That’s it from us tonight, folks.
Thanks for joining The Irish Times on what was, sadly, another disappointing night for Stephen Kenny’s Ireland.
Until next time, take care.
And here is Stephen Kenny’s post-match interview with RTÉ.
Here is Gavin Cumiskey’s on the whistle match report from Amsterdam.
Matt Doherty defends Stephen Kenny’s position as manager and hopes there is no change at the helm.
Ireland’s Euro 2024 qualification campaign finishes in defeat, a sixth in eight games. The final score was 1-0 but the Dutch – who were without so many players tonight because of injury – were far more comfortable than that scoreline suggests. It could easily have been three or four nil. The Netherlands must be wondering how they didn’t rustle the back of the Ireland net more than once – they had 18 goal-scoring chances to Ireland’s two. Gavin Bazunu was again Ireland’s best player, he played a huge role in keeping the deficit to the minimum. Ireland lacked endeavour and the campaign finishes as it started, in defeat. Ireland’s only two wins in the group were over Gibraltar.
And so, this is how it ends for Stephen Kenny.
Ireland will play a friendly against New Zealand on Tuesday night but these are just the in-between days now. A change of management is coming. Tuesday is just scribbling the final few lines on a disappointing chapter for Irish football. It had promised much more and most Irish fans had hoped it would deliver much more. There is no satisfaction in watching Kenny’s efforts come up short.
Amsterdam was another drab evening for Ireland. Another loss. Another poor performance.
Still, it could always be worse, Gibraltar shipped 14 goals against France tonight.
We’ll bring you match reaction and Gavin Cumiskey’s match report before we sign off.
FULL-TIME: Netherlands 1 Republic of Ireland 0
92mins: Great goalkeeping by Bazunu, who reads the danger early and races out to stop Malen getting off a shot.
90mins: Troy Parrott comes in for O’Shea. Five minutes of time added on.
86mins: Ireland knit a neat string of passes together and it ends with some trickery from Johnston earning Ireland a free just to the left of the box. The free goes to Manning at the edge of the box but his shot is blocked down.
82mins: Back to back corners for Ireland. Two decent deliveries but Dutch eventually clear their lines. Ireland have had three corners throughout the game so far.
77mins: Mikey Johnston and Jayson Molumby come in, Doherty and Knight make way.
72mins: Netherlands try walk the ball through the Irish team, but a heavy touch from Reijnders inside the box scuppers the chance.
69mins: Another Dutch break, this time down Ireland’s right flank. Ball whipped in by Gakpo but Dumfries just fails to make contact in front of the Ireland goal.
Here’s Idah’s disallowed goal, which was ruled out for offside.
63mins: Great tackle by McGrath, blocking a Gakpo shot from the edge of the box. Ireland clear the resulting corner.
59mins: Idah has the ball in the back of the Dutch net but the flag goes up (late) and he’s ruled offside.
55mins: Jamie McGrath replaces Evan Ferguson.
52mins: Ooofffff. Bazunu with two good saves - the second of which spins off his gloves and strikes the post. The first was a point blank reflex stop from Weghorst. It feels like a second goal is coming.
Idah has gone up front with Ferguson. Ireland still appear to be playing with five at the back. Dutch holding possession here at the minute, playing the ball around.
48mins: Dutch break through on a 4 v 3 scenario but again fail to make the most of their opportunity.
Adam Idah replaces Robinson for the start of the second half.
Ireland offered pretty much nothing going forward in that opening half. And the defending for the Dutch goal was shambolic. Ireland are playing with five at the back, but at times the players just didn’t seem to look comfortable in the shape or sure of their role. If that first half had gone on any longer, fair chance the Dutch would have added a second goal. Ireland need to get Ferguson and Robinson involved in the play, there has been no attacking threat thus far. If the second half starts like the first finished, then Ireland will be in trouble. They need to come out on the front foot.
HALF-TIME: Netherlands 1 Ireland 0
45mins: Reijnders shot forces a corner from a Bazunu save. Ireland clear the corner. Stephen Kenny really needs to get his team in here at the break to steady the ship.
43mins: Netherlands catch Ireland all at sea on a quick break, but fail to take advantage. Ireland are all over the place here. Current shape is, erm, shapeless.
41mins: Gakpo free from just outside the box hits the Irish wall. Poor free from a dangerous position - luckily for Ireland!
39mins: Reijnders fires wides for the Dutch. Ireland under a bit of pressure here. Game still waiting to spark to life.
35mins: Scales makes an important interception from a Dumfries pass inside. Ireland clear the subsequent corner.
Mexican wave has already done a tour of the stadium.
29mins: Manning showing well over the last few moments, producing a neat nutmeg, swinging in a couple of crosses and winning a free out wide on the right. Still 1-0 to the home side.
23mins: Bazunu races out to prevent Gakpo stealing in for a possible second Dutch goal.
Some reports coming from Amsterdam of Ireland fans having difficulties getting inside the stadium.
Weghorst proving a thorn in Ireland’s side during this qualifying campaign. He scored the winner in Dublin in September and he has opened the scoring here tonight. It was much too easy as he shielded the ball away from Ireland players, turned and raced straight through on goal from just inside the Dutch side of the pitch. Drilled his right-footed shot high inside Bazunu’s near post.
12mins: GOAL for the Dutch. Weghorst. 1-0
8mins: Matt Doherty gets tossed on the ground as if participating in a WWE ring but the ref waves appeals of a free away.
5mins: Pretty flat start but out of nowhere Ireland get a sight of goal and Browne hits the target with a nicely struck shot but the keeper saves. Dutch in all orange, Ireland in green shorts, white shorts and green socks.
2mins: Ireland get the game started. Ball has trailed out harmlessly for a Dutch restart.
National anthems playing now. Roof closed in the stadium. Almost set for kick-off.
Ken Early on Stephen Kenny’s reign.
It seems a lifetime ago now from the halcyon days when Ireland-Netherlands clashes felt like contests between two very significant international football teams. Here’s a piece from a few weeks back with Mick McCarthy on his memories of facing the Dutch as a player and a manager - from Van Basten and Gullit to Keane and McAteer.
Didi Hamann having a cut at Stephen Kenny on RTÉ right now for calling up Andrew Moran - the German making the point that he feels Moran should have been left with the Ireland Under-21s.
Here’s Gavin Cumiskey on Stephen Kenny’s reign
The Dutch starting team:
So Evan Ferguson starts up top for Ireland, looks like the Meath man has overcome his injury problems to lead the Ireland attack tonight. Given that selection, will Ireland go with five at the back?
When the sides met in Dublin in September, Ireland got off to the perfect start thanks to a converted Adam Idah penalty in the fourth minute. However, the Dutch battled back with a penalty by Gakpo bringing them level in the 19th minute, before Weghorst netted the winner after half-time. It finished 2-1 to the visitors.
This is Ireland’s final fixture in what has been a disappointing and fruitless campaign. Tonight in Amsterdam Ireland’s qualification journey officially reaches the end of the road, though Stephen Kenny’s side have been spluttering down a cul-de-sac for quite some time now.
Ireland enter this encounter having won just two of their seven group games, suffering defeat in the other five. The two victories came against Gibraltar. This is a match which might also prove to be Kenny’s last competitive game at the helm.
Ireland face New Zealand in a friendly at the Aviva on Tuesday night. Exciting, right? A shot at revenge for Paris last month it most certainly will not be. Rather, history will almost certainly recall it as a footnote for no other reason other than the game which marked Kenny’s farewell.
And if that is indeed how it all unravels, there will be genuine pity and regret among Ireland fans at how the endgame played out for the current Ireland boss. Because the position and the role of managing his country clearly means a lot to Kenny, it’s not just another gig, it’s the gig of his life. But it hasn’t worked out. Ireland have not reached the heights he and many Irish fans would have wanted – luck hasn’t exactly gone his way either but ultimately the results haven’t been good enough.
Some future Ireland manager might ultimately reap the rewards of Kenny’s work in bringing through so many young players, but the development needed won’t come in time to keep him in the Irish dugout. Perhaps, if nothing else, in Amsterdam tonight Kenny might at least get one outing where fortune comes his way.
Kick-off is just under two hours away. We’ll keep the build-up going until then by bringing you some pre-match reading from our stable of writers, and we will post the team news as soon as we have them from both camps.