Netherlands vs Czech Republic: Matthijs de Ligt sent off for wild handball at Euro 2020

  • Kobe Tong

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Matthijs de Ligt was sent off for the Netherlands during their Euro 2020 clash against the Czech Republic on Sunday evening

Netherlands vs Czech Republic

The Juventus colossus was superb during the opening hour at the Puskás Aréna as the Dutch side looked to build on their 100% winning record in the group stages by progressing to the final eight.

However, with the round of 16 fixture hanging in the balance at 0-0, the former Ajax man was sent for an early bath after denying the Czechs a goalscoring opportunity with a deliberate handball.

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While trying to shield the ball from Patrik Schick, the 21-year-old took the risky decision to use his hand to claw the ball away and prevent his opponent from running clear through on goal.

De Ligt sent off vs Czech Republic

A caution was the original punishment, but De Ligt was eventually given a red card after a VAR review deemed him to have denied Schick what could easily have been an opening goal.

It was undoubtedly a crying shame for what had been a fantastic start to the game from one of the best young defenders in the world, but there was no denying that a dismissal was the right call.

Although defensive reinforcements were arriving for Oranje, the footage down below illustrates that Schick would have been clear though on Maarten Stekelenburg without the use of a hand.

Czech Republic take the lead

It's pretty hard to argue with that, isn't it? The footage seems to suggest that De Ligt decided to take a gamble with the deliberate handball and unfortunately paid the price.

It's certainly not the moment that such a strong performance up until that point had deserved and it ultimately gave the Czechs a massive leg-up on their way to opening the scoring in Budapest.

Jaroslav Šilhavý's men had been good value for money before De Ligt was given his marching orders, but it's undeniable that it played a part in Tomáš Holeš finding the net with a header.

Czech Republic progress

And there was more pain to come for Frank de Boer's men when Schick - the very player who had been involved in the red card incident - bagged his fourth goal of the European Championships.

The Bayer Leverkusen forward's tidy finish at the near post left Stekelenburg statuesque and dumped the Netherlands out of the tournament just as they'd looked like a real force in the groups.

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But it really goes to show that we've arrived at the business end of Euro 2020 and one costly decision like De Ligt's can be all that it takes to send you home packing in an instant. Brutal.

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