- Ireland lose to the Netherlands
- Idah and Gakpo score in first half
- Sub Weghorst grabs the winner
TELL ME MORE: The Netherlands earned a 2-1 comeback victory at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday night thanks to goals from Liverpool winger Cody Gakpo and Hoffenheim forward Wout Weghorst, who cancelled out Adam Idah's early penalty. Irish boss Stephen Kenny said in the lead-up to this match that his side needed the "performance of their lives" against the Oranje following their 2-0 loss to France on Thursday. And it looked like his team would deliver on that goal as striker Idah gave the hosts the lead in the fourth minute from the spot after Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk handled in the box. Their bright start, however, was halted when the visitors drew level 15 minutes later as Gakpo converted his spot-kick after keeper Gavin Bazunu brought down the rampaging full-back Dumfries.
Kenny's men had 56 per cent possession in the first half but barely laid a glove on Ronald Koeman's team in the second period. Half-time substitute Weghorst fired the Dutch ahead in the 56th minute following a flowing team move, with the electric Dumfries providing the assist. Ireland huffed and puffed but they could not create enough clear-cut chances as the Dutch eased to a deserved win. The result means their chances of qualifying for Euro 2024 are all but over as they are fourth in Group B and sit six points behind the Netherlands in second, plus they have played a game more.
THE MVP: Inter Milan star Dumfries was the pick of the bunch at the Aviva as he ran Ireland's defence ragged. Not only did he keep winger James McClean under wraps, but the 27-year-old was also a constant menace in attack. He won his side a penalty and set up Weghorst with a cushioned header to cap a very effective and enterprising display from the former PSV Eindhoven man.
THE BIG LOSER: Despite coming away with the three points, Liverpool skipper Van Dijk is having a rough spell at present. After being sent off against Newcastle United and then being fined and banned for berating the referee during that match, the 32-year-old was out of sorts against the Irish. Chiedozie Ogbene and Idah made him look clumsy at times, plus he conceded a penalty and nearly gifted Ireland a couple of goals after being dispossessed in his final third. It's been a difficult start to the season for the big defender.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Ireland face Greece in October in their next Euro 2024 qualifying match, while the Netherlands will host group leaders France.
MATCH RATING (OUT OF FIVE): ⭐⭐⭐