Matthijs De Ligt was given a red card following a poor challenge. The Netherlands were knocked out of Euro 2020 after a shocking defeat to the Czech Republic in Budapest.
Jaroslav Silhavy's team advanced to the quarterfinals for the first tournament since Euro 2012. Tomas Holes, Patrik Schick and Patrik Schick scored the goals for Czechs. The Netherlands will rue their early exit from the tournament, whose knockout draw appeared to have set them up for a strong run. Their conquerors will instead face Denmark in the quarterfinal in Baku (Azerbaijan) on Thursday.
Memphis Depay was picked up in knockout rounds from where he left off in the group stage for Netherlands. He ran fast enough to be able to direct run off and ask questions, even of a Czech Republic defense as well-trained as theirs. At one end, the Netherlands were thrilling with Patrick van Aanholt & Denzel Dumfries bombing in space and stretching out the Czech defense.
They were, however, at least inviting. The wide men on the opposite side purposefully exploited the spaces that the wing backs left behind.
The Czechs had the best chance in the first half, Atonin barak finding space at the backpost and De Ligt able to cross to deflect the shot above Maarten Stekelenburg's crossbar. However, his reign as the hero of Dutch defense was short.
In a matter of minutes, the tournament was poised to turn in favor of the orange-clad men. The Czech goalkeeper was able to catch the ball from the former Arsenal striker, and Donyell Malen was bursting into the Czech defense. De Ligt struggled with the ball's awkward bounce when it reached the other end, and fell to his knees. Schick was also there.
Sergei Karasev, referee, initially thought that the inelegant challenge was not ill-natured and was just worthy of a yellow. However, after consulting his pitch-side monitor, he quickly concluded that Schick had been denied a clear goal scoring opportunity by the Juventus center back. This was the moment that everything changed. Dumfries found himself in a defensive position, blocking Pavel Kaderabek from scoring his goal-bound shot within his six-yard box. Stekelenburg was awkwardly sprinkling crosses, and the Dutch, so focused on the ball with 11 people, couldn't pass the ball beyond their third.
The goalkeeper made a mistake and was punished severely. Tomas Kalas flung the corner back into danger. Holes won the second header and guided the ball through the crowd of Dutch bodies.
The Netherlands never seemed to be able to overcome their deficit. De Boer turned to a string long balls directed at substitute Wout Weghorst and they were instead undone when Holes squared for Schick, who rolled his fourth goal of this tournament into the bottom corner.