27.03.2007 at 19:00 Venlo
1 - 0
Referee: Mr. F. Brych (Germany)
Stephen O Halloran
Joe O Cearuill
Darren O Dea
Jim O Brien
Netherlands U21 1 – 0 Rep of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland’s under-21 side had a double-dose of bad luck when
they missed a penalty and had a man incorrectly sent-off in a friendly loss
to Netherlands tonight.
Don Givens’ young guns gave a Dutch team who were, on average, two years older
a real battle in Venlo.
But the Irish had no luck as they saw a first half Stephen Ward penalty
saved, then had Stephen O’Halloran shown a late red in error for a foul that he never made.
The Dutch used this game as a preparation match ahead of this summer’s UEFA Championship finals.
Ireland gave starts to Darron Gibson, Darren O’Dea and Stephen Quinn, who
have been in senior international squads recently, with Darren Randolph on
Ward, one of two over-age Irish players drafted in for the game, had a
decent effort saved by goalkeeper Boy Waterman in the 15th minute after a
lively start by the visiting side.
The penalty incident came in the 31st minute when Ward was played through by
Tony Kane and was taken down by Waterman.
Waterman made up for his mistake by guessing correctly to keep out Ward’s
The Irish got a rare break in first half injury time when Robbert Schilder
hit the post with a rasping drive from 30 yards.
Netherlands grabbed their only goal in the 71st minute when Feyenoord left-back
Drenthe curled a stunning free-kick from the edge of the box past the
despairing dive of Randolph.
Substitute goalkeeper Randolph produced an excellent stop with his feet to deny
Jeremian Lens in the 77th minute.
O’Halloran’s night finished early in the 82nd minute for an apparent trip on
Roy Beerens that was shown on television to have been an error as the winger
tripped over his own feet.
Down to ten men, the Irish continued to battle on and Randolph made another
top-class save to push a drive by Drenthe over in the 87th minute.
Manager Givens was full of praise for his young side afterwards.
“We didn’t deserve a defeat from that game but it was a very good
performance overall against an experienced Dutch side,” he said.
“I feel particularly sorry for Stephen O’Halloran for a sending off that was
harsh in the extreme. He said that he’d never touched the lad and the
replays backed him up.”
Netherlands: Waterman; Janse, Vlaar, Kruiswijk, Drenthe, Maduro, Beerens, Sno,
Rigters, Schilder, Bakkal. Substitues: Lens for Sno 4 mins; Donk for Kruiswijk
46; Zuiverloon for Janse 46; Jong-a-Pin for Bakkal 46; Janssen for Rigters
Republic of Ireland: Quigley (UCD); Kane (Blackburn), O’Halloran (Aston
Villa), O’Cearuill (Arsenal), O’Dea (Celtic), Gibson (Manchester Utd),
Keegan (Drogheda Utd), Quinn (Sheffield Utd), O’Brien (Celtic), Ward
(Wolves), Clarke (Ipswich). Substitues: Randolph (Charlton) for Quigley 46;
Rooney (Stoke City) for Ward 72; Keogh (Bristol City) for O’Cearuill 81;
Powell (Bohemians) for O’Brien 83.