UEFA European U17 Championships Preview: Netherlands -v- Republic of Ireland

Mon, May 14 2018

Adam Idah was top scorer in qualification and scored his first goal of the finals in the 2-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina Credit: Steve Alfred

NETHERLANDS

The Netherlands take on Ireland in the fourth quarter-final on Monday night (kick-off 7pm) after topping a difficult group containing Spain, Germany and Serbia.

The winners will face hosts England in the semi-finals after the Three Lions beat Norway 2-0 last night.

The Dutch beat Serbia in their final group game to finish Group D as winners with three wins from three and not a single goal conceded.

"Those are nice figures,” Dutch coach Kees van Wonderen told the association's official website.

"We honestly did not think that before, because we had rated our pool as heavy with strong opponents like Germany and Spain."

He added: "A well-organized team,” was his assessment of the Irish.

"That danger [of underestimating Ireland] could arise after such a group phase, but we have to watch out for it.

“In this phase of the tournament, you only have strong teams, and we have the task to show that we want to go to the semi-finals."

The Dutch will be without PSV defender Shurandy Sambo for the rest of the tournament after he picked up an injury in the final group win over Serbia.

 

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

Ireland secured qualification for the knockout stages of the European Championships with a 2-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday.

Having lost their opening game 2-0 to Belgium, Ireland bounced back with a win over Denmark that left them needing just a point to progress as runners-up.

They did better than that as goals from Troy Parrott and the top scorer in qualification, Adam Idah, earning Ireland safe passage.

“Preparations have gone well. We’ve had two days since the last group game. The day after was very much recovery,” manager Colin O'Brien told FAI.ie.

“Post game, we moved base and that freshened everything up. We trained this morning and everyone is ready and looking forward to the game against the Dutch,”

“They are a top class outfit,” he said. “Already in the tournament they are scoring goals. They haven’t conceded and have beaten two top tier teams in Spain and Germany.

“They’ll be full of confidence so we’ll have to have our plan. It will be an 80 or 84 minute game and we’ll make sure we give it our very best.”

“It is knock out football now, we’re very aware of that. That will throw up a few different situations no doubt tomorrow night.

“But, it’s a great position to be in, already it is a fantastic achievement and we’ve got to make sure we leave everything on the pitch tomorrow night.”

Goalkeeper Kian Clarke remains an injury worry but O'Brien should have an otherwise full squad to choose from as all players on yellow cards avoided picking up suspensions.

 

Referee: Zbynek Proske

 

MATCH STATS

The Netherlands won all three of their group games, scoring seven goals and conceded none.

Ireland lost their opening group game to Belgium 2-0 but responded with a 1-0 win over Denmark and 2-0 over Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure second place.

Belgium beat Spain, the Netherlands' Group D opponents, 2-1 in their quarter-final.

 

BETTING

N/A

PREDICTION

Netherlands 2 – 1 Republic of Ireland

 

Netherlands

Injured: Shurandy Sambo.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

Republic of Ireland

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Kian Clarke.

Suspended: None.