Tomas Holes and Schick score as Czech Republic reach quarter-finals after stunning victory over Netherlands
The Czech Republic pulled off the biggest upset of the European Championship so far as defender Matthijs de Ligt was sent off, stunning the Netherlands and securing a place in the last eight.
Tomas Holes opened the scoring 13 minutes after De Ligt was sent off for handball following a VAR review, denying Patrik Schick a clear chance to score.
On 80 minutes, Holes provided the assist for Schick as the Czechs doubled their lead.
Donyell Malen ran through one-on-one with goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik for the Netherlands, who had been reduced to ten men for nearly half an hour.
The Czech Republic, on the other hand, silenced the Netherlands at Budapest's Puskas Arena, setting up a quarter-final with Denmark on Saturday, July 3rd.
The Dutch struggled after the red card
The Netherlands have been aggressive throughout the tournament, and their wing-backs Denzel Dumfries and Patrick van Aanholt caused difficulties early on in Budapest.
Dumfries was their best threat, slipping in behind on the left flank and flicking the ball over the keeper, but failing to beat the last defender.
Memphis Depay was also highly involved, and Malen found himself in several risky situations.
While the Netherlands caused issues on the wings, the Czech Republic did as well, as Vladimir Coufal took advantage of the vacuum left behind by the wandering Van Aanholt.
Both defences were vulnerable, but when De Ligt tripped and grabbed the ball out with his hand in the second half, referee Sergey Karasev had no choice but to overturn his initial decision to only show a yellow card.
The Netherlands were then on the back foot.
Pavel Kaderabek was denied by a goal-saving block by Dumfries, but Holes scored minutes later, converting after a corner knock-back from Tomas Kalas.
After the Netherlands battled for an equaliser, Schick's fourth goal of the tournament sealed the victory – only Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal has scored more goals in the tournament so far.
They will then fly to Azerbaijan to face Denmark, whom they defeated 3-0 in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals.
Man of the Match: Tomáš Holeš (Czech Republic)
What the players and managers said
Jaroslav Šilhavý, Czech Republic coach: "I am really proud of my team. We have defeated a tough opponent and, tactically, all of my players were excellent. I am glad we achieved the victory in front of so many of our fans."
Tomáš Holeš, Czech Republic: "I mainly have defensive tasks in the game, and sometimes I use that to my advantage because defenders don't mark me. I am happy that I played well tonight."
Frank de Boer, Netherlands coach: "They were difficult opponents, but I thought that we were better until the red card. We dominated the game. Denzel [Dumfries] reached the byline a couple of times in the first half and so did Patrick [van Aanholt]. But in each case, the final ball could have been better."
Patrik Schick, Czech Republic forward: "It couldn't have gone any better. It's great. Nobody expected us to make it so far. To beat the Netherlands and perform this well is fantastic. I think each of our supporters here today had a great time. It's incredible."
Matthijs de Ligt, Netherlands defender: "Of course, it feels bad. We basically lost because of what I did. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have let the ball bounce. I thought we had the game under control. We had a few chances, particularly in the first half. I didn’t have the feeling that they created lots of chances either. But the red card obviously made the difference."
Georginio Wijnaldum, Netherlands captain: "The goals we gave away, the chances we didn’t take. That's all that's going through my head. After the red card, we found it difficult to put them under pressure. Things just got more difficult for us."