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Kora Live Reports Ireland’s Euro Hopes All but Ended by Holland in a Hard-Fought Match at the Aviva Stadium

Cairo, Egypt, September 14, 2023 – Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024 via Group B were all but dashed by Holland at Aviva Stadium. Ireland took an early lead thanks to Adam Idah’s penalty but Cody Gakpo levelled proceedings before Wout Weghors struck late after halftime to seal victory for Holland.

Ronald Koeman’s side appeared set for an attempt at late equaliser, until Frenkie De Jong provided what turned out to be the pivotal breakthrough 11 minutes after the restart.

Goals from Cody Gakpo and Wout Weghorst

Ireland showed determination and resilience as they came back from behind to give themselves a fighting chance of qualifying for Euro 2024, despite virtually giving up hope of progressing through Group B at Aviva Stadium. Adam Idah gave Stephen Kenny’s side an ideal start when his fourth-minute penalty for handball by Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk earned them their first point.

Cody Gakpo provided what proved to be the winning point 11 minutes into the second half when his deftly threaded pass split the Irish defense and allowed Denzel Dumfries to outwit exposed goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu and round him for an easy goal.

Defiant Kenny demanded that his team deliver their best performance to win in this crucial encounter with Holland and they did produce some encouraging moments, yet ultimately were powerless to damage them and suffered their fifth Group B defeat – leaving an impossible path ahead to reaching the play-offs.

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Goalkeeping from Gavin Bazunu

Gavin Bazunu, 20, boasts the poise and confidence of someone much older on the pitch despite only being 20. Already this season he has played more Premier League games than both Darren Randolph and Caoimhin Kelleher combined!

Last season, Dubliner Muzi Bazunu struggled in his transition after joining Southampton from Manchester City last summer, prompting Jamie Carragher to label him as “a big problem” as they were relegated from England’s premier division. Now enjoying life at Portsmouth on loan from City, Bazunu is set for an entirely new start this term.

Bazunu, inspired by Ederson, has pledged to revolutionize goalkeeping as an art. Bazunu ranks in the top two goalkeepers according to Post-Shot Expected Goals (PSxG). Furthermore, he excels when stopping shots from close range, particularly those coming directly at him from one-on-one situations such as when Demarai Gray approached and blocked all routes towards goal before making the save.

Attacking from Denzel Dumfries

On a warm Dublin evening, the Aviva Stadium buzzed with anticipation as Ireland prepared to face Netherlands in their final qualification matchup. Ireland were hoping a victory would boost their slim chances of qualifying via Group B but instead the Dutch came from behind and secured an important win over Ireland.

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Adam Idah gave Ireland an early lead from a penalty spot after Virgil van Dijk committed handball, but Cody Gakpo equalised 15 minutes later from that same spot before substitute Wout Weghorst scored with stoppage time striker.

Dumfries made his international debut for Ireland against Netherlands back in April and was one of few bright spots this campaign for them, but unfortunately went unrecognized as Oranje won. Inter Milan wing back excelled on the right of Oranje defence creating pockets of space for Irish forwards while making intelligent attacking plays; also starting well for club side Inter Milan so may get another opportunity with national side.

Defending from Virgil van Dijk

The Netherlands were adept at handling Ireland’s high press, taking advantage of Cody Gakpo to counter it. His skill as an intermediary between their front three and wing-backs allowed for one-on-one matches between himself and Frenkie de Jong, Mats Wieffer or Xavi Simons while Republic’s defenders such as Denzel Dumfries and Matt Doherty struggled to cover enough ground.

Doherty was unable to keep pace with De Jong and was caught out of possession several times. To counter his influence and give Ireland relief from pressure, Doherty should play with more defensive partners next time; perhaps adding another body in midfield.

Van Dijk suffered a hamstring strain during Wednesday’s match but should return to light training by next week and should be available for Liverpool’s Premier League fixture against Manchester City on February 4. Unfortunately, this will mean missing Wolves away game on September 16.

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Name: Mohamed Aly

Company: Kora Live

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Address: Cairo, Egypt