Netherlands 1-1 Republic of Ireland
(Netherlands win 5-4 on penalties)
The Republic of Ireland’s odyssey at the Under-17 European Championship finals was brought to a controversial end tonight when they lost at the quarter-final stage in a penalty shoot-out against the Netherlands.
In front of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane at the Proact Stadium in Chesterfield, Colin O’Brien’s side pushed a talented Dutch all the way to spot-kick thanks to Troy Parrott’s equaliser.
The Tottenham Hotspur forward netted for the third game in a row just two minutes after Liam van Gelderen had nodded the Netherlands ahead.
Under UEFA’s competition rules, no extra-time was required and, in the ensuring shoot-out, Adam Idah’s missed Ireland’s first attempt.
All players were successful with their penalties until Jimmy Corcoran kept out Daishawn Redan fifth penalty for the Dutch.
Czech Republic referee Zbynek Proske, however, deemed that the Cherry Orchard goalkeeper had advanced from his line beforehand and issued him with a second yellow card, as per rules introduced last season.
The rules also state that the goalkeeper can only be replaced by a player that has finished the game, meaning centre-back Oisin McEntee was forced to stand in.
Chelsea forward Redan then converted the retaken kick beyond McEntee to set up a semi-final meeting.
The conclusion sparked angry scenes at the end, with O’Neill confronting the referee as he walked off the pitch.
O’Brien had made two changes to his starting line-up from the team that beat Bosnia & Herzegovina 2-0 on Friday to progress from their group. Max Murphy, who earned the free-kick from which Troy Parrott scored the opener, was the beneficiary of an unfortunate ankle injury suffered by Luca Connell.
Callum Thompson was brought into the team for his first start of the tournament.
The Wolves winger is one of six members of the squad that featured at last year’s finals and his pace was going to be needed on an evening that Ireland would be reliant on the counterattack.
Inside the first minute, the Dubliner made his presence felt by raiding into the box from Adam Idah’s lay-off only to have his run halted by a timely tackle from Quinten Maduro.
It was a rare foray for O’Brien’s side in a half which the Dutch controlled possession without really threatening Ireland goalkeeper Corcoran. The 16-year-old wasn’t called upon to make a save of note, only stretching high eight minutes before the break when Van Gelderen’s header from a free-kick cleared the crossbar.
Otherwise, for all the dominance the runaway victors of Group D had in midfield, with Wouter Burger controlling matters, they failed to penetrate a disciplined Ireland defence.
Indeed, Parrott and Tyreik Wright each caused danger by breaking at pace. Aston Villa winger Wright should have been awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box for being shoved over by Jurrien Maduro but Czech referee Zbynek Proske waved away the appeals.
Redan had been kept at bay in the first 40 minutes, prompting the introduction of Brian Brobbey shortly after the restart.
The Ajax striker was unlucky to miss on a place, having scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Serbia, and his power up front was the cue for his team to adopt a more direct approach.
Redan had to brush off a stern challenge from Parrott, which earned the Spurs man a booking, to carry on and he was relieved to see one his defenders score the opener with a header inside the six-yard box from Elayis Tavsan.
Within 180 seconds, Ireland were back on terms through the first goal conceded at the tournament by the Dutch.
Parrott made space by exchanging passes with Barry Coffey on the left side of the box before beating goalkeeper Koorevaar with a low shot. That proved to be only the start of the drama.
A squad that have done the country proud and can hold their heads high. Come on You Boys in Green. 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/5oGRFMa6w7— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) May 14, 2018
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Jimmy Corcoran; Max Murphy, Oisin McEntee, Nathan Collins, Kameron Ledwidge; Jason Knight, Barry Coffey; Tyreik Wright (Adam O’Reilly 80), Callum Thompson, Troy Parrott; Adam Idah.
NETHERLANDS: Joey Koorevaar; Quenten Maduro (Cristopher Mamengi 80+3), Jurrien Maduro, Liam van Gelderen, Ramon Hendriks; , Bram Franken, Mohammed Ihattaren, Wouter Burger; Crysencio Summerville, Daishawn Redan, Elayis Tavsan (Brian Brobbey 51).
REF: Z Proske (CZE)