Brian Walsh’s Northern Ireland side caused one of the big upsets of the weekend, taking a 3-2 win on home soil over Michael Corcoran’s Netherlands in the ElectroCity FIFA 20 European Championships on Sunday.
George Saville almost had the hosts in front after four minutes, Paddy McNair’s low ball in from the right finding Saville who could only fire point blank at Jasper Cillessen.
The resulting break set Memphis Depay free, teeing up Gini Wijnaldum with a lofted through ball only for his left-footed strike from the edge of the box to be tipped past the post by the on-rushing Peacock.
Pressing high and hard, Bergwijn found Depay in space (13), beating Jonny Evans to the punch but again, Peacock showing decisiveness in rushing the forward and sweeping clear.
Northern Ireland made the breakthrough on 21 minutes, Josh Magennis setting skipper Steven Davis through, beating Veltman on the left edge of the area to square for Magennis, pipping Van Dijk to the ball and stabbing home from 8 yards to open the scoring in a well-worked passage of play.
In what can only be described as a moment of madness for the Northern Irish defence, with Depay and Wijnaldum putting Jonny Evans under pressure, the Leicester City man passed back to Peacock in the Northern Ireland goal.
Rather than clear the ball straight away, Peacock attempted to play the ball out of the box, Gini and Depay swarming, Peacock clearing straight into the path of Wijnaldum who obliged with rifling the ball home on the volley from inside six yards (34).
The second half
Virgil Van Dijk saw yellow ten minutes after the restart, hauling down Leeds’ Stuart Dallas with a cynical foul inside the Dutch area.
Captain Steven Davis showed no sign of nerves, firing the resulting penalty down the middle pass Cillessen to restore Northern Ireland’s lead (56).
Peacock came to the rescue again for the homeside, stuffing Memphis Depay in a clear one-on-one chance (80).
Immediately distributing out right, Paddy McNair – on a yellow card – found Stuart Dallas who in turn set Josh Magennis loose on the edge of the Dutch box, the Hull striker smashing home for his second of the game.
Down but not out, Netherlands continued to drive, Wijnaldum again going close on 90+2 but it would be Memphis Depay with the last kick of the game to make the scoreline a little more respectable.
Both sides are in action again this Thursday night as Brian Walsh’s Northern Ireland take on Cian Kelly’s Hungary, the latter running out 5-1 winners over Austria on Sunday.