27.05.2016 at 15:00 Aviva Stadium
Republic of Ireland
1 - 1
Referee: Artur Soares Dias (Portugal)
Friendly / Prog-match
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Netherlands
Shane Long’s first half strike had Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland five minutes away from victory in their penultimate game before they travel to France for the EURO 2016 finals.
Substitute Luuk De Jong then deflated the evening somewhat when popping up to equalise for the Netherlands in an entertaining friendly clash before an Aviva Stadium send off crowd of 42,438.
With O’Neill not announcing his squad for the finals until after Tuesday’s game with Belarus at Turner’s Cross, there were places in the panel of 23 up for grabs as central defender Shane Duffy, midfielders Harry After and Stephen Quinn, along with striker David McGoldrick, among those given starts looking to stake their claim for a seat on the plane to Paris.
The Netherlands, who failed to qualify for EURO 2016 despite their having been World Cup semi-finalists just two years ago, started the better, looking composed in possession early on as Ireland struggled to get on the ball.
In the first notable attack of the game 10 minutes in, it was Ireland skipper John O’Shea who had to produce an excellent defensive header to clear Jetro Willems’ arced cross out for a corner.
Ireland got tighter in the middle of the park and gradually came into the game to launch their first threat 17 minutes in. Quinn read a stray Dutch pass well to break from midfield, but overhit his cross with Jonathan Walters lurking at the far post.
Arter then showed some promise when cutting in from the left with his right-foot drive taking a deflection to present Jasper Cillessen with a comfortable save.
Cillessen had a bit more to do minutes later, coming to dive full stretch to punch Robbie Brady’s free kick clear.
Well in the game now, Ireland deserfedly took the lead from their first corner of the night on 29 minutes.
Brady’s delivery was headed goalwards by O’Shea only to be parried off the line by a combination of Cillessen and Vincent Jansson. Long was fully alert to the loose ball to sweep it home from close range for his 16th goal for his country and 17th of his season.
Another superb Brady deadball caused the Dutch problems four minutes into the second half. Duffy rose to meet it with defender Jeffrey Bruma getting there just ahead of him. But the ball dropped for Walters whose header from an angle was gathered by Cillessen.
Bruma then put another Brady free kick into the visitors’ area out for a corner.
The danger very much remained with Brady’s precise corner headed over the bar by the unattended Duffy.
Ireland’s positive start to the second half continued as Long then headed off target from close in following Walters’ cross.
Triggered by substitute Steven Berghuis curling not far wide from a free kick, the Netherlands reasserted themselves to enjoy a good spell midway through the half with Randolph having his first save of note to make on 69 minutes.
Willem’s deep cross picked out Janssen at the back post and his downward header was stopped by the Ireland keeper.
Another diagonal ball from Willems found substitute Bas Dost who out-jumped O’Shea to plant his header just wide of Randolph’s left-hand post.
Ireland weathered that pressure, though, with yet another sublime ball in from a corner by Brady picking out Duffy whose glancing header was wide.
But defensive hesitancy undid Ireland’s good work as the Dutch levelled on 85 minutes.
Willems once more put over a fine cross from the left. Randolph and Duffy were uncertain in dealing with it to allow De Jong, on the pitch just minutes, a free header to the net.
Republic of Ireland: Randolph; Coleman, O’Shea, Duffy, Brady; Arter (O’Kane, 82), Whelan (Gibson, 67), Quinn (Hendrick, 67); McGoldrick (Hoolahan, 76); Walters, Long (McClean, 67).
Netherlands: Cillessen; Veltman, Bruma, van Dijk, Willems; Bazoer, Wijnaldum (De Jong, 82), Strootman (van Ginkel, 70); Promes, Janssen (Dost, 75), Depay (Berghuis, 61).
Referee: Artur Soares Dias (Portugal).