Kees van Wonderen was left with mixed emotions after his Netherlands Under-17s side’s controversial victory over the Republic of Ireland in their European Championship quarter-final.

  • By Jonty Colman
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With the two sides drawing 1-1 at the Proact Stadium on Monday, following second-half goals from Liam van Gelderen and Troy Parrott for Holland and Ireland respectively, the game went to a penalty shootout.

At 4-4, Oranje striker Daishawn Redan had the chance to seal victory in Chesterfield, but his attempt was saved by Irish goalkeeper James Corcoran. However, despite initially celebrating his superb save, Corcoran received a second yellow card after he stepped off his line too early.

Corcoran’s dismissal forced defender Oisin McEntee in goal to save Redan’s re-take; the Chelsea striker coolly stepped up for a second time and slotted home to book Holland’s place in the semi-finals.

Despite reaching the last-four of the competition, van Wonderen found it difficult to win under those circumstances.

He said: “I am very proud, now there is mixed feelings about how the game evolved and that for a coach is difficult.

“How I like to win is by 3-0 and now it was a strange game with a strange end.

“We should be happy, we should be proud, but it comes later I think. “

According to the Dutch boss, both goalkeepers were informed of the potential sanctions they faced if they were caught prematurely diving.

The former Feyenoord defender offered his sympathy to Corcoran, whose late departure overshadowed the entirety of the quarter-final and it was a decision that van Gelderen is still undecided about.

He added: “It is cruel but to be fair, before the penalty kicks the referee warned both goalies, don’t step too early in front off your line, I have to give you a yellow card if you do.

“It is hard, it is cruel, and I think he shouldn’t have given him a red card, but it’s the rules, its hard but I don’t what the right decision is at that moment.

“I don’t think he deserves that but what can you do.”

Oranje will take on hosts England at the Proact Stadium on Thursday evening, with a place in Sunday’s final against Belgium or Italy up for grabs.

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