Oranje knocked out of Euro 2020 after De Ligt red card; Czech Republic advances
The Dutch men’s national team was eliminated from Euro 2020 competition on Sunday night at the hands of the Czech Republic by a score of 2-0. The Round of 16 match was held at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest, the first match Oranje played in the tournament outside of Amsterdam, with nearly 53 thousand people in attendance.
Both goals were scored after Matthijs de Ligt was given a red card for handball in the 53rd minute. When asked how he was after the match, he said, “Really bad, naturally.” De Ligt continued in an interview with NOS saying, “The team lost because of my action. ... It’s really very annoying.”
“It was a poor tournament. If you’re eliminated in the eighth-final, it’s not good,” said Oranje defender Frenkie de Jong after the match.
The Dutch side played under coach Frank de Boer’s 5-3-2 system, and the Czech Republic stuck with a 4-2-3-1. There were no goals scored in the first half, with the Netherlands managing four attempts, none on target. The Czech Republic played a more physical game which resulted in eight fouls, with a shot on goal on five attempts.
The second half got off to a rough start for the Netherlands. Less than a minute into the match, an errant elbow from Denzel Dumfries knocked into the head of Pavel Kadeřábek when both jumped for a ball in the air.
In the 52nd minute, Donyell Malen was clear through on a breakaway, the best chance the Dutch had to that point. As he ran into the box, goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík dove to the ground, and with an outstretched arm managed to pluck the ball off the foot of the Dutch forward. A follow-up by Memphis Depay failed to wiggle the ball away from the Czech goalkeeper.
On the opposite side a minute later, Matthijs de Ligt was given a red card and sent off taking the Dutch team down to ten men. The defender was a step ahead of striker Patrik Schick who could have been clear on goal, but a stumbling De Ligt swatted the ball away with his hand in a desperate attempt to protect his goalkeeper.
De VAR grijpt in, de scheidsrechter gaat kijken en constateert een handsbal. Rood voor de Ligt. pic.twitter.com/awMYMWRQey— NOS Sport (@NOSsport) June 27, 2021
Russian referee Sergei Karasev initially gave De Ligt a yellow card, despite his protest, while Schick called for a red card. The play was reviewed by video assist referee Stuart Attwell from England, and Karasev pulled the red card from his pocket.
The Czech Republic made it 1-0 in the 68th minute after Dumfries fouled Lukáš Masopust near the right side corner. The free kick was taken, which Tomáš Kalas headed across the goal to Tomáš Holeš, who headed the ball in. Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg got some help from wingback Patrick van Aanholt, but the ball was struck too hard for him to stop.
Het onvermijdelijke gebeurt, goal voor Tsjechië...— NOS Sport (@NOSsport) June 27, 2021
Holes kopt binnen na voorkoppen van Kalas. pic.twitter.com/P8AvFWjGmX
Schick looked to seal up the match in the 79th minute, when he took a pass from Holeš and struck the ball on the ground past Stekelenburg. The ball went in on the low left corner to make it 2-0.
0-2 Tsjechië— NOS Sport (@NOSsport) June 27, 2021
Patrik Schick maakt zijn vierde goal op dit EK. Het lijkt beslist. pic.twitter.com/aQCmpXpn7X
During the second half, even before the red card, the Dutch team did not manage a quality chance. One man down for the last 40 minutes of play, including six minutes of injury time, Oranje was outplayed and unable to produce on offense.
The Netherlands had seven attempts, but no shots on goal, despite keeping the ball for 52 percent of the match. They had six corners in the match, and fouled their opponents six times. The Czech Republic managed five shots on 13 attempts, with five corners. They committed 14 fouls.
The Czech Republic will move on to play tenth-ranked Denmark at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Hungary LGBT law sparks controversy and Dutch protest
The match was held amid the backdrop of a controversial new law in Hungary seeking to ban the discussion of diverse sexualities and genders in many open forums. The Netherlands took a very vocal stance against the law, even questioning Hungary’s future in the European Union because of it.
Many Dutch fans said their rainbow flags were confiscated at the Oranje fan zone in Budapest, from where many fans marched to the stadium. Earlier reports that UEFA banned the flag were denied by the football association, saying that local authorities may have intervened at the fan zone. It said it supports flying the rainbow flag, even in stadiums, as it views the flag as a symbol of football’s inclusivity, and not as a political statement.
That was also the reason why Dutch captain Georginio Wijnaldum wore a #onelove armband. The captain’s band was part of a campaign in the Netherlands to promote inclusion and diversity in football.
"Especially now that LGBTI rights, and thus human rights, are under pressure in Hungary, we have to show that Europe is a place where everyone is seen and appreciated. That's why I'm raising the rainbow flag in The Hague today," said Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag shortly before the match.
Juist nu LHBTI-rechten, en daarmee mensenrechten, onder druk staan in Hongarije, moeten we laten zien dat Europa een plek is waar iedereen wordt gezien en gewaardeerd. Daarom hijs ik vandaag de regenboogvlag in Den Haag! pic.twitter.com/Au8RFqcklo— Sigrid Kaag (@SigridKaag) June 27, 2021