Sunday brought us some stunning sunshine, more crap punditry, two games and our first big shock of the tournament.
Yes and it was that shock that started the day as The Netherlands faced off against the Czech Republic in Budapest. This game started as you would expect with the Dutch playing some nice football and it felt like this was all going to go to plan. However, as the first half went on the Czech’s got into the game and The Netherlands were starting to look short of ideas.
Ten minutes into the second half, the game turned on a crazy minute of play. Donyell Malen ran through on goal and opted to try and round the ‘keeper rather than take the shot on. In the end, he simply ran in to Tomas Vaclik who gathered the ball.
Then the Czech’s broke away, Matthijs de Ligt got himself caught under the ball, he tripped and then deliberately handled the ball. That’s a red card all day long and the referee agreed after a VAR review. Tomas Holes headed the Czech Republic in front 13 minutes later and the match looked like it was only going to go one way.
Patrik Schick secured the Czech victory 10 minutes from time and it was all over for Frank De Boer’s men. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that it’s not very much fun at all to see the Czech Republic doing well at this tournament, what with the horrid fucking racists tone surrounding the horrible bastards, but they are a good side and they can set themselves up to give anyone a game. The cunts.
To the final game of the weekend and a mouthwatering tie between Belgium and Portugal. This was the one we were all waiting for this weekend as it had the potential to be the best game of the tournament so far. Pity then that the first half turned out to be, well, just a bit pish eh?
There was, of course, one standout exception to this and Thorgan Hazard’s stunning goal to give Belgium the lead. Baby brother Hazard is the one that is standing out this tournament, and this season as a whole if we’re looking at more broadly.
The second half was better particularly when Portugal remembered that they had to score. Can we talk about commentators still thinking that Cristiano Ronaldo is some sort of free kick expert? In a way, it is funny to see them talk him up every time he steps up and goes through his wee routine just to hit the wall, but it’s symbolic of the utter lack of research commentators and pundits have put into any player playing outside of England. This is the most famous footballer in the world we’re talking about here and these guys are thinking he’s in a 2007 Manchester United top standing over these free kicks.
A massive shoutout to Pepe who just had to do a Pepe ten minutes from time and body Hazard just for the fun of it.
Belgium hung on and got through but, I don’t know. I’m still not convinced by them, they seem to be lacking something. Comparing them to Italy on Saturday who played poor but turned it on when they needed to and could rely on some great talent on their bench, Belgium just seem to be…lacking.
Well I suppose Belgium vs Italy in the quarter finals will be a good time to find out.