‘We lost because of my mistake’ – De Ligt laments ‘painful’ lapse as Netherlands lose to Czech Republic

Netherlands star Matthijs de Ligt has assumed responsibility for his side’s 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic in the last 16 of Euro 2020.

Ten minutes into the second half, De Ligt made a critical slip that resulted in him handling the ball and receiving a red card while the game was still scoreless.

The match had been in the balance at that point, but thereafter the Czechs would dominate and ultimately win 2-0.

What did he say?

Speaking to NOS, the Juventus centre-back said: "We actually lost because of my action, that feels very annoying. Of course this is bad. We had the game under control and then a ball comes, I let it bounce, which in hindsight was not good, I got a light push and fell, after which I handled it. In the end this moment changes the game and I can't let that happen to me. I watched the last few minutes as the team struggled. I really blame myself.

"I didn't feel like it slipped out of our hands. We were in control and had some chances in the first half. In the second half, of course, we had the one on one with the keeper. The red card made the difference. The Czech Republic is a physically strong team that does not shy away from duels. We had a hard time with that. It was a 50-50 match where the red card made the difference.

"This European Championship was a golden opportunity, but if you're eliminated like that, it's very painful. We did well in the group stage. Then you fly out in the last-16 against the Czech Republic. That's very sour."

Wijnaldum reacts

Meanwhile, captain Georginio Wijnaldum said: "After that red card, yes [we were powerless]. Then it was harder for us to put pressure on. If we had the ball, we couldn't get out. We lost the ball very quickly.

"I don't think we handled the way the Czech Republic put pressure on us well. We also didn't handle the spaces we were given properly. In the second half we get a good chance and we don't take it. Then we don't pay attention once and we get a red card.

"I have a crazy feeling. I thought we grew in the tournament. We also felt that in the team. Before the tournament there was a lot of criticism, about the way we played and things like that. We've turned that around well. Then this is very painful, but unfortunately the reality."

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