After a sensational performance in the group stage, the Netherlands are the first major nation to be eliminated from Euro 2020 thanks to a 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic in their Round of 16 match in Budapest. Frenkie De Jong and Memphis Depay played all 90 minutes, but couldn’t have a big impact on the game in a disappointing performance by the Oranje.
The Dutch started well, pressing high up the pitch and looking to create chances with dynamic passing and movement as they did in all three group stage matches, but from the start they ran into a well-organized and intense Czech defense.
The first half didn’t have many chances, and the game looked wide open at halftime. And in the first 10 minutes of the second half, two big moments completely changed the game and destroyed the Dutch.
Donyell Mallen went in a brilliant solo run through the Czech defense and found himself one-on-one with Vaclik, but decided to try and round the keeper and wasted a golden chance.
A MASSIVE chance for Malen but he's denied ❌ pic.twitter.com/W3OvxhdAwk— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 27, 2021
Three minutes later, Matthijs De Ligt made a mistake at the back and handled the ball outside the box, denying Patrik Schick a clear goalscoring opportunity. De Ligt was initially showed a yellow card, which was changed to a straight red after a VAR check.
DE LIGT IS GONE. STRAIGHT RED! pic.twitter.com/oycc2EYA2E— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 27, 2021
The sending off altered the entire dynamic of the game, and the Czech team went from defending deep inside their box to attacking with numbers and intent, and they were rewarded with 20 minutes to go when Tomas Holes headed home the opener.
TOMAS HOLES!!!— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 27, 2021
CZECH REPUBLIC LEAD NETHERLANDS!!! pic.twitter.com/KqXPWUIX1Q
Holes was the best player on the pitch, and he made a great run to win the ball off Wijnaldum and assist Schick for the second goal.
PATRIK SCHICK!— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 27, 2021
It's all going Czech Republic's way pic.twitter.com/qnT2VfiAIy
The final whistle came to give the Czechs a place in the quarterfinals, and what looked like a glorious Dutch run ends in huge disappointment. Up next for the Czech Republic it’s Martin Braithwaite and Denmark, and one of those two nations will be in the semifinal. Remarkable.