The Netherlands are beaten once again

The poor performance from the Netherlands cost them a place in the quarter-finals. The lack of creativity in their passing and the disorganisation in defence allowed the Czech Republic to seize their opportunities and take the game by the scruff of the neck. Although the Netherlands had more experienced players on paper, none of their star players turned up and did not manage to influence the game in their favour.

Netherlands starting XI that faced the Czech Republic

First half

The Dutch began the game brilliantly as the threats came from the left hand side. The first chance came in the opening minute with Donyell Malen as he crossed the ball into the box. He spotted Dumfries near the back post but he was unable to make something of it. Soon after, the Netherlands had another chance from a corner. Blind took it and found De Ligt at the back post but he could’t aim the header on target.

De Ligts header.

The movement and pace from the Dutch front line caused the Czech Republic problems as they could not keep up with their runners. A mis-timed tackle by Celustka on Malen provided the Netherlands with a free kick. Depay took it, however it was cleared at the near post.

Twenty two minutes had gone and the Czech Republic had their first real opportunity. Sevcik crossed the ball which reached Souceck as he out muscled De Roon yet again another chance was wasted. The game had paused as the players stopped to take a water break. Not long after, the Czech Republic came back into the game which balanced the level of play. The space on the right hand side freed Coufal so he took the chance and hit a low cross towards Schick and of course De Ligt dealt with the threat. Heading into half time and both teams created their fair share of chances even though the scoreline didn’t show it. It was 0-0 after the first 45 minutes.

Second Half

No substitutions were made at the beginning of the second half. Thirty seconds after the restart and Dumfries got booked due to a high arm on Kaderabek. The first chance of the half fell to the Netherlands as Malen was played through the centre and had a clear shot on goal but he seemed to be in two minds whether to shoot or dribble past the keeper. Before he knew it the keeper had claimed the ball. Immediately after, the Czech Republic had a chance at the opposite end. Schick was denied a goal scoring opportunity as De Ligt lost his footing and shovelled the ball from underneath him. It became a waiting game for the Deutch as VAR checked for a possible red card. A red was shown and the Dutch captain got sent off.

Minutes passed and the Czech Republic looked to break the deadlock with Antonin Baraks cross which was hit wide by Schick. There were claims for a handball by Dumfries and a potential penalty for the Czech Republic. VAR was consulted and the decision went against the Czech Republic. Later, the Czech Republic found themselves leading from a corner which was played deep towards Kalas. He headed the ball back across goal and Holes headed it home from close range.

Holes Header to give Czech the lead.

Eighty minutes had gone and the Czech Republic got their second goal of the game with Holes once again having an involvement as he set up the Schick who scored with a clinical first time finish. The Netherlands did not show any urgency to push forward as Czech Republic dominated the majority of the second half.

Overall analysis

It can be argued that the sending off of De Ligt was the turning point in the match as the Netherlands lost one of their key players, However they did not do enough in the opening 45 minutes to challenge the Czech Republic side. After losing 2-0 to the Czech Republic the Netherlands Euro 2020 tournament came to an end and the Czech Republic will face Denmark at Baku.

Author: Stacey Marsh

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