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Netherlands vs Czech Republic. European Championships Round of 16.

Puskas ArenaAttendance52,834.

Netherlands 0

  • M de Ligt (sent off 55th minute)

Czech Republic 2

  • T Holes (68th minute)
  • P Schick (80th minute)

Netherlands 0-2 Czech Republic: Tomas Holes and Patrik Schick inflict defeat on 10-man Dutch

Match report as Czech Republic booked their place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 against Denmark after Tomas Holes and Patrik Schick secured 2-0 win over Netherlands; Dutch were reduced to 10 men when Matthijs de Ligt was sent off

Tomas Holes celebrates putting the Czech Republic ahead against the Netherlands
Image: Tomas Holes' goal broke the deadlock after 69 minutes

The Czech Republic set up a quarter-final tie with Denmark as second-half goals from Tomas Holes and Patrik Schick dumped 10-man Netherlands out of Euro 2020 with a 2-0 win in Budapest.

Following a goalless first half, Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt was sent off upon VAR review for a deliberate handball as the last man after tangling with Schick (55).

The Czechs made their numerical advantage count when the excellent Holes converted at the far post (68), and the contest was put to bed when Schick tucked in Holes' cross to notch his fourth goal of the tournament (80).

Having excelled in the group stages, it was a disappointing end for Frank de Boer's side, but Czech Republic march on to face the emotional wall of Denmark in Baku next Saturday.

Image: Holes makes no mistake at the far post

Player ratings

Netherlands: Stekelenburg (6), de Vrij (5), de Ligt (5), Blind (6), Dumfries (6), Frenkie de Jong (7), de Roon (5), van Aanholt (6), Wijnaldum (5), Depay (6), Malen (5).

Subs: Timber (n/a), Weghorst (5), Berghuis (n/a), Promes (5).

Czech Republic: Vaclik (7), Coufal (7), Celustka (7), Kalas (8), Kaderabek (7), Sevcik (7), Soucek (8), Masopust (7), Holes (9), Barak (7), Schick (8).

Subs: Kral (n/a), Jankto (n/a), Sadilek (n/a), Hlozekat (n/a), Krmencik (n/a).

Man of the match: Tomas Holes.

How the Czechs shocked Netherlands

The Czechs have now reached a fourth quarter-final in seven European Championships, and, having been runners-up at Euro 96, they will be dreaming of Wembley once more on July 11.

This was the first meeting between the Netherlands and Czech Republic since October 2015, when the Dutch were beaten 3-2 in a Euro 2016 qualifier.

Indeed, they had lost each of their previous two games against the Czechs - both coming in qualifying for the previous European Championships.

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Netherlands head coach De Boer continued with a 5-3-2 formation, despite being heavily criticised when he first unveiled the approach. But the debate over the decision to ditch their traditional 4-3-3 line-up had been stifled by a 100 per cent start to the tournament.

Matthijs de Ligt goes close for the Dutch
Image: Matthijs de Ligt goes close for the Dutch

It was the Dutch who made the brighter start in front of a packed house at the Puskas Arena as De Ligt rose to meet Daley Blind's short corner after eight minutes, but he was unable to direct his header from an acute angle on target, before Memphis Depay blazed wide from the follow-up.

Team news

  • The Netherlands kept faith with exciting striker Donyell Malen alongside Memphis Depay, and in place of Wout Weghorst. Their only change from that match saw Marten de Roon replace Ryan Gravenberch in midfield. De Roon had been shielded from a possible second yellow card of the tournament in the last outing.
  • Czech Republic made three changes having lost captain Vladimir Darida to a training-ground injury while Jan Boril was suspended. Boril's place was taken by Pavel Kaderabek while Antonin Barak and Petr Sevick were brought into the midfield with Jakub Janto dropping to the bench, while Darida sat on the sidelines.

The Netherlands, who had found their rhythm through three group games in Amsterdam and were the leading scorers in the opening three matches - cantering to top spot - came close again five minutes later when Denzel Dumfries' diagonal run was found by Blind, but Tomas Kalas did well to slide across and block the shot.

Czech Republic had only won one of their previous seven games at major tournaments, but they fired a warning sign midway through the opening period as Tomas Soucek outmuscled Marten de Roon to meet Petr Sevcik's cross, but his glancing header did not trouble Maarten Stekelenburg.

The subsequent drinks break did little for De Boer's men as their opponents came even closer with seven minutes of the first half remaining. Soucek this time was the architect as he found Lukas Masopust, but Antonin Barak's attempt on the overlap was flicked over by a brilliant recovery block by De Ligt.

Donyell Malen is denied brilliantly by Tomas Vaclik
Image: Donyell Malen is denied brilliantly by Tomas Vaclik

At the interval, Sky Sports' Gary Neville said on ITV: "The Czech Republic have had the better chances. A bit more of a killer instinct and they could be ahead."

The Netherlands needed a fast restart but an early booking to Dumfries for a flailing arm on Pavel Kaderabek set the tone for an ill-disciplined second period. The game turned on its head in the 52nd minute when Donyell Malen cut through the Czech defence but was denied by Tomas Vaclik as he sought to round the goalkeeper.

Matthijs de Ligt handles under pressure from Patrik Schick
Image: De Ligt handles under pressure from Patrik Schick

Jaroslav Silhavy's side took full advantage of the reprieve as a searching ball forward caught De Ligt the wrong side of Schick within 60 seconds, with the centre-back forced into drastic action to shovel the ball from underneath him with his hand.

Referee Sergei Karasev did not spot the initial infringement, but, upon VAR review by Stuart Attwell, the booking was upgraded to a red.

Sky Sports' Nick Wright said: "The Czechs were already finding a lot of space in attacking areas and there's likely to be more for them now following that red card. The Dutch have switched to a back four. Van Aanholt and Dumfries will surely have to be more selective about when they bomb forward from now on."

Frustrations were boiling over for the men in orange, and they duly fell behind in the 68th minute when Kalas rose at the far post to head a free-kick back across goal for Holes to stoop and head in from close range.

Tomas Holes stoops to head Czech Republic in front
Image: Holes stoops to head Czech Republic in front

The second drinks break in the sweltering Budapest heat did little to stem the tide towards Stekelenburg's goal, and, following a raft of substitutions, the Czechs made the game safe.

Holes did remarkably well to skip through the Dutch midfield before his cut-back was tucked in by the composed Schick at the near post.

This was the first major shock of Euro 2020, and, with Denmark now awaiting in Baku, the prospect of replicating their semi-final appearance in 2004 is becoming an increasing reality for Czech Republic.

What the managers said

Frank de Boer was unable to inspire the Dutch
Image: Frank de Boer was unable to inspire the Dutch

Netherlands head coach Frank de Boer: "They were difficult opponents, but I thought that we were better until the red card. We dominated the game. Denzel (Dumfries) reached the by-line a couple of times in the first half, and so did Patrick (van Aanholt). But in each case, the final ball could have been better.

"Games like this revolve around one or two moments. We had one of them, with Donyell (Malen), and then a few seconds later we were down to 10 men. And the worst thing you can do against a team like this is to fall behind. Then they can just play the game exactly the way they want to.

"Actually at 1-0 I had wanted to go to 3-3-3, by bringing Berghuis on as a right-winger, putting Quincy (Promes) wide on the left and having Wout (Weghorst) as centre-forward, but just before that the Czechs made it 2-0, and so I had to ditch that idea."

Czech Republic's Jaroslav Silhavy celebrates after the victory
Image: Czech Republic boss Jaroslav Silhavy celebrates after the victory

Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Silhavy: "I am really proud of my team. We have defeated a great opponent - all of my players were tactically excellent. I am glad we achieved it in front of so many of our fans.

"It have to mention the performance of Tomas Vaclik who helped us with his marvellous save in the right moment. And Tomas Holes played a fantastic game, he contributed to both of the goals. I have to praise both of these players.

"I think the result speaks for itself. The changes in our starting line-up proved to be the right ones. All three new players showed why they are here with us and played an excellent game."

Analysis: De Boer's Dutch wilted

Wout Weghorst trudges off at full-time
Image: Wout Weghorst trudges off at full-time

Sky Sports' Gary Neville to ITV:

"The first Czech goal was coming... they had the Dutch on the ropes. They were punching and punching. De Boer's men wilted like you wouldn't believe... they looked really poor after the sending off. They didn't tactically adapt.

"The Czechs fully deserved it. They had more character and more personality."

On the minute that turned the game...

"Malen does so well - then he just complicates it. The goalkeeper anticipates it, knows what he's going to do. That then runs into the moment of the match...

"De Ligt looked slow and sluggish - he looked like he was going to be exposed...

"I never buy into it that you slip, that you're unlucky. You only slip as a defender when you've got your footing wrong, when you're out of position when you've misread the flight of a ball and you panic.

"He gets his footing wrong because he's misread the ball. It's a really poor bit of defending. When the first bit goes wrong, a young defender makes the second mistake. An experienced one makes the first mistake and then lets the forward go through because you've still got 11 on the pitch."

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Frank de Boer says the Netherlands' final ball let the team down in their last-16 defeat to the Czech Republic and admits the sending-off of Matthijs de Ligt changed the game (©UEFA 2021)

De Ligt: 'My bad decision to blame'

De Ligt took responsibility for his country's elimination in a candid post-match interview.

"We actually lost through my action; that feels very annoying," he told Dutch public broadcaster NOS in quotes reported by Reuters.

"It's bad. We had the game under control and then such a ball comes. I let it bounce, which was not a good decision. I got a slight push and fell, after which I handled the ball."

Asked if he was being too hard on himself, De Ligt added: "You know what, ultimately this moment changed the game, and I cannot get away from that.

"These Euros were a golden opportunity, so to depart in this way is very painful. We did well in the group stage. Then you get knocked out in the last 16 against the Czech Republic. That is very sour."

Netherlands lose their shine - Opta stats

Czech Republic's Patrik Schick, right, celebrates with Czech Republic's Tomas Holes after scoring his sides second goal
Image: Schick celebrates with Holes after scoring the second goal
  • Netherlands are the first side to win 100 per cent of their group stage games (3/3) before losing in 90 minutes in the first knockout round since the Dutch themselves at Euro 2008 (1-3 v Russia).
  • Czech Republic have won five of their last seven games against the Netherlands, including both of their meetings in this run that came at the European Championships (3-2 at Euro 2004 and 2-0 here).
  • Netherlands suffered their first defeat at a major tournament since their final group stage game of Euro 2012 (1-2 v Portugal), ending a run of 10 games between the World Cup and European Championships without losing.
  • Czech Republic won their first game in the knockout stages of a major competition since Euro 2004, when they won 3-0 against Denmark in the quarter-final.
  • Patrik Schick scored his fourth goal in four games at Euro 2020, with only Milan Baros (5) now having scored more major tournament goals than Schick for the Czech Republic.

Man of the match - Tomas Holes

Holes had a major say on proceedings
Image: The Slavia Prague man had a major say on proceedings

Holes became the first Czech player to both score and assist in a single match at the European Championships since both Jan Koller and Milan Baros also did so against the Netherlands at Euro 2004.

Besides his offensive contributions, the defensive midfielder nullified Frenkie de Jong, producing four tackles and regaining the ball on nine occasions - more than any of his team-mates.

What's next?

Czech Republic will play Denmark in Baku on Saturday July 3 in the quarter-finals; Kick-off 5pm.

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