Netherlands 1-2 England: Super-Sub Ollie Watkins Fires Three Lions Into EURO 2024 Final

Ollie Watkins Fires England Through To EURO 2024 Final
Ollie Watkins Fires England Through To EURO 2024 Final

England have made history! For the first time since inception, the Three Lions have qualified for the final of a major tournament on foreign soil. The remarkable feat is all down to a moment of magic from substitute Ollie Watkins, who scored at the death to send his team through to the 2024 European Championship (EURO 2024) final.

The Netherlands, who had beaten Romania and Turkiye in the previous two rounds, had their moments, but their finishing was not up to the mark at the Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday night (July 10).

Netherlands Get Hard Done By A Controversial Penalty Call In The First Half

Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands enjoyed a bright start to the night in Dortmund. They passed the ball around with purpose and got their noses in front in the seventh minute, courtesy of a sensational strike from Xavi Simons. Snatching the ball away from Declan Rice, Simons drove towards the English box before dispatching a thunderous strike from outside the area. Packing blistering pace, the ball swerved into the top-left side of Jordan Pickford’s goal.

England, however, responded well to the goal, gaining their foothold shortly after. Then in their 16th minute, luck broke their way, as they got a very fortunate penalty following a VAR intervention. At first glance, there did not seem to be anything sinister in Denzel Dumfries’ tussle with Harry Kane inside the box. But the VAR called the referee to review the incident on his pitch-side monitor. After a quick review, the match official found Dumfries guilty of fouling Kane and gave England a spot-kick. Kane dispatched a perfect penalty to slot the ball into the bottom-left corner and make it 1-1 for England.

Substitutes Cole Palmer & Ollie Watkins Combine To Seal Win For England

Koeman instructed his side to sit a little deeper in the second half. As a result, England struggled to penetrate the area and spent most of the half knocking the ball around in harmless areas. In an attempt to settle the game in 90 minutes, Southgate made a bold call, introducing Watkins and Cole Palmer for Kane and Phil Foden, respectively. The move paid dividends just nine minutes later, as Watkins sealed the win for the EURO 2020 finalists.

Palmer received the ball down the right channel, took a few steps, and slipped the ball through for Watkins. The Aston Villa striker showed superb awareness to shield the ball from Stefan de Vrij before firing a low shot toward the goal. Hit with pace, the ball beat Dutch goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen and nestled into the bottom-left corner.

Filled with confidence after producing their best performance in EURO 2024, England will face Spain in the final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on Sunday, July 14.

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