Goals from Tomáš Holeš and Patrik Schick sent an impressive Czech Republic side into the quarter-finals.
Patrik Schick scored his fourth goal of UEFA EURO 2020 as the Czech Republic beat a ten-man Netherlands outfit to reach the quarter-finals – where in-form Denmark will await them.
Match in brief
In an eventful opening in Budapest, both teams were able to create opportunities. Frank de Boer’s Oranje soon hit their stride, though, and the Czechs struggled to deal with their pace. However, Matthijs de Ligt and Memphis Depay spurned chances to secure a lead.
Against the run of play, Tomáš Souček glanced wide Petr Ševčík’s cross and Antonín Barák flashed over from close range, as Jaroslav Šilhavý’s side regained a foothold.
Perhaps the key moment came shortly after half-time. After Donyell Malen’s surge from deep was thwarted by keeper Tomáš Vaclík, almost immediately the Netherlands were reduced to ten men as last-man De Ligt’s handball denied Schick a clear run on goal.
The Dutch looked rattled and the Czechs capitalised. Holeš’s powerful header finally broke the deadlock on 68 minutes following Barák’s free-kick. And they weren’t finished: 12 minutes later, Holeš advanced to tee up Schick – becoming the second Czech to net four times at a EURO tournament, alongside Milan Baroš (five goals in 2004) – to seal a quarter-final spot.
Star of the Match: Tomáš Holeš (Czech Republic)
“He decided the match with his goal and his assist for the second goal. He was excellent across the midfield as a screening midfielder. He played it safe in an important position.”
Dušan Fitzel, UEFA Technical Observer
Derek Brookman, Netherlands reporter
They say the margins are very fine in top-level sport, and that was certainly demonstrated this evening in Budapest. The game was tense and balanced until the red card, but after that the De Ligt-shaped gap in the Dutch defence was mercilessly exploited by the Czech Republic. A sobering lesson for this exciting Oranje team, and one that will hopefully see them bounce back even better than before.
Ondřej Zlámal, Czech Republic reporter
What a performance! The Czechs came ready to face the attacking force of the Dutch, but they coped incredibly well, and their hard work has been rewarded with another marvellous win against the Netherlands. It was richly deserved, and the outstanding team performance was capped by two fine team goals.
Jaroslav Šilhavý, Czech Republic coach: “I am really proud of my team. We have defeated a tough opponent and, tactically, all of my players were excellent. I am glad we achieved the victory in front of so many of our fans.”
Tomáš Holeš, Czech Republic: “I mainly have defensive tasks in the game, and sometimes I use that to my advantage because defenders don’t mark me. I am happy that I played well tonight.”
Frank de Boer, Netherlands coach: “They were difficult opponents, but I thought that we were better until the red card. We dominated the game. Denzel [Dumfries] reached the byline 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.”
Patrik Schick, Czech Republic forward: “It couldn’t have gone any better. It’s great. Nobody expected us to make it so far. To beat the Netherlands and perform this well is fantastic. I think each of our supporters here today had a great time. It’s incredible.”
Matthijs de Ligt, Netherlands defender: “Of course, it feels bad. We basically lost because of what I did. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have let the ball bounce. I thought we had the game under control. We had a few chances, particularly in the first half. I didn’t have the feeling that they created lots of chances either. But the red card obviously made the difference.”
Georginio Wijnaldum, Netherlands captain: “The goals we gave away, the chances we didn’t take. That’s all that’s going through my head. After the red card, we found it difficult to put them under pressure. Things just got more difficult for us.”