July 19, 2024

England advances to the Euro 2024 final thanks to Watkins’ late winner.

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With a thrilling injury-time goal from Ollie Watkins, England defeated the Netherlands 2-1 on Wednesday to advance to the Euro 2024 final match against Spain in Berlin.

In the semi-final in Dortmund, Xavi Simons gave the Netherlands an early lead, setting up an amazing finale to an evening that had started terribly for England.

But after a German referee Felix Zwayer’s contentions VAR call, Harry Kane’s penalty soon tied the score for England, and it appeared that extra time would be needed until Watkins scored.

In the first minute of stoppage time, Watkins—a substitute for Harry Kane—took a pass from fellow substitute Cole Palmer with his back to goal, turned, and blasted low into the far corner, shocking the Netherlands. Although Gareth Southgate’s England team hasn’t had a particularly strong campaign, they’ve advanced to their second straight European Championship final and are hoping to capture their first major prize since 1966.

They will undoubtedly need to perform better than they have in any other German game since Spain is a very good team.

After defeating France 2-1 on Tuesday, Spain will have had an additional day to get ready for the championship match.

The Netherlands had hoped to win the championship again at the 1988 European Championship, which was hosted in Germany, however they don’t have any stars on their current team like Marco van Basten or Ruud Gullit.

If they had won, the 2010 World Cup final would have occurred at the end of this Euros. They now return home instead.

England have reached this point despite losing their last four games in the regular 90 minutes and losing to Switzerland and Slovakia in overtime.

provided that the Oranje shook off placing third in their group to defeat Romania and subsequently defeat Turkey, that may have provided the Dutch a physical advantage.

Marc Guehi, who had been suspended, was welcomed back to the England defense, while Ronald Koeman, the Dutch coach, started Donyell Malen in the attacking position at the stadium where he plays club football for Borussia Dortmund.

For the Dutch, the Westfalenstadion holds special meaning as it was the location of their decisive 2-0 victory over Brazil, which propelled them to the 1974 World Cup final.

Disputed Penalty

Simons’ incredible strike put them up after just seven minutes. He robbed Declan Rice 35 meters from goal, advanced, and then fired a rasping shot past Jordan Pickford.

With that goal, the Dutch players ran off to celebrate with their supporters, and England trailed for the third time in a row.

But they responded quickly, just as they had against the Swiss in the quarterfinals.

Bart Verbruggen was forced to make a save by Kane, who then fired a volley over the crossbar before Denzel Dumfries stopped him in his tracks.

Zwayer was called in to examine the photos and issued a punishment, even though it appeared to be completely innocent.

Kane, who cost England dearly in the 2022 World Cup due to a failed penalty kick against France, made no mistakes as he slotted low into the bottom-left corner.

After Phil Foden’s clearance off the line, Dumfries made amends, and the game became open and enjoyable.

After Simons cornered the ball, Dumfries headed it off the bar, but Foden answered with a brilliant long-range drive that curved off the top of the post.

Due to the fact that England’s midfielders were receiving excessive time on the ball, Koeman reinforced the center by substituting Joey Veerman for Memphis Depay, who was injured.

At the half, Wout Weghorst—a super-sub in earlier rounds—replaced Malen in yet another change.

But as the minutes passed and the anxiety of making a mistake increased, the game grew increasingly tense.

After Virgil van Dijk was denied by Pickford on minute sixty-five, England’s best players started to fade, and the Netherlands took the lead.

On minute 79, Bukayo Saka put the ball in the net after Kyle Walker cut back, but the celebrations were cut short as the referee signaled off.

After that, Southgate made the terrible decision to bench Kane and Foden in favor of Palmer and Watkins.

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