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Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Euro 2020 Sensation: Czech Republic Surprises The Netherlands

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The Czech Republic surprised the Netherlands on Sunday in the round of 16 of the Euro (2-0). Reduced to ten before the hour, the Dutch then conceded two goals signed by Holes and Schick. The Czech Republic will face Denmark in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Frank de Boer’s men were so attractive during the group phase, when they won three matches, but they were unrecognizable.

The solid and compact Czech block neutralized well the often-axial attacks of the Netherlands, who only had a few situations on the sides, notably through Dumfries on the right. These approaches were not enough to really worry the Czech Republic, which was rather calm, but not extremely dangerous either. The best chance came from Soucek’s header, which was too cross. The best chance came from Soucek’s header, too much crossed, while Barak’s shot was blocked in extremis by a de Ligt angry against his teammates! This shows the frustration of a team almost powerless in the game, because tactically dominated. And we started again on similar bases in the second period.

In this round of 16, the Dutch and Czechs did not refuse to play, but the good intentions of both sides did not allow the protagonists to create clear chances during the first half-hour. Although Frank de Boer’s men collected corners (6 against 2 for the Czechs), they never managed to take advantage of them.

It was the Czechs who had the first real opportunity when Masopust cleverly slid in for Barak, but De Ligt was just in time to deflect the effort wide.

From an indirect free kick from the right to the left, Barak found Kalas at the far post, who was more active than Wijnaldum, and his delivery fell to Holes. The Czech midfielder was left to head the ball into the net (0-1, 68′). – Holes won a second ball in the Dutch camp and crossed the ball to Wijnaldum on the left. Without control, the striker Schick took the ball at the near post and perfectly straightens his shot (0-2, 80th).

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