Defending champions Portugal are out of Euro 2020 after a narrow 1-0 defeat to Belgium in Seville on Sunday night (Belgium 6/1 to win the tournament).
Sunday 27th June
Netherlands 0-2 Czech Republic
Belgium 1-0 Portugal
Monday 28th June
5pm Croatia v Spain
In a close game with very few chances, Thorgan Hazard produced a real moment of quality as he opened the scoring with three minutes remaining in the first half.
The Borussia Dortmund winger cut in from the left-wing and smashed his shot past Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio. Diogo Jota wasted two opportunities to score while Raphael Guerreiro hit the post in the closing stages.
Belgium’s victory was marred by injuries to Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, with the former forced off after two minutes of the second half. Real Madrid ace Eden limped off with a hamstring problem in the closing stages, and Roberto Martinez will need to rally his troops ahead of the quarter-final meeting with Italy on Friday.
In Sunday’s early kick-off, the Czech Republic pulled off the shock of the European Championship so far as they beat the Netherlands 2-0 to advance into the last eight.
The two sides were evenly matched until Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt was sent off in the second half.
De Ligt saw red after a VAR review suggested he handled the ball on the edge of his own box, and in doing so, he denied Patrik Schick a clear goalscoring opportunity.
The Czechs opened the scoring through Tomas Holes 13 minutes later, while Schik then killed the game as he converted a cross from Holes.
Jaroslav Silhavy’s side will now take on Denmark on July 3rd and De Ligt was quick to apologise after the incident.
He told NOS: “Of course, it feels bad. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have let the ball bounce. I had it under control. The ball came, and I let it bounce. I fell to the ground and got pushed, which made me use my hands.
“The moment changed the game, and I feel responsible. I saw how the guys fought after, and I’m proud of it. But I feel bad about the incident.”
On Monday, there are two further fixtures from the round of 16 to come, with Croatia facing Spain at 17:00 in Copenhagen (Croatia 11/2, Draw 11/4, Spain 8/13 – match odds).
Three-time European champions Spain have failed to reach the last eight in their previous three major tournaments, but their recent 5-0 win over Slovakia will give them confidence.
Croatia finished as runners-up in Group D behind England, and coach Zlatko Dalic has urged his side to “stand up to” Spain on Monday afternoon.
Reigning world champions France are also in action, and they will take on Switzerland in Bucharest (France 8/13, Draw 11/4, Switzerland 11/2 – match odds).
Boss Didier Deschamps has urged his side to not overlook their opponents as injuries start to pile up, with both Lucas Hernandez and Lucas Digne going down in the 2-2 draw against Portugal last week.