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Euro 2024: England stun Netherlands to face Spain in final

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Euro 2024: England stun Netherlands to face Spain in final

Berlin, July 11 (IANS) Substitute Ollie Watkins sent England to their second successive Euro final with a 2-1 victory over the resilient Netherlands in the semifinal.

Ronald Koeman’s men got off to the perfect start when Xavi Simons danced through the England defense before unleashing a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to break the deadlock after just seven minutes.

The Netherlands’ advantage didn’t last long, as Harry Kane converted a foul-play penalty following a VAR review with a well-placed shot into the bottom right-hand corner in the 18th minute, reports Xinhua.

The Three Lions gained momentum and almost doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Denzel Dumfries cleared Phil Foden’s shot off the line.

Dumfries remained in the thick of things after rattling the woodwork with a header from a promising position on the half-hour mark.

Gareth Southgate’s men controlled possession but couldn’t convert their chances before the half-time whistle.

After a slow start to the second half from both sides, the Dutch gradually gained the upper hand, but it was not until the 65th minute that Pickford was called into action to save Virgil van Dijk’s header.

England continued to threaten and thought they had regained the lead, but Bukayo Saka’s goal was ruled out for offside in the 79th minute.

The Three Lions stunned the Oranje in the 91st minute when Watkins finished off an attack with a curling shot into the right-hand corner.

The Netherlands piled on the pressure, but England’s defense held firm to set up a meeting with Spain in the final on July 14.

“I’m lost for words! I didn’t want to come off the pitch at the end because I wanted to soak it all in. I don’t think I have ever hit a ball that sweet. I never thought I would play at a Euro 2024 with England, but I’ve put in a lot of hard work to get to this point,” said Watkins

 

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