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Netherlands beat Ireland to qualify for Euro 2024

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The Netherlands secured a place in the Euro 2024 finals as Wout Weghorst’s strike earned them a 1-0 home win over the Republic of Ireland.

The Hoffenheim striker moved clear before rifling into the roof of the net after 11 minutes.

The hosts dominated a low-tempo encounter, with Republic goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu pushing Tijjani Reijnders’ shot onto the post early in the second half.

The Republic of Ireland finished the qualifiers with just six points from eight games.

Those points only came courtesy of two wins over Group B minnows Gibraltar, and this was another disappointing display from Stephen Kenny’s side.

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It is expected that this defeat will be Kenny’s penultimate game in charge, as his contract is due to expire after Tuesday night’s Dublin friendly against New Zealand.

The injury-hit The Dutch should have increased their goal tally at the Johan Crujff Arena, but they were wasteful in front of goal, while Bazunu made a string of excellent saves.

In a match that often had a friendly feel, it was Weghorst’s powerful shot that gave the Netherlands the three points they needed to finish second in the group behind France, who hammered Gibraltar 14-0 on Saturday night.

Ireland were first to threaten as Alan Browne shot straight at Brighton goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen, but it was not a portent of things to come, proving a rare moment of danger from the error-strewn visitors.

Weghorst netted from the Netherlands’ first meaningful attack as he slipped past marker Nathan Collins, who then collided with Ryan Manning to allow the former Burnley and Manchester United forward to sprint clear before smashing high beyond Bazunu.

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