Turkey 4-2 Netherlands: Burak Yilmaz hat-trick helps Crescent-Stars win 2022 World Cup qualifier opener

Turkey pulled off a surprise victory against group favorites Netherlands in the opening FIFA World Cup 2022 Group G clash at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul on Wednesday.

The Crescent-Stars got off to a great start when Burak Yilmaz’s deflected shot from outside the opposition penalty area found the back of the net.

READ: Turkey squad announced ahead of Netherlands, Norway and Latvia FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers

Yilmaz bagged a brace on 34 minutes from the penalty spot to give Turkey a two-goal lead heading into the half-time break.

And things got even better for the home side when Hakan Calhanoglu scored a brilliant long-range effort to extend Turkey’s lead to three goals.

But it would not be a Turkey national team game without some drama.

Second-half substitute Davy Klaassen looked to have scored a consolation goal on 75 minutes but when De Jong scored another goal just a minute later it looked like a comeback could be on the cards.

Then up stepped Burak Yilmaz who saved the best till last with a sublime free-kick effort to make the score 4-2.

And yet there was still more drama as the visitors won a penalty in additional time. Goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir managed to save Depay’s spot-kick effort just before the final whistle.

Yilmaz became the oldest player (35) to score a hat-trick in a World Cup qualifier.

He also became the first player to score a hat-trick against the Netherlands since Klaus Allofs for Germany in 1980.

Turkey take on Norway in their next qualifier on Saturday 27 March in Spain.