Ireland 1 Netherlands 2 as it happened: Ireland lose Euro 2024 qualifier at the Aviva

Stephen Kenny’s men beaten on disappointing night in Dublin


Ireland 1 Netherlands 2

Idah (pen, 5 mins); Gakpo (pen, 19 mins), Weghorst (55 mins)


FULL-TIME: Ireland 1 Netherlands 2

Disappointment in Dublin. Can’t argue with that result despite a spirited first half. Qualification is very unlikely now, the only hope realistically is an outside chance of a playoff through the Nations League system. The Dutch were too strong against a limited Irish side that tried their best but lacked quality in key areas. Stephen Kenny may find it hard to come back from this.


90 mins: Ebosele shows his pace and wins a corner, Manning to take. Van Dijk heads it out, beating Duffy in the air. RTÉ commentator Ronnie Whelan was insistent on Duffy going up front but Van Dijk showing he can deal with the aerial threat.


86 mins: Game getting stretched now. Ireland are far too slow to counter and just ends up with a weak cross from Manning. Last throw of the dice, Armstrong and Ebosele on. Duffy, who has had a poor game, unnecessarily fouls from a ball into the box.


82 mins: Jamie McGrath loses the ball and Xavi Simons was through to the edge of the box but McGrath makes up for his mistake with a great tackle.


76 mins: A frustrating moment for Ireland after some decent play as Doherty overhits a cross. Ireland have gone for 433 formation for the remainder of the game with the two subs.


73 mins: Ireland win a corner as Doherty plays in Idah who hits it off Van Dijk. Manning’s corner is punched away by Flekken. John Egan and Alan Browne are off for Will Smallbone and Jamie McGrath.


70 mins: Another change for Netherlands, Malen off for Teun Koopmeiners., Forward off for a midfielder. Great play by Xavi Simons down the wing is cut out by the Irish defence.


64 mins: James McClean off and Ryan Manning in for Ireland. The ball comes into the box and Ogbene falls over from a push from Van Dijk. Referee says no penalty, VAR decided not enough contact.


61 mins: Gutting blow for Ireland, who have really tired this half. Changes are needed but it’s not like there is a lot on the bench given the injuries to first-choice attackers. Netherlands look more likely to score another goal as Frenkie De Jong pulls the strings.


56 mins: Goal for Netherlands! Oh no, Duffy plays Dumfries on after a brilliant pass by De Jong and it’s a good finish by the substitute Weghorst. Ireland behind.


52 mins: Some good play by Ireland, Simons gets into the pocket and plays in Dumfries who cuts it back and Simons seemingly has a shot in front of goal but Alan Browne heroically gets an interception to stop a certain goal.


49 mins: Cross from Knight that Duffy competes for, but he fouls Flekken. Netherlands break dangerously soon after but Weghorst takes a poor shot.


Wout Weghorst and Tijjani Reijnders come in for Netherlands for Wieffer and Blind as they switch it up.


HALF-TIME: Ireland 1 Netherlands 1

So it’s two penalties, one each that are on the scoresheet. A draw is probably a fair reflection of the game. Ireland have created a lot of chances with their pressing and with a few better touches or passes could have scored another. The Dutch have had chances too, with Bazunu making two good saves from Malen. Encouraging, attacking football from Ireland and all to play for in the second half.

The goals:


45 mins: A booking for Ogbene for pushing Ake in the back. Sloppy play by Browne as he dribbles and is dispossessed. Netherlands look menacing but Gakpo can’t control on the edge of the box and Ireland survive.


42 mins: Great save by Bazunu again. Another threatening piece of play by Malen who is too fast for the Irish defence and takes a low shot but Bazunu shows quick reflexes to save it with his foot.


38 mins: Such an intense and spirited performance by Jason Knight tonight so far. Flekken in goals is again sloppy with his pass to Van Dijk and Knight is there in a rush blocking the ball high up the pitch.


35 mins: Oh no, another good chances spurned! Browne with another brilliant pressure of the Dutch backline and wins the ball high up. Idah’s pass isn’t good enough for Ogbene, and Ake blocks, not for the first time tonight.


32 mins: Adam Idah is through on goal and has a tussle with Van Dijk. It seemed like Idah had won the battle and had the ball in the box but the referee blows up for a foul on Van Dijk. Seemed harsh that one. Ogbene holds the ball well from a long ball and is fouled by Ake in a good area about 25 metres out. Free-kick by Browne is well wide.


29 mins: Another corner from McClean puts more pressure on the Dutch defence in the corridor of uncertainty. It hits off Idah but it bounces off him. The ball comes to De Jong who is fouled and it’s a free out.


26 mins: Netherlands keeping the ball for an extended period. The ball then comes to Malen who runs at pace and turns Egan, he forces a good save out of Bazunu and it almost comes back to Malen but Collins manages to scramble it away. Let off for Ireland, who are a bit too open at the moment.


23 mins: The crowd has gone quiet after a rip-roaring start. Momentum sapping moment for Ireland as Gakpo showed his quality.


19 mins: Penalty for Netherlands! Ireland lose the ball and Gakpo runs at the defence and plays a superb pass to Dumfries. Dumfries rounds Bazunu and is fouled, easy decision for the referee. Bazunu gets a yellow card. Gakpo’s penalty... is almost saved by Bazunu, he got a hand to it but it was enough in the corner to sneak in. Disappointing.


17 mins: Gakpo puts in a dangerous ball from a free-kick and Collins has to head it out. From the corner, Ireland clear and Knight gets ahead of Wieffer who fouls him and picks up an early yellow card.


14 mins: Some brilliant pressing from Ireland, Idah and Ogbene putting a lot of pressure on the Dutch’s build-up. Doherty with a great through ball in to Idah is cut out well by Ake. From the throw-in, Doherty runs down the right and gets into the box and wins another corner. This time the keeper punches out, Cullen’s shot is blocked, then a great ball into the box by Ogbene to the back post and Ireland have another chance from a header but can’t get it on target.


8 mins: Simons is being heavily pressured so far as Ireland’s pressing is physical and not giving the Dutch much space. Ireland have given away the ball sloppily at times though since the goal. Here is the Idah penalty:


GOAL FOR IRELAND! Adam Idah scores the penalty low to the keeper’s right! What an electric start by Ireland. The Aviva is rocking!


2 mins: Early attacking pressure for Ireland but the ball falls to Egan who has a very poor touch and fouls the Dutch player.

Chance! How did they miss? Dutch give away the ball in their box and the ball falls to Adam Idah from six yards out but he doesn’t shoot and lays off to Ogbene whose shot is blocked.

A corner by McClean and it’s a penalty to Ireland! Duffy wins the header and Van Dijk handballs it! Wow!


Now for the national anthems. Dutch one proudly sung by a large travelling support. Those teams again:

Ireland team to play Netherlands: Gavin Bazunu, Nathan Collins, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Matt Doherty, James McClean, Alan Browne, Josh Cullen, Jason Knight, Chiedozie Ogbene, Adam Idah.

Netherlands team to play Ireland: Flekken, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Aké, Dumfries, De Jong, Wieffer, Blind, Simons, Gakpo, Malen


Ireland’s young players will deliver eventually, if they can endure and mature, writes Ken Early ahead of the game.

“A nation becomes great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit.”

“Stephen Kenny didn’t want to be like the old men in the supposed Greek proverb. He intended to be around to sit in the shade of the trees he was planting in his early days as manager.

“Unfortunately, his saplings are not sprouting fast enough to shield him from the harsh glare of the criticism that comes with four failed tournament groups in a row.”


Stephen Kenny has tried and failed to change the face of Irish football, writes columnist Kevin Kilbane ahead of tonight’s game. “It’s last chance saloon for the manager and his side need to defeat the Dutch to preserve Ireland’s slim hopes – but I’m not optimistic,” Kilbane writes.

“Let’s see if that has changed in the coming weeks and months. Another gutsy showing that ends in a heroic draw is pointless. We all watched Athens and the first half against Gibraltar. No more talk about Ireland blooding 18 players and acting as if Covid only hurt them.

“The past is gone. Now is the moment for Kenny’s Ireland to secure a memorable result.”


So Malen starts over Weghorst up front, a lot more pace to deal with there. Matthijs de Ligt and Mats Wieffer also come into the side for the Dutch.

Netherlands team to play Ireland: Flekken, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Aké, Dumfries, De Jong, Wieffer, Blind, Simons, Gakpo, Malen


The Ireland team has been announced. Unsurprisingly Matt Doherty returns to the side, while James McClean starts as left wing-back. They are the only changes to the team

Ireland team to play Netherlands: Gavin Bazunu, Nathan Collins, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Matt Doherty, James McClean, Alan Browne, Josh Cullen, Jason Knight, Chiedozie Ogbene, Adam Idah.


Meanwhile my colleague Laura Coates tells me the Dutch have invaded Tara Street. Send for help.


Win or bust, writes Gavin Cummiskey in his preview of the match tonight.

“The easiest compliment to pay Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland has been to praise their performances against the top-tier football nations they have encountered.

But the results haven’t matched up. There was the heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Portugal on the Algarve in 2021 before a fortunate draw with Serbia in Dublin, a scoreless encounter with Portugal and the 1-0 loss to France in March.

“Due to the full-time scorelines, none of those performances will be remembered. Neither are they any use to Ireland when Virgil van Dijk leads a revitalised Netherlands into the Aviva stadium on Sunday night.”


Hello and welcome to live coverage of Ireland’s crucial Euro 2024 qualifier against the Netherlands at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Another loss today and it is pretty much turn the lights off territory on Ireland qualifying for Euro 2024, while a win would get Stephen Kenny’s men right back in contention to qualify from the group. Ireland will need to go for this one, realistically a draw won’t do and it won’t be an easy proposition.

Netherlands dismantled Greece 3-0 earlier in the week with three first-half goals to show their quality. They are heavy favourites for the game and have some top-class players like Liverpool duo Cody Gakpo and Virgil Van Dijk, and midfielder Frenkie De Jong. But they are not quite the fearsome prospect that France were (nobody really is). They have lost three of their last five games under new manager Ronald Koeman, albeit against strong opposition. Ireland also have good history to draw from - a famous victory against Netherlands in 2001 thanks to a Jason McAteer goal helped Ireland qualify the 2002 World Cup.

Ireland could not lay a glove on France on Friday as they succumbed to a 2-0 loss in Paris. More potent attacking is needed tonight, which is a tough ask given Ireland are missing their young star striker Evan Ferguson through injury. Again Ireland will likely be looking to Chiedozie Ogbene or Adam Idah up front to make the difference. Matt Doherty is at least back from suspension and should start at right wing-back.

Kick-off is at the Aviva is at 7.45pm.