All eyes to the Dutch as the Republic stumble again
Thursday evening turned into another bad night for Republic of Ireland international gaffer, Steven Kenny, as he watched his first team charges fall to yet another European Championship Qualifying defeat, this time at the hands of France at the iconic Parc de Princes Stadium.
With a third Group B defeat in four games, the Republic's chances of qualifying through to the 2024 finals are now extremely thin and with another tough game against the Netherlands up next, they are sat in fourth place in the group and sadly there seems to be no easy way back unless we now pick up a very unexpected victory this coming weekend, and manage to square the chase for second place back up, and at least put ourselves in with a chance of capitalising on any slip ups made by other sides in the Group games that remain.
Sadly for Ireland fans, at the moment it seems like you would need a lot of no deposit free spins as reviewed by BonusFinder Ireland for us to get the result that is actually required given the relative form of both sides right now.
Undoubtedly the odds were always stacked against us as the French quality speaks for itself with the players they boast and can call on. Not least the success they have had in more recent years and fans would do well to remember that they have not in fact lost a home qualifier for the last 13 years, let alone in this qualifying campaign they are yet to concede a single goal and have now won a straight five from five.
With Brighton and Hove Albion's top talented youngster Evan Ferguson already ruled out for us ahead of the game, this was always going to be a tough, tough ask. And it proved to be just that as the French took the lead 19 minutes in as Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni scored a stunning goal to give them the advantage. Early on in the second half, substitute Marcus Thuram doubled their advantage and ultimately decided the tie.
Whilst the French were clearly on top in the game, there are some small positives that Ireland can take from the clash as their defensive efforts left the hosts mainly shooting from range and they did only manage to get five shots on target. But there was no counter punch of their own to change the momentum of the tie. It served in stark contrast to the battle put up on home Dublin soil in the opening leg of the Group affair last March which was almost the perfect match.
Speaking to the media following the game, despite the small points and positives that could be taken, Kenny just knew we had rightly been beaten by the better side on the night - however unpalatable it was to admit that with emotions still raw as he knew France were just 'too good'. All we can do now is move onto the weekend and pray for a result against the Dutch.
"From our point of view it's all about Sunday. That's the main objective. Holland beating Greece tonight means that if we beat them on Sunday we're all level (Republic, the Netherlands and Greece) in relation to second place. It is a big game and we need a victory."
Let us see what happens against the Dutch.