The Netherlands secured their Euro Cup 2024 qualification from Group B with an early goal from former Manchester United forward Wout Weghorst, leading them to a 1-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland in Amsterdam. The win marked a demoralizing evening for the visitors. Who remains at just six points in the group, positioned ahead only of minnows Gibraltar.
Who suffered a remarkable 14-0 defeat against France. Wout Weghorst’s goal proved decisive for the Netherlands, confirming their place in Euro 2024. The Republic of Ireland, unable to muster a response, had a challenging evening, with visiting striker Evan Ferguson, notably impressive for Brighton this season.
Experiencing a frustrating match, being deprived of possession before eventually departing the field due to injury. Wout Weghorst’s 11th-minute goal settled the contest early, as he skillfully manoeuvred past Nathan Collins before unleashing a powerful shot past Gavin Bazunu. However, the remainder of the evening lacked individual brilliance from both sides.
The defeat for Ireland further compounded their disappointing Euro Cup 2024 qualification campaign, with this setback being the latest in a series of struggles. Their only solace came from securing more points against Gibraltar in Group B. Ireland did manage to put the ball in the net at one point when Adam Idah surged forward, and his shot found its way past Bart Verbruggen.
Unfortunately, the effort was disallowed due to a clear offside, sparing the goalkeeper’s blushes on an otherwise challenging night for the visitors. Despite enjoying substantial possession, the visitors appeared bereft of ideas.
Analyzing the Netherlands’ Performance Against Ireland in Euro Cup 2024 Qualifier
Particularly evident in Evan Ferguson’s constant probing of the Dutch backline without receiving adequate service before his departure. In the presence of a considerable travelling crowd. The Irish found themselves outshot 19-3 by their hosts. Wout Weghorst’s impact extended beyond his goal. He also prompted Gavin Bazunu’s best save of the night.
Weghorst skillfully turned a first-time shot back against the grain and on target. However, apart from that and his goal, the Netherlands generated only three more genuine scoring opportunities, highlighting a lack of sustained attacking threats beyond the early stages of the contest. The hosts’ early lead proved to be the worst-case scenario for the contest.
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As Ireland struggled to create scoring opportunities. The Netherlands Euro Cup 2024 Squad adopted a strategy of allowing their opponents to attempt attacks before capitalizing on counterattacks. Ronald Koeman’s decision to substitute Cody Gakpo for a defensive midfielder with 20 minutes remaining drew boos from the Johan Cruyff Arena.
The manager opted to safeguard their narrow lead, a decision that elicited a negative response from the crowd. Considering that the team had opportunities to enhance their advantage earlier in the match. The Netherlands’ performance suggests that they may face challenges in making a significant impact on a major tournament, a feat they haven’t achieved since the 2014 World Cup.
Despite moments of synergy between Gakpo, Xavi Simons, and Denzel Dumfries, all three players squandered scoring chances, keeping the team’s qualification hopes on a knife’s edge as the score remained 1-0. Despite facing a side that conceded 10 goals in qualifiers.
Player of the Match: Wout Weghorst
The Dutch attackers failed to capitalize on what should have been an opportunity to dominate. The Netherlands, unable to convert 19 chances in the match, will likely seek to refine their shooting accuracy before the Euro Cup, recognizing that such opportunities may not be as abundant in future games.
A notable bright spot in the match was Tijjani Reijnders, the AC Milan midfielder, who showcased his skills by embarking on dangerous runs that repeatedly caught Ireland off guard.
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In a match where the standout performances were scarce, Weghorst distinguished himself by ceaselessly working up front and creating two excellent chances. He initiated a promising move, setting Gakpo free, who, unfortunately, couldn’t connect with Dumfries on the ensuing cross. Weghorst then provided Reijnders with a golden opportunity for a first-time shot.
But the midfielder opted to take a touch, resulting in a missed chance. Weghorst ultimately took matters into his own hands for the winning goal, executing a pirouette past Collins before calmly rifling his shot into the roof of the net. His clinical finish left Bazunu with no chance, solidifying Weghorst’s impact on the outcome of the match.
Netherlands: Verbruggen 6, De Vrij 6, Van Dijk 7, Blind 6, Dumfries 7, Reijnders 7, Schouten 6, Hartman 6, Simons 7, Weghorst 8, Gakpo 7
Substitutes: Koopmeiners 6, Malen 7, De Roon 6, Veerman 6
Republic of Ireland: Bazunu 7, Collins 5, O’Shea 5, Scales 7, Doherty 6, Browne 6, Cullen 6, Manning 6, Robinson 5, Knight 6, Ferguson 6
Substitutes: Idah 6, Molumby 6, McGrath 6, Parrott 6, Johnston 7
The player ratings reflect the performances in the match, with Wout Weghorst receiving the highest rating for his impactful contribution to the Netherlands’ victory.
11’ – GOAL! NETHERLANDS 1-0 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND:
Wout Weghorst opens the scoring for the hosts! Holding off Nathan Collins with ease, Weghorst anticipated a pass, then swiftly turned and sprinted into the Irish half. Taking his time in the penalty area, he fired into the roof of the net.
23’ – GAKPO GOES CLOSE:
The Dutch showcased lovely attacking interplay as Gakpo played a one-two with Simons, with Weghorst executing a backheel flick-on. Unfortunately, it fell just out of reach for Gakpo, showing promise from the home-attacking trio.
38’ – TIPPING THE SCALES:
The Dutch almost doubled their lead with a devastating move. Denzel Dumfries, in acres of space on the right, aimed to meet Gakpo’s dangerous run. Gakpo nearly latched on for a point-blank shot, but Liam Scales’ desperate dive got there first.
53’ – SUPERB SAVE… THEN NOT SO MUCH:
The Dutch intensified their threat, encamping around the Irish area. Weghorst tipped a first-time shot from the penalty spot, and Bazunu reacted superbly to change direction and keep it out. However, dealing with Reijnders’ follow-up shot, Bazunu allowed it to slip through his arms, relieved to see it strike the post and stay out.
55’ – FERGUSON DEPARTS:
Evan Ferguson limps off the field, replaced by Jamie McGrath. A moment of concern for Brighton fans.
73’ – REIJNDERS BUTCHERS GOLDEN CHANCE:
Despite the Dutch securing their place in Euro 2024, Reijnders squandered a golden opportunity. Weghorst found the lively Reijnders in the Irish penalty area, but the midfielder inexplicably took a touch, allowing the visitors to clear. A missed chance for a certain first-time shot.
Excluding their two games against Gibraltar, Ireland have lost every qualifier at an aggregate of 10-2.
Ireland’s struggles in qualifiers are evident, with losses in all matches, excluding those against Gibraltar. The aggregate scoreline stands at 10-2, emphasizing the challenges they face in competitive fixtures.
Six senior defenders were unavailable to Ronald Koeman, including Nathan Ake and Matthijs de Ligt.
The Netherlands dealt with defensive challenges as six senior defenders, including notable names like Nathan Ake and Matthijs de Ligt, were unavailable for Ronald Koeman. Despite this, they managed to secure a victory against Ireland.
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