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Wout Weghorst fires Netherlands to Euro 2024 as Ireland end with whimper

Wout Weghorst fired the Netherlands into the Euro 2024 finals as the Republic of Ireland’s dismal campaign ended with a whimper.

Burnley’s on-loan Hoffenheim frontman, whose winner in Dublin in September left Ireland with a mountain to climb, repeated the dose in Amsterdam to secure a 1-0 victory which was far more comprehensive than the scoreline suggested.

As a result, the Dutch secured second place in Group B behind France, who put 14 without reply past Gibraltar.

Stephen Kenny’s men, who have now won only six of the 29 competitive games they have played under his charge, barely laid a glove on a far superior side under the closed roof at the Johan Cruyff Arena on a night when they had hoped to bloody the nose of one of Europe’s traditional big guns.

Their feint hopes of securing a play-off berth via the Nations League were formally dashed on Thursday night by Slovakia’s 4-2 victory over Iceland with automatic qualification having slipped from their grasp long before.

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