Gary Connaughton reporting from the Aviva Stadium
Ireland 1-2 Netherlands
In a game where it was said that Stephen Kenny needed an unlikely to victory to get back on track as Ireland boss, the opening periods of the game suggested that such a result could be on the cards.
In a raucous Aviva Stadium, the home team played with huge intensity both in and out of possession and found themselves in an early lead after Adam Idah's penalty.
However, after the Dutch scored a spot kick of their own in the second quarter of the match, Ireland's performance dipped somewhat.
Wout Weghort's strike in the second half proved to be the fatal blow, and while Ireland would push for an equaliser in an admirable fashion, they never looked all that likely to get it. Where this result now leaves their manager is the question that will dominate the narrative during the coming days.
Here's how we rated the performances on the night.
Ireland player ratings vs The Netherlands
Gavin Bazunu - 7
Bazunu gave away the penalty for the Dutch opener, but there was little he could do after being exposed to a one-on-one after some poor defending from his team. The Southampton man went on to make a couple of strong saves to deny Donyell Malen before the interval.
There was nothing he could do about the second, while his distribution was decent throughout.
Matt Doherty - 5
Doherty was a real creative outlet down the right in the opening 20 minutes or, both in terms of his passing and dribbling ability. However, that quickly seemed to fade as the game went on.
He was also sloppy in possession on more than one occasion, most notably for the first Dutch goal. He linked up well with Ogbene at times, but he did look like a player who has hardly featured at club level over the last nine months.
Nathan Collins - 7
Nathan Collins was quick to get Ireland playing whenever he got on possession at the back, quickly moving it through the lines. That was key to the team's success early on, although it did not happen as frequently as the game went on.
The Brentford man gave very little joy to what was a talented Dutch front three, with hardly any of their most dangerous attacks coming down his side.
Shane Duffy - 4
Duffy started the game brilliantly, but it was his poor position that played Dumfries onside for the Dutch penalty that led to the equaliser.
He was caught napping for the second goal too, allowing Wout Weghorst to ghost in front of him and steer the ball home from close range relatively unchallenged.
It was a poor defensive performance from the Derry man, with questions likely to be asked about his reintroduction into the team in the place of Dara O'Shea.
John Egan - 7
Let the Dutch know about about with an early reduced on Nathan Ake inside the first minute. Egan's expertly broke up a number of opposition attacks in the first half, while he also picked out some wonderful passes when playing out from the back. You couldn't have blamed him for either of the Dutch goals.
Egan was one of Ireland's better players, even if he was taken off with just over 15 minutes to go as the team changed its formation.
James McClean - 6
McClean brought his trademark energy to the game early on, putting in one or two hefty challenges on Dutch opponents. However, he struggled to deal with the threat of Denzel Dumfries down the left flank, with the wingback the most dangerous attacking outlet in the dutch side.
His set-pieces were dangerous, while he did offer an attacking outlet at left wingback. Replaced just after the hour mark.
Josh Cullen - 5
Cullen brought a ferociousness to Ireland's play during the early stages, although he struggled to keep the Dutch at bay for much of the opening half. Indeed, they streaked through the middle of the pitch unchallenged quite a few times during that 45 minutes.
In possession, he was sometimes too slow to move the ball and on other occasions completely overhit passes. It was not his best night at the office.
Alan Browne - 5
Reverting to a more natural midfield role, Browne pressed well in the final third, something that led to some Irish chances in the first half. On a more negative note, he was often ponderous in possession and was turned over in dangerous areas on occasion.
He would stop an almost certain goal early in the second half, sliding to clear a low cross that Xavi Simons looked destined to turn home. In saying that, he otherwise quite a bit in his defensive duties as the Dutch repeatedly counterattacked on Ireland.
Chiedozie Ogbene - 6
Ogbene came close to opening the scoring in the first couple of minutes, and while his effort would be deflected wide, the corner did result in the penalty to give Ireland the lead.
The forward found himself in good positions on a few occasions in the first half, but often failed to make the most of them. The Luton man huffed and puffed, but he could never quite get going to the level we have come to expect from him.
Jason Knight - 7
Knight worked incredibly hard out of possession, drifting in from the left wing to provide another body in central areas. His main offensive contributions came in his pressing high up the pitch, something that was effective in the first half.
The Cabinteely native seemed to tire somewhat as the game went, which was understandable considering the effort he put in both tonight and in the France game. In saying that, he was one of the few players attempting to inject pace into the Irish play in the closing stages.
Adam Idah - 8
Hesitated after being gifted a glorious opportunity by the Dutch goalkeeper early on, but took the chance to make up for it from the penalty spot soon after.
Idah caused real problems for the Dutch defence with his running off the ball, although the referee did him no favours by giving some very soft decisions to the visitors. Following on from a decent showing in Paris, this was a quality performance against a top class Dutch back three.
Arguably his best performance in an Ireland shirt.
Ryan Manning - 5
Fans have been calling out for Ryan Manning to be given an opportunity for Ireland, with the Southampton man getting half an hour off the bench in this one. However, he struggled to adapt to the pace of the game after coming on.
Will Smallbone - 5
You could have argued that Smallbone should have come on earlier in the game, especially as Ireland struggled to keep the ball in the middle third.
Unfortunately, he did not make much of an impact.
Jamie McGrath - 6
Worked hard after coming on and played a couple of nice passes.
Festy Ebosele & Sinclair Armstrong - N/A
Not on long enough to rate.