaz was denied the opener when his shot hit Bruno Martins Indi and flew wide. However on 37 minutes the Galatasaray striker received the ball after a poor clearance by De Vrij and his deflected effort flew past Jasper Cillessen. Just before the break, De Vrij came close to the equaliser, but his shot from Sneijder’s cross was well saved by Huntelaar.

Hiddink attempted to change the game by bringing in Luciano Narsingh, and the PSV winger had the first chance for an equaliser in the second half, but with the goal gaping he could only scoop the ball horribly wide, while Babacan saved well from Afellay.

Bas Dost was handed his first cap as Hiddink went route one, but the change led to Netherlands pumping aimless balls into the box which Turkey’s defence dealt with simply. As the game headed into six minutes of injury time, Sneijder proved to be the hero for Netherlands as his shot from the edge of the box deflected off Huntelaar and fooled Babacan. Depay came close to the winner a minute later but his volley from the edge of the box flew over.

The point leaves Netherlands sitting in third and six points behind Czech Republic and five behind Iceland. A friendly with Spain follows on Tuesday, but big changes will be needed by the time Netherlands restart their Euro campaign against Latvia in June. With only five games to go, the KNVB may have to take drastic action and sack Guus Hiddink if they are to get the campaign back on track.




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