European Championship Qualifying - Group C
Northern Ireland0Netherlands0

Euro 2020 qualifier: Davis misses penalty as NI draw with Netherlands in Belfast

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Referee should have handled penalty better - O'Neill

Northern Ireland's slim hopes of qualifying automatically for the Euro 2020 finals ended as they drew 0-0 with the Netherlands in Belfast.

Captain Steven Davis blasted a first-half penalty over the bar in what may be manager Michael O'Neill's final home game in charge.

NI can still progress to next summer's tournament through the play-offs, for which O'Neill will remain at the helm.

The Dutch have reached the finals after earning the one point they needed.

Germany will also compete in next summer's finals as they moved top of Group C, two points ahead of the Dutch, with a 4-0 home win over Belarus, rendering Tuesday night's final fixtures between Germany and Northern Ireland and the Netherlands and Estonia meaningless in terms of qualification.

Northern Ireland's place in the play-offs was assured by virtue of Sweden's victory over Romania on Friday night, with an away tie against Bosnia the most likely scenario as it stands.

O'Neill's side faced the daunting task of having to beat the Dutch and the Germans by a cumulative total of at least four goals to finish in the top two, but they fell short in the first of those two challenges.

Stoke boss O'Neill shows positivity

Gavin Whyte
Cardiff winger Gavin Whyte was a dangerous threat for NI in the first half

The match was played against the backdrop of O'Neill having agreed to take over as manager of struggling Championship side Stoke City eight days ago, and the team and supporters were keen to mark what could potentially be the final home game of O'Neill's eight-year reign with a notable victory.

O'Neill will always be revered as the manager who took his country to their first-ever European Championships and a first major tournament finals for 30 years.

He could yet add to that legacy by securing a place at next year's tournament, although it remains unsure whether he would lead Northern Ireland to those finals should they make it through their play-off semi-final and final in four months' time.

Having seen his side suffer an agonising last-gasp defeat to the Dutch last month despite a spirited defensive display, O'Neill showed more positive intent by selecting an attacking line-up for this encounter.

Fit-again Jamal Lewis was restored to the side along with Cardiff city winger Gavin Whyte and Josh Magennis, who was rewarded for scoring three goals as a substitute during this campaign.

NI fail to make most of strong start

Josh Magennis
Josh Magennis, who was up against Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk, was one of a number of NI players who had early chances

Northern Ireland came out of the blocks quickly, creating a series of good goalscoring chances in the early minutes as Paddy McNair and Whyte caused havoc on the right flank.

Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen took too long to clear the ball and Corry Evans chased him down and blocked his clearance, but the ball did not land in time for the Blackburn midfielder to put the ball into the empty net.

Magennis glanced a header wide from one of a series of dangerous McNair crosses, while George Saville had a shot blocked.

The home side's best opportunity fell to skipper Davis, though, as he blasted his penalty over the bar just after the half-hour mark after Joel Veltman was adjudged to have handled as Saville had an effort on goal.

The Rangers midfielder was unable to add to his tally of 12 international goals on the night he became the UK's most capped midfielder, making his 116th appearance, surpassing the tally accumulated by David Beckham.

Koeman secures much-needed qualification

Steven Berghuis
Steven Berghuis hit the crossbar for the Netherlands

At the media conference the day before the game, Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman issued what was perceived as a partial apology for his post-match comments following the game in Rotterdam when he branded Northern Ireland's tactics "outrageous" and "terrible to watch", saying he did not mean to disrespect his opponents.

The former midfielder, who replaced Dick Advocaat at the helm in February 2018, has successfully led his team to next year's finals, however, which is a relief for Dutch fans after they missed out on qualification for the 2016 European Championships in France and the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

The Netherlands were without Lyon striker Memphis Depay, who has scored six goals in this campaign, and Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who were both ruled out through injury.

After weathering the early Northern Ireland storm, Steven Berghuis hit the woodwork and Ryan Babel and Quincy Promes both sent curling shots just wide of the target.

The visitors dominated possession in the second half but failed to create clear-cut chances as the Northern Ireland defence, with Craig Cathcart and Jonny Evans impressive, held firm.

Line-ups

Northern Ireland

  • 1Peacock-Farrell
  • 14DallasBooked at 84mins
  • 20Cathcart
  • 5Evans
  • 3LewisSubstituted forThompsonat 81'minutes
  • 13EvansSubstituted forMcGinnat 70'minutes
  • 8DavisBooked at 40mins
  • 18Whyte
  • 17McNair
  • 6SavilleSubstituted forSmithat 58'minutes
  • 21Magennis

Substitutes

  • 2McLaughlin
  • 4Flanagan
  • 7McGinn
  • 9Boyce
  • 10Lafferty
  • 11Ferguson
  • 12McGovern
  • 15Thompson
  • 16Donnelly
  • 19Smith
  • 22Lavery
  • 23Carson

Netherlands

  • 1Cillessen
  • 2VeltmanBooked at 30mins
  • 3de Ligt
  • 4van Dijk
  • 17Blind
  • 15de RoonBooked at 11minsSubstituted forPröpperat 36'minutes
  • 21de Jong
  • 10BerghuisSubstituted forde Jongat 65'minutes
  • 20van de Beek
  • 11Promes
  • 9BabelSubstituted forAkéat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Aké
  • 6Pröpper
  • 7Stengs
  • 8Wijnaldum
  • 12van Aanholt
  • 13Zoet
  • 14Weghorst
  • 16Strootman
  • 18Boadu
  • 19de Jong
  • 22Dumfries
  • 23Bizot
Referee:
Szymon Marciniak
Attendance:
18,404

Match Stats

Home TeamNorthern IrelandAway TeamNetherlands
Possession
Home31%
Away69%
Shots
Home6
Away14
Shots on Target
Home0
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away3
Fouls
Home16
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Northern Ireland 0, Netherlands 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Northern Ireland 0, Netherlands 0.

Foul by Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands).

Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Northern Ireland. Patrick McNair tries a through ball, but Gavin Whyte is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Netherlands. Nathan Aké replaces Ryan Babel.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Davy Pröpper.

Offside, Netherlands. Davy Pröpper tries a through ball, but Donny van de Beek is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Davy Pröpper (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Quincy Promes (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland).

Davy Pröpper (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Davis (Northern Ireland).

Offside, Netherlands. Luuk de Jong tries a through ball, but Donny van de Beek is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Jordan Thompson replaces Jamal Lewis.

Attempt missed. Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Joël Veltman (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Niall McGinn (Northern Ireland).

Hand ball by Patrick McNair (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Niall McGinn replaces Corry Evans.

Attempt missed. Luuk de Jong (Netherlands) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Joël Veltman.

Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jamal Lewis (Northern Ireland).

Attempt saved. Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Donny van de Beek.

Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Daley Blind with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Netherlands. Conceded by Craig Cathcart.

Offside, Netherlands. Quincy Promes tries a through ball, but Luuk de Jong is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Netherlands. Luuk de Jong replaces Steven Berghuis.

Ryan Babel (Netherlands) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Craig Cathcart (Northern Ireland).

Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Michael Smith replaces George Saville.

Attempt saved. Ryan Babel (Netherlands) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joël Veltman with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Davy Pröpper (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Donny van de Beek.

Foul by Donny van de Beek (Netherlands).

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Netherlands. Conceded by Stuart Dallas.

Hand ball by Jamal Lewis (Northern Ireland).

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England76013362718
2Czech Rep75021310315
3Kosovo73221312111
4Montenegro8035322-193
5Bulgaria7034517-123

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ukraine76101521319
2Portugal74212061414
3Serbia74121515013
4Luxembourg7115714-74
5Lithuania8017525-201

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany76012461818
2Netherlands75111971216
3Northern Ireland741287113
4Belarus8116416-124
5Estonia7016221-191

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark74302251715
2Switzerland7421135814
3R. of Ireland733164212
4Georgia8224711-48
5Gibraltar7007225-230

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia85211771017
2Hungary740389-112
3Wales732286211
4Slovakia73131111010
5Azerbaijan7016516-111

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain97202652123
2Sweden95312091118
3Romania94231710714
4Norway93511710714
5Faroe Islands9108427-233
6Malta9108225-233

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland97111531222
2Austria96121981119
3Slovenia9423148614
4North Macedonia93241113-211
5Israel93241617-111
6Latvia9009228-260

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France97112361722
2Turkey96211631320
3Iceland95131210216
4Albania94141612413
5Andorra9117318-154
6Moldova9108324-213

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium99003423227
2Russia97022882021
3Scotland94051318-512
4Cyprus93151414010
5Kazakhstan93151214-210
6San Marino9009146-450

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy99002832527
2Finland9603158718
3Greece93241013-311
4Armenia93151316-310
5Bos-Herze93151717010
6Liechtenstein9027228-262
View full European Championship Qualifying tables

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