The Czech Republic has alluded to the European Championship by defeating the Netherlands and booking a place in the last eight after defender Matthijs de Ligt was sent off.
Thomas Holes then assisted for Schick as the Czechs doubled their lead in the 80th minutes with Netherlands.
But the Czech Republic, ranked 40th in the world, 24 places behind the Dutch, continued to silence those in Orange Puskas Arena in Budapest. Thus, making it a quarter-final against Denmark on Saturday, July 3rd.
The red card proves costly for Netherlands.
The Netherlands has shown the attacking intent throughout the entire tournament. And that did not change in the Budapest as the wing-backs Denzel Dumfries and Patrick van Aanholt caused problems early on.
Dumfries was their biggest threat, coming in from the back point on the left and fluttering it over the goalkeeper but failing to beat the last defender.
Memphis Depay also played a major role, while Malen entered other dangerous positions. But while the Netherlands was causing many problems, so did the Czech Republic, as Vladimir Coufal uses the space behind the wandering Van Aanholt.
Both teams looked involved in defense, but De Ligt stumbled and returned the ball with his hand in the second half. It left referee Sergey Karasev with no choice but to change his first decision to show a yellow card. And then the Netherlands turned the game on the back foot.
Dumfries made a goal-saving block to deny goals from Pavel Kaderabek. But Holes penalized the Dutch minutes later, finishing off a knock-back from Tomas Kalas in the corner.
Schick’s fourth goal of the tournament was completed after the Netherlands sought to equalize, only Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo has more goals than the Czech striker so far.
Matthijs de Ligt felt the sense of responsibility for Netherlands game.
The Netherlands is out of the 16th Euro 2020 in the hands of the Czech Republic. But one Dutchman felt the sense of responsibility of leaving earlier than others.
With the teams to a 0-0 draw, Matthijs de Ligt was sent off in the second half when he denied Patrik Schick a clear chance to score. Thirteen minutes after their brilliant defender left the field, the Netherlands was behind and failed to respond.
Goals from Thomas Holes and Schick did the damage. But De Ligt confronted the media afterward, saying, “We lost the game because of what I did. Of course, it sounds bad. But, looking back, I shouldn’t have let the ball explode,” he said.
“Moreover, I have had it under control. The ball simply came, and I let it bounce. And I fell to the ground and got pushed over, which made me use my hands.
“And that was the time when the game changed. And I feel responsible for it. However, I’ve seen how the boys fight, and I’m proud of it. But I feel very bad about this incident.”
De Ligt has been given the support of his manager Frank de Boer, who said, “you can always blame it on me. I have all the responsibility at the end of the day, and I need to look in the mirror. I think this team can achieve everything. But now, the feelings are raw.
“We’re going to have a big hangover. I’m going to take this bitter pill tonight, and after that, we’ll see what happens.”
The Dutchman did not show enough respect.
The Dutch became the first team in the competition’s history to win all three group games and then lost in 90 minutes in the first round of the knockout. Former England striker Dion Dublin said they had failed to show the Czech Republic “enough respect.”
“The Czechs were the best in every aspect. And they had the best commitment to win. However, it was disappointing for the Dutch as they have all the talent in the world.
“In addition, we all know how well they did in the games in the group stage. But everything about them today wouldn’t make them cross the line. Sometimes you have to give your teammates more respect. Former Netherlands midfielder Nigel de Jong said it was a “poor” display.
“And there was a little lack of momentum. Sometimes when there is a red card, the team pulls together. But the Netherlands has not done that,” he added.
But midfielder Frankkie de Jong has insisted his team “didn’t underestimate” the Czech Republic. “we were very tired but wanted to win the game. But we couldn’t make our game go on. Sometimes you have days like that.”
Czech Republic were tactically ready.
It was their first victory in the knockout stages of a major tournament in the Czech Republic since Euro 2004. In that event, they beat Denmark 3-0 in the quarter-finals and the same enemy they have now to face in the last eight.
Former Dutch international Mario Melchiot said, “The level of how the Czech Republic played was completely different. Look at the Dutch goals they conceded. But, strategically, the Czech Republic was ready, they put the team ahead, and the strength they gave was amazing.”
The Czechs ranked 40th globally, will face another tough test against Denmark in Azerbaijan, but striker Hole believes. “It feels like a dream to me,” he said.
“It was one of my best games. We were the underdogs today, and maybe before in the group stage games too. However, I believe we can still surprise Denmark, maybe even beyond that.”