Goals from Tomas Holes and Patrik Schick sent an impressive Czech Republic into the quarter-finals.
The biggest shock in Euro 2020 so far has been recorded in the third round of 16 match of the tournament. The Czech Republic came out on top after 90 minutes against the Dutch thanks to goals by Tomas Holes and Patrick Schick. There was high drama in the second half as Dutch defender Matthijs De Ligt was sent off after a deliberate handball that prevented a clear and obvious goal-scoring opportunity. The referee had only awarded a free-kick to the Czech initially, but VAR suggested that he should check the replay. After consultation, the referee changed his view and sent the Juventus defender off, condemning the Dutch to play over 20 minutes of the match with just 10 men.
The first Czech goal came in the 68th minute as they won a free-kick near the corner flag. The ball was beautifully drifted in from the right deep near the back post where it was met by Tomas Kalas. He headed the ball across the face of the goal to find Tomas Holes who headed it into the back of the net. The goal was a long time coming as the Czechs were the far better performers on the night. The Dutch now had to deal with being a man down, and with a 1-0 deficit.
The second Czech goal came in the 80th minute. It was created by goal-scorer Tomas Holes, who played the ball across the face of the goal from the left after nutmegging Dutch skipper Georginio Wijnaldum. Patrick Schick was waiting at the end of the pass and slotted it past the Dutch goalkeeper comfortably to make it 2-0 to the Czechs, and seal the game.
It is a historic result in Czech Republic footballing history. They will face Denmark in the quarter-final in what has shaped up to be an absolutely mouth-watering clash. Both sides are evenly matched and will be hoping to make it to the semi-finals of Euro 2020.
With regard to the balance of play in the match, the Czech were the better side by far. They had 12 shots in total, with five on target. Two of them flew in. On the other hand, the Dutch had a woeful time in front of goal. They could only get six shots off in the entire match, none of which was on target. The Dutch had slightly more possession with 52% over the Czech with 48%.
The match was an end-to-end, high-octane affair with tons of drama. The most significant incident of the match was the sending-off of De Ligt. VAR might have taken its own sweet time in making the decision, but it was quite clearly an infringement of the rules. De Ligt intentionally handled the ball and denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity for Schick, and it was the correct decision that was taken.
Dutch manager Frank de Boer will come under heavy criticism. He was already not very popular with the Dutch fans, who were not exactly fond of the cautious, defensive brand of football De Boer was playing. He might not be at the helm after the Dutch’s early exit at the hands of a much weaker side on paper.