Netherlands Under-17s have reached the semi-finals of the European Championships after a controversial penalty shootout victory over the Republic of Ireland.

  • By Jonty Colman
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Netherlands took the lead in the second half at the Proact Stadium in Chesterfield through Liam van Gelderen, only for his effort to be cancelled out two minutes by Troy Parrott.

With the score tied at 1-1, the match went to a penalty shootout, where Irish goalkeeper James Corcoran was dismissed during the shootout moments after saving Daishwan Redan’s penalty. Redan was able to re-take, and at the second time of asking, the Chelsea striker coolly finished past stand-in goalkeeper Oisin McEntee to send his side into Thursday’s semi-finals via a 5-4 shootout victory.

In a tensely contested first half, it was the Dutch who had the best chance of the opening period. Wouter Burger’s free-kick was met by the head of Ramon Hendriks, but his headed effort skimmed over the frame of the goal.

Despite going into the game as serious underdogs, it was the Republic of Ireland who dominated the early exchanges of the second period. Captain Nathan Collins’ header from Tyreik Wright’s corner was unable to find the target.

Burger had the first shot on target of the match midway through the second period, with a driven long-range effort forcing Ireland goalkeeper, Corcoran, to tip it out for a corner.

Ajax defender Liam van Gelderen gave Oranje the lead just after the hour mark. He rose the highest to meet Mohammed Ihattaren’s expertly taken corner and headed home from close range. But Kees van Wonderen’s side’s lead lasted less than two minutes after Irish midfielder Parrott netted his third goal in as many games after being teed up by Barry Coffey.

Moments later, defender Oisin McEntee also came close from a set-piece to giving Ireland the lead, only for his header from Kameron Ledwidge’s free-kick to fly over the crossbar.

Substitute Brian Brobbey, who netted both of the Dutch’s goals during their 2-0 win over Serbia in Loughborough on Friday, gave Holland a glimmer of hope with five minutes remaining, after meeting Burger’s cross, but he steered his header wide.

The tense affair was overshadowed during the shootout when Corcoran was dismissed for stepping off his line whilst saving Redan’s spot-kick.

The scores were tied at 4-4, at Corcoran’s initial save would have sent the shootout into sudden death, but the red card meant that the penalty was retaken, and Redan secured Holland’s place into the next round.

Oranje will return to Chesterfield for Thursday’s semi-final, where they will face hosts England.

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