If you already know one thing about the away match in Dublin, it’s that the Irish start the game with enthusiasm and emotion. They really do it all the time so you have to be prepared for it. The Dutch team seems to have missed that memo.
There was old-fashioned tenderness, especially in the back. Defenders passed the ball to each other as if they were playing a summer evening football match, but Irish summer evening football has a different definition. This led to some risky moments after a good push from the boys in green.
Let it be shared in the malaise
Goalkeeper Mark Flecken (Brentford) also shared in the distress, by continuing to pass the ball with some Irishmen past the enemy’s 16th goal. That ended well, but after a handball from Virgil van Dijk a penalty was awarded. Adam Idah made the effort and gave the Irish the lead.
When the Dutch finally started playing football – they had to – it became clear that the footballing ability within Koeman’s team was far greater than that of the Irish. It didn’t take long before the game turned around, again thanks to a stunning penalty kick. Cody Jacobo scored the equalizing goal.
The Dumfries factor is important
The ball hit the penalty spot after a foul by the goalkeeper on Denzel Dumfries, who played a leading role on the right flank, as was the case before against Greece. How hot! As well as ‘decorating’ the penalty, Dumfries was also the man who enabled substitute striker Weghorst to make the score 1-2 with a cross. Weghorst entered the field after half-time for Daley Blind and the system was also repaired. Back to the 4-3-3 plan.
Once they took the lead, the Dutch side did not give up their posh position at the Aviva Stadium, although the Irish were still trying to organize a final attack. This was mainly successful from a visual standpoint, but the Dutch team was not under much pressure and held on. Not much happened offensively from the Orange jerseys, but the 3-pointer was secured.
Duels with France and Greece are coming
This means that the starting position in Group B looks much better than it did a week ago. Then qualification for Euro 2024 in Germany was a long way off. Now it’s close. In mid-October, more will become clear in Group Two after the matches with leaders France and Greece.
The Dutch team will then visit the Greeks and will do themselves a big favor by achieving a positive result.
Status of play in qualifying group B EK
1. France – 5-15
2. Netherlands – 4-9
3. Greece – 5-9
4. Ireland – 5-3
5. Gibraltar – 5-0
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