Qualification for the European Championship in Germany may be extremely uncertain for Ireland, but that doesn't mean the country will simply give up in the last match of the qualification cycle - in which it has already been eliminated - at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Saturday night. Only through the playoffs of the Nations League do the Irish still have a minimal chance.
According to defender Dara O'Shea, there is no reason to believe that Ireland cannot achieve a positive result in the European Championship qualification match against the Dutch national team. "I think we can win," said the 24-year-old Burnley player during the Irish press conference on Wednesday. "There's no reason why we couldn't."
"We know we can't qualify, but it's an international game, a group game against a great team, and we know as a group, we want to do something special," O'Shea added. "If that's all we can do right now, then that's what we want to do, beat the Netherlands."
The match against the Netherlands may be one of the penultimate matches (the country will play a friendly against New Zealand on Tuesday) under coach Stephen Kenny, whose contract is expiring. "We have ambitions and goals for ourselves to do well for our country, but also for him. The group loves him. I really think we deserve something like this, and so does he."
In the previous encounter between Ireland and the Netherlands in Dublin, the Dutch team emerged as the winner. Cody Gakpo (from the penalty spot) and Wout Weghorst equalized an early opening goal by Adam Idah.