Oranje beat the Republic of Ireland in a hard-fought victory
Oranje beat the Republic of Ireland in a Euro 2024 qualifier at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Sunday. Goals from Cody Gakpo and Wout Weghorst gave Ronald Koeman’s side a vital victory in their quest to qualify for the European Championships in Germany..
Manager Ronald Koeman made three changes to the side that beat Greece on Thursday. Marten de Roon was replaced by Mats Wieffer, and Wout Weghorst was replaced by Donyell Malen, with Koeman hoping that Malen's pace will prove helpful on the counter as Ireland is playing for their last chance of qualification. The other change is Matthijs de Ligt coming in for Feyenoord defender Lutsharel Geertruida, who got injured in the final training session before the match on Saturday.
Oranje made the worst possible start as they went a goal down within two minutes. Ireland won a corner After a mistake by goalkeeper Mark Flekken nearly resulted in a goal until Wieffer blocked the shot for a corner. The corner was swung in by experienced winger James Mcclean before hitting the arm of captain Virgil van Dijk and was awarded as a penalty. Norwich City striker Adam Idah took the penalty for the Irish and placed it into the corner to send the Irish crowd in the Aviva stadium into raptures.
Koeman's side got a penalty of their own after 17 minutes to equalize. Cody Gakpo played the ball through to Denzel Dumfries, who continued his magnificent form for the Netherlands by rounding goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, who then took him down. Gakpo took the penalty and scored.
Malen was Oranje's primary source of danger in the first half, forcing Bazunu into two good saves with his quick, direct running. The worry in the first half for the Netherlands was the passing out from the back, where Ireland were pressing on and winning the ball in dangerous areas.
Wout Weghorst and Tijjani Reijnders were brought on at halftime, replacing Mats Wieffer and Daley Blind, and the substitutions had made the difference in the first ten minutes of the second half. Frenkie de Jong played a perfect pass to Dumfries, who got his fourth assist in two games by heading the ball across the box to Weghorst, who volleyed home.
ROI tried to fight back after the goal but did not have the quality to trouble the Dutch defence further. Oranje was not efficient on the counter-attack; therefore, they did not create much of note in the second half either.
The next international break is in October, which will be pivotal in Group B. The Netherlands will face group leaders France and Greece. As it stands, France is top with 15 points, with Oranje in second with nine points. Greece also has nine points, having beaten Gibraltar 5-0 on Sunday, but are behind Koeman’s side on goal difference.