Soccer-Czech spirit helped secure surprise win over Dutch, says coach

·1-min read
Euro 2020 - Round of 16 - Netherlands v Czech Republic

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Team spirit helped the Czech Republic secure a surprise 2-0 win over the Netherlands in their Euro 2020 last-16 clash on Sunday despite them being sloppy at times in attack, coach Jaroslav Silhavy said.

Tomas Holes and Patrik Schick scored second-half goals to take the Czechs into the quarter-finals with a deserved victory over a Dutch side that topped their group with three wins.

"I have no words," Silhavy said. "When the final whistle was coming, we said 'we did it'."

"This opposition was very strong but we managed wonderfully. We were sometimes sloppy in attack, but the team spirit prevailed again."

The Czechs will now face Denmark in Baku on Saturday, turning around their Euro 2020 fortunes having only reached the knockout phase after finishing third in their group.

Silhavy praised the team's effort, while singling out goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik, who made a superb one-on-one save to deny Donyell Malen, and midfielder Holes, who scored one and created another in a man-of-the-match display.

"Each match must have some extraordinary performances and today we had ones from Vaclik and Holes," Silhavy said. "I believe working as a team we can surprise Denmark and go further."

The Czechs were forced to make a number of changes for the match with defender Jan Boril ruled out through suspension and captain Vladimir Darida missing the encounter due to injury.

Yet the support of thousands of Czech fans in the crowd provided them with a big boost.

"The atmosphere was fantastic," Silhavy said. "We had goose bumps coming on to the pitch."

(Reporting by Michael Kahn and Robert Mueller, Editing by Toby Davis)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting