Republic of Ireland’s national team coach, Stephen Kenny, praised the “effort and bravery” of his team in their 1-0 defeat against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
Wout Weghorst’s goal in the 11th minute turned out to be the difference between the two teams as the Netherlands secured qualification for Euro 2024.
This loss marked the Republic’s sixth defeat in eight qualifiers, and they will be absent from the finals. However, Kenny remained positive about his team’s performance.
“The players played very well for some periods,” he told RTE Sport.
“I think the Netherlands is a world-class team. They are one of the top teams in Europe, and we’ve played against them twice. There was no difference in the game in Dublin and here.
“They had many chances, and we relied on last-ditch defending and Gavin Bazunu to perform well in goal.”
Bazunu made several crucial saves as the Netherlands pressed for a second goal that proved elusive.
The Republic failed to truly test Netherlands goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen until substitute Adam Idah had a goal disallowed for offside in the second half.
Kenny lamented a series of errors that led to Weghorst’s well-taken goal, marking the Republic’s 18th defeat in his 39-game tenure.
“We want to eliminate the mistakes. We were eager to win. It’s not easy against a good team like the Netherlands,” Kenny said.
The friendly match against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night is speculated by some to be the under-pressure manager’s last game in charge, as his contract expires at the end of the European qualifying campaign.zzzzzzzzz
When asked if it would be his final match at the helm, Kenny couldn’t provide clarity.
“I don’t control that,” he said.
“It is quite possible, but I don’t know. All I can say is that I see the effort, the level of skill, and bravery from the players, but it wasn’t enough; the Netherlands were better than us.”