England reach second consecutive Euro final after beating Netherlands | World News

England reach second consecutive Euro final after beating Netherlands | World News

The Three Lions will now face Spain in Berlin on Sunday after a goal from substitute Ollie Watkins provided a dramatic end to the semi-final.

By Tom Gillespie, news reporter @TomGillespie1


Thursday, 11 July 2024 00:04, United Kingdom

England have reached the final of the European Championship for the second time in a row after beating the Netherlands 2-1 in Dortmund.

A last-gasp goal from substitute Ollie Watkins secured victory for England in dramatic fashion minutes after Bukayo Saka’s shot was ruled out for offside.

England will now face Spain in Sunday’s final in Berlin after their best performance of the tournament so far.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate will take much of the praise after the winner was created and scored by two substitutes he brought on with around 10 minutes remaining.

Cole Palmer, who replaced Manchester City star Phil Foden, picked up the ball in midfield before passing it to Watkins on the edge of the area.

Watkins took a touch to the ball before firing it into the bottom left corner of the Dutch goal.

England reach the Euro final: As a step



Image:
Ollie Watkins celebrates his historic goal

The Aston Villa striker quickly silenced any doubtful critics when he replaced captain Harry Kane as the game looked to be heading into extra time.

Asked about his decision to take off Kane at such a crucial time, Southgate told a post-match press conference: “Harry took quite a heavy knock when he won the penalty so we weren’t sure how long he would be able to continue playing.”

“He and Phil (Foden) were playing well but we were losing a bit of energy… We certainly weren’t taking Phil off for his performance but we have good players on the bench with freshness who we felt could help us.

“And you know, we wanted to make that bet in regulation time instead of waiting until overtime.”

‘England’s performance was exceptional’



Image:
England manager Gareth Southgate celebrates after the semi-final victory over the Netherlands. Photo: Reuters

The King was one of the first to congratulate the team and wish them luck ahead of the final, before adding wryly: “If I can encourage you to secure victory before having to score last-minute wonder goals or another penalty drama, I’m sure the strain on the nation’s collective heart rate and blood pressure would be greatly eased.”

England’s men’s team have never won the European Championship and success on Sunday night would see them lift their first trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

Chaos among fans as England win.

The Three Lions survived a scare in the 64th minute of Wednesday night’s semi-final when goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was forced into a fine save following an effort from Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.

The Netherlands took the initiative in the following minutes when another Liverpool player, this time striker Cody Gakpo, delivered a threatening cross that forced Pickford to clear the ball for a corner.

‘Will football come home, Mr Prime Minister?’

The Three Lions impress in an entertaining first half

The match had started badly for England after Declan Rice lost the ball in midfield before Xavi Simons’ wonderful strike from outside the area put the Dutch 1-0 up after just seven minutes.

England responded brilliantly but many will feel they were lucky to be awarded a penalty following a foul on Kane by Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries.

The England captain, who had been criticised for his performances in the tournament so far, headed the ball into the bottom left corner to level the scores after 18 minutes.



Image:
Kane takes the penalty to level the score. Photo: Reuters



Image:
Foden slots the ball through goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen’s legs before his shot is cleared off the goal line. Photo: AP

England were unlucky to take the lead minutes later when Foden slotted the ball through the Dutch goalkeeper’s legs but his shot was cleared off the line by Dumfries.

The Dutch defender was in the thick of things for the third time when his header hit the England crossbar minutes later.

In an entertaining first half, Foden crashed a magnificent long-range shot against the post.



Image:
Xavi Simons shoots from outside the area to give the Netherlands the lead. Photo: Reuters



Image:
Phil Foden’s long-range shot hit the post. Photo: Reuters

England will now face an impressive Spain side in Sunday’s final in the German capital.

Spain have won all their matches in the tournament so far, eliminating European giants such as France, Italy and Germany.

All eyes will be on 16-year-old star Lamine Yamal in the final match of the tournament, where the teenager scored a sensational goal to help his side overcome France in Tuesday’s semi-final.

It was Yamal’s finest moment in a tournament where his ability to take on players and create chances had already made him a rising star.

London is already gearing up for this weekend’s final with Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, announcing that the O2 Arena in Greenwich will host “the capital’s biggest screening” of the match.

Tickets for the event will be distributed through a vote that will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday on the City Council’s website.