The Netherlands had a panic attack and went down the line after an immaculate run-up to the European Championship. Accustomed to playing with the wind in its favor, she defeated the one that encountered the first adversity, a debatable expulsion of De Ligt, the best of her players in the duel against the healthy Czech Republic, who goes happily to the quarterfinal match with Denmark. To the team Orange He lacked character for the lift and also footballers and a coach to beat a rival as serious as he was solvent in their duels in the Eurocup on equal terms. The Czechs were already victors in the 2004 tournament and left the Netherlands without the finals in 2016.
The Czech Republic knew how to play very well with the ingenuity and nerves of the Netherlands. Jaroslav Silhavy’s tactical work was as impeccable as Frank de Boer’s was exasperating. The Dutch did not respond either to the charm with which they presented themselves at the Puskas Arena or to the hierarchy that was assumed to be due to their curriculum, too weak mentally and socceristically, cowering before the robust and scientific football of the Czech Republic.
Familiar and more than resigned with the 3-5-2, the Dutch national team debated about the players chosen for each game, especially in the companion of Depay, the striker who symbolizes the offensive power of the Netherlands, the most goalscoring team in the initial phase of the Eurocup (8). In the absence of the extremes that allowed to maintain the 4-3-3, it was necessary to optimize Depay’s absorbing game and enable the arrivals of a powerful second line with De Jong and Wijnaldum. Although Veghorst performed well at the start, Malen’s performance against North Macedonia ensured his start in the round of 16 clash against the Czech Republic. The mix did not work in Budapest and the coach removed Malen after the expulsion of De Ligt when the most noted for his absence was Memphis.
It is not just any detail in a team that is always as sophisticated as the one that De Boer leads today. Silhavy is under less pressure. The Czechs are a very physical and supportive team, also technical, personalized in the hard-working and complete Soucek, which always ends up in the striker Schick, the Bayer Leverkusen gladiator who scored all three goals in the qualifying phase, two against Scotland and who he repeated against the Netherlands. Captain Darida’s absence due to injury and Boril’s suspension required an even more collective response to maintain the competitiveness seen in difficult games such as England, which was victorious by a single goal from Sterling. The Czechs tried to weave the play together, grouped around the ball, ready to cool down the game to avoid the fast play of the Netherlands.
Dumfries ran nonstop on both sides, De Jong broke lines and the Malen-Memphis couple used to attack spaces, physically powerful and virtuous with the ball, encouraged by the fans. Orange present at the Puskas Arena. It had been a cheerful, fun and beautiful team to watch for its acceleration, patient in the conception of the play and vertical when it focused on Vaclick’s goal, until it ran into the Czech Republic. So much speed ended up confusing the De Boer boys. The precipitation was imposed on the pause and the leather ended up in the corner pen for the luck of the Czechs, well standing in their area and elusive on the flanks, the weak point of the Netherlands. Van Aanholt had a hard time covering the left side more than anyone and the best chances of the match began to fall to Stekelenburg.
The Czechs attacked better and better and retreated well enough to avoid the transitions of an opponent who was reduced to Dumfries and especially to the hierarchy of De Ligt. The central defender not only avoided a goal sung by Barak with his foreshortening, but also had more presence in the Vlaclik area than Depay and Malen. The Czech pressure line split the Netherlands in two. De Boer’s team did not know how to enter the opposite court and began to cross the ball from area to area, omitting the midfielders and isolating Malen-Memhpis. Wijnaldum was not in play and it was not known what role De Roon played. Only Malen knew how to break the blockade with a self-pass that left him hand in hand in front of Vaclick. The goalkeeper, however, sliced the ball from Malen and announced the fall of the Netherlands.
The play did not alter against the control of the Czech team, more compact and also more athletic and better worked and synchronized. Nothing to do with the Dutchman, whose troubles were expressed in the dialogue of the deaf between Memphis and De Boer. The announced collapse came after De Ligt knocked down Schick and the referee showed the defender the red card after consulting the VAR. The expulsion confused the coach, who surprisingly replaced Malen with Promes, and unhinged the team, which ended up conceding the goal in a very poorly defended set piece: the ten Dutch footballers watched in a coward, all under the crossbar, as Barak tempered the leather at the far post, Kalas headed to the opposite post and clinched with the Holes head.
The goal could have come much earlier, especially on one occasion from Kaderabek, as the Czechs ruled unopposed in the Netherlands’ resignation match. De Boer’s hand did not alter the landscape at all. The second goal fell after Holes stole the ball and enabled the accurate Schick. Self-conscious, the Orange she was paralyzed without De Ligt.
The picture surprised the fans and the critics before the joy of the Czech Republic. Although it was known that it would be difficult for him to oppose the title due to his vagueness, lack of leadership and maturity, the Orange they had earned respect and the poster of the favorite in Hungary in the group stage. The prognosis failed miserably and the result showed that De Boer and his boys had the Eurocup fooled for a few days.
Subscribe here to our special newsletter about Euro 2021
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.