A huge shock occurred at EURO 2020 as the 10-man Netherlands were dumped out by a solid Czech Republic side who reached the quarterfinals.
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Following a red card to Matthijs de Ligt early in the second half, the game swung in the Czech Republic’s favor as Tomas Holes scored the opener and then set up Patrik Schick to score the clincher late on.
After winning all three group stage games, Frank de Boer’s young side crashed out in the last 16 and there will be huge scrutiny of his tactics and team selections.
As for the Czech Republic, they will now face Denmark in Baku, Azerbaijan next Saturday for a spot in the semifinals.
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3 things we learned, Netherlands – Czech Republic
1. Red card decides games: It was a red card. It is as simple as that. Schick was clean through and de Ligt was the last man and he grabbed the ball with his hand. After a lengthy VAR check, the right decision was made and there’s no doubt it gave the Czech Republic huge motivation to finish off the 10 men. Which they did easily. The Netherlands never recovered.
2. Dutch fail to be direct: This was a poor display overall from Frank de Boer’s side. Aside from a few surging runs from Denzel Dumfries early on and fancy flicks from Memphis Depay, they created very little. They looked tidy without doing much and Donyell Malen’s big miss just before de Ligt was sent off was the key moment in the game. De Boer will be scrutinized for being too negative with his team selection and the Netherlands once again underwhelmed. This one will hurt even more as they were drawn on the easier side of the bracket.
3. Solid Czech love their underdog tag: From Holes to Coufal, Soucek to Schick and Vaclik to Kalas, this Czech Republic side is full of solid players who love to prove people wrong. That will get you a long way in a tournament, and it has. The Czech Republic have a lovely balance about them and they are solid defensively but have quality in attack and from set pieces. They will go into their quarterfinal against Denmark with a 50/50 chance of reaching the semifinals and many will favor this rock-solid team. This is their fourth quarterfinal in seven European Championships, as they love this competition and made the most of the Dutch implosion.
Man of the Match: Tomas Holes – Scored the opener and set up the second. Had the composure when it mattered most.
The Dutch side started superbly and Donyell Malen crossed towards the back post but it was just too much to find Denzel Dumfries.
De Ligt headed wide after a Dutch set-piece as Frank de Boer’s side built up plenty of pressure early on with Dumfries flying forward.
At the other end Tomas Soucek flicked a header off target after patient play down the right, then Schick tested Maarten Stekelenburg from distance.
Barak then had an effort deflected over the bar by Mathhijs de Ligt after a fine break, as the Czech Republic looked increasingly dangerous. Dumfries almost snuck an effort home at the near post and Patrick van Aanholt scuffed wide after lovely work from Depay, as the chances kept coming in an even contest.
At the start of the second half Malen ran clean through on goal after great work from Depay, but Tomas Vaclik did brilliantly to grab the ball at his feet.
Moments later Matthijs de Ligt handled the ball with Schick clean through on goal and after initially being shown a yellow card, the referee checked the VAR monitor and upgraded it to a red card.
There was another VAR check soon after for a potential penalty kick after a handball against Dumfries, but nothing was given.
In the final 30 minutes it was all one way traffic as Pavel Kaderabek slotted towards goal but Dumfries made a heroic block. Stekelenburg then made a big mistake to give away a corner and from that the key goal arrived.
A header from the back post found its way to Holes and he nodded home to send the Czech Republic fans wild.
Then late on Schick added a second, as Holes set him up perfectly as there will be a huge party in the Czech Republic.
3 things we learned from Netherlands v. Czech Republic originally appeared on NBCSports.com