How the Czech Republic reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020
As we count down the days to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 getting underway this weekend, fans of the Czech Republic will be reminiscing over the glory days of 15 years ago, when the Czechs reached the semi-finals of Euro 2004 and Milan Baroš won the Golden Boot.
Of course, some similarities can be drawn between that tournament and this year’s edition of the European Championships, like another historic win over the Netherlands and Patrik Schick’s goals making him a strong contender to emulate Baroš and win the top scorer accolade.
So, ahead of the quarter-final against Denmark in Baku this Saturday — which the Danes are actually the favourites to win if you’re looking to bet on Czech Republic v Denmark — let’s take a look at how Jaroslav Šilhavý’s men have gotten this far.
Scotland – 2-0 victory
The Czechs headed to Hampden Park in Glasgow to take on Scotland in their opening match of Group D, and whilst there was little to separate the two sides in the pre-match betting market, it was a rather straightforward victory for the Czech Republic. Steve Clarke’s side did come close a couple of times, but two strikes each side of half-time from Schick, who is now looking like a solid choice in the UEFA EURO 2020 top scorer odds, crushed the Scots’ hopes of getting off to the perfect start on their return to the European Championships.
Croatia – 1-1 draw
A 1-1 draw against Croatia at Hampden Park just four days after the victory over Scotland left the Czech Republic with a place in the last 16 all but secured. Schick gave his nation the lead from the penalty spot after the referee awarded the Czechs a controversial penalty. Croatia defender Dejan Lovren and the 25-year-old striker both leapt to contest for a cross. However, the former Liverpool man caught Schick with his elbow, leaving the Bayer Leverkusen forward with a bleeding nose, and VAR deemed the challenge enough for a penalty. A second-half strike from Ivan Perišić crushed the Czechs’ hopes of taking six points from two games.
England – 1-0 defeat
A 1-0 defeat to England at Wembley Stadium in London, where Raheem Sterling’s 12th-minute header was the difference between the two sides, was enough for the Czechs to still book their place in the round of 16. However, with Croatia beating Scotland 3-1 in Glasgow, Šilhavý’s side had to settle for third in the group — which meant a difficult encounter with the Netherlands at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest…
Netherlands – 2-0 victory
Given that the Dutch has eased through their group with minimal fuss, many expected this to be the end of the road for the Czech Republic at Euro 2020. However, they proved just how hard they can be to break down by keeping the Netherlands shtum in the first half. And, when Matthijs de Ligt was sent off for a handball which was deemed to stop a clear goalscoring opportunity, the Czechs took full advantage of their extra man. Tomáš Holeš gave them the shock lead almost 15 minutes after the red card and Schick delivered the killer blow, making it 2-0 with just 10 minutes left.