Euro 2024 qualifiers: Netherlands all but end Republic of Ireland’s qualifying hopes

9 September 2023 0 By Total Football News

Adam Idah challenges Virgil van DijkAdam Idah (left) gave the Republic a dream start with a fourth-minute penalty but the Dutch hit back

The Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2024 qualification hopes are all but over after the Netherlands came from a goal down to edge an entertaining qualifier in Dublin.

Adam Idah gave the Republic a dream start with a fourth-minute penalty after Virgil van Dijk’s handball.

But the Dutch hit back with a spot-kick of their own through Cody Gakpo.

Substitute Wout Weghorst’s winner then condemned the Republic to a fourth defeat in five qualifiers.

It leaves manager Stephen Kenny’s side six points adrift of the second-placed Dutch having played a game more, with a home match against Greece and a trip to Gibraltar in October up next.

And with a trip to the Netherlands to come in their final qualifier, Sunday’s defeat in Dublin effectively seals the Republic’s fate and heaps more pressure on Kenny after the Dubliner’s failure to steer the team to Euro 2020 and last year’s World Cup.

Republic make dream start

On a balmy Dublin evening, the mix of nerves and excitement among the home crowd was instantly detectable. As kick-off approached, they roared and roared, fuelled by the hope of seeing their team pull off a remarkable shock and reive their qualifying hopes.

The Irish players were clearly invigorated by the noise, and while they did everything but score against France at this ground in March, they only needed to wait four minutes against the Dutch.

After Chiedozie Ogbene failed to finish after a risky pass from Dutch keeper Mark Flekken put Frenkie de Jong in trouble, Shane Duffy’s header from the resultant corner struck Van Dijk’s hand.

Idah tucked the spot-kick away with aplomb. The early platform Kenny craved had arrived.

But the home fans were soon to be silenced. After the hosts coughed up possession, Gakpo sliced open their defence with a searching through ball, and when Denzel Dumfries got to the ball before the advancing Bazunu, referee Irfan Peljto pointed to the spot.

Gakpo’s confidently-taken penalty briefly energised the Dutch, with Bazunu doing well to thwart Donyell Malen.

Five minutes before the break, Bazunu frustrated Malen again, turning the Borussia Dortmund forward’s low drive away with his foot.

But the Republic were undeterred by flashes of Dutch pace and continued to attack in numbers. They pressed aggressively, chasing and harrying an accomplished trio of centre-backs.

It almost yielded a second home goal, too, when in a near carbon-copy of Ogbene’s chance in the opening minute, De Jong had his pocket picked on the edge of his box only for Ake to charge down the Irish forward’s shot.

Stephen Kenny applauds the Republic of Ireland fans after Sunday's defeatStephen Kenny’s side have lost four of their five opening Euro 2024 qualifiers with their only victory coming against Gibraltar

De Jong shines as Weghorst crushes Irish hopes

Netherland’s manager Ronald Koeman’s response to the Republic’s first-half energy was to switch it up – and it worked. Tijani Reijnders’ introduction for Mats Wieffer afforded the Dutch more control in midfield, while Daley Blind’s exit for Weghorst gave the away side a clear focal point up top.

And the Republic duly found themselves retreating. While De Jong looked shaky in possession close to his own goal in the first half close, the Barcelona midfielder’s movement and passing in more advanced positions was a joy to watch.

It was his guile and craft at the heart of the second Dutch goal. He chipped a delightful pass over the Irish defence to Dumfries who, having been played onside by Duffy, pulled the ball back for Weghorst to pounce 11 minutes after being called upon.

From there, the Republic – perhaps having expended too much energy in the first half – toiled in their efforts to get back into the game.

Ogbene had a penalty appeal waved away, but with every Irish cross that failed to meet its intended target, the groans of the Aviva crowd were telling.

In truth, the Dutch saw the game out fairly comfortably and while they remain locked in a battle for second place with Greece, who beat Gibraltar as expected, the Republic must grapple with the near-certainty of another failed bid to reach a major tournament.

Line-ups

Republic of Ireland

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1BazunuBooked at 18mins
  • 12Collins
  • 4Duffy
  • 5EganSubstituted forMcGrathat 73′minutes
  • 10DohertySubstituted forEboseleat 87′minutes
  • 8BrowneSubstituted forSmallboneat 74′minutes
  • 6Cullen
  • 11McCleanSubstituted forManningat 64′minutes
  • 17KnightBooked at 67minsSubstituted forArmstrongat 87′minutes
  • 20OgbeneBooked at 42mins
  • 9Idah

Substitutes

  • 2O’Shea
  • 3Manning
  • 7Smallbone
  • 13Hendrick
  • 14Molumby
  • 15Connolly
  • 16Kelleher
  • 18McGrath
  • 19Ebosele
  • 21Armstrong
  • 22Omobamidele
  • 23O’Leary

Netherlands

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Flekken
  • 3de Ligt
  • 4van Dijk
  • 5Aké
  • 22Dumfries
  • 19WiefferBooked at 16minsSubstituted forReijndersat 45′minutes
  • 21F de Jong
  • 17BlindSubstituted forWeghorstat 45′minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 7SimonsSubstituted forBerghuisat 90′minutes
  • 18MalenSubstituted forKoopmeinersat 68′minutes
  • 8GakpoBooked at 67minsSubstituted forLangat 81′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2van de Ven
  • 6de Vrij
  • 9Weghorst
  • 10Lang
  • 11Berghuis
  • 12Hartman
  • 13Verbruggen
  • 14Reijnders
  • 15de Roon
  • 16Veerman
  • 20Koopmeiners
  • 23Noppert
Referee:
Irfan Peljto

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Republic of Ireland 1, Netherlands 2.

Second Half ends, Republic of Ireland 1, Netherlands 2.