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        Three Lions come from behind to defeat the Dutch

        Watkins winner puts England into the EURO 2024 final

        2024/07/10 22:04

        Late substitute Ollie Watkins sent England into the final of EURO 2024 with a 90th-minute winner as the Three Lions came from behind to defeat the Netherlands.

        Action: The game between the Netherlands and England exploded into life in just the seventh minute as the Dutch took the lead with a spectacular effort.

        Midfielder Xavi Simons muscled Declan Rice off the ball in his own half, strode forward, and then fired a real rocket of a shot into the top corner that Jordan Pickford couldn't have gotten to.

        England bounced back from the early setback well but their equaliser was controversial. Just seven minutes after Simons' early goal, Harry Kane saw a shot fly over a bar after good play by Bukayo Saka on the right.

        @Getty /
        However, Denzel Dumfries' attempt to block the shot caught Kane's foot with the Bayern Munich striker going down. Not many would have expected a VAR review for the incident and fewer would have also expected referee Felix Zwayer to point to the spot after reviewing what looked like an innocuous challenge.

        But that's exactly what happened, with the German official pointing to the spot. Any potential controversy didn't matter to Kane who buried his penalty low into the bottom left corner beyond the reach of Bart Verbruggen. 

        Dumfries was the centre of a lot of incidents in the first half. He made a goal-line clearance to deny Phil Foden after the playmaker made a jinking run through the box. Then, Dumfries went close himself. His header from a Dutch corner bounced off of the England crossbar.

        Just minutes after the Netherlands hit the woodwork, England did the same. This was a classic Foden moment, with his left-footed curling effort from distance bouncing off the post.

        Ronald Koeman was forced into a change with just over a half hour gone when Memphis Depay went down injured. Joey Veerman took his place as the Dutch changed their shape which stifled England's midfield and slowed down what had been an entertaining encounter until that point.

        Half time: Netherlands 1-1 England

        Both managers made changes at the break. Wout Weghorst made his obligatory substitute appearance for the fairly anonymous Donyell Malen while Luke Shaw came on for Kieran Trippier.

        The Dutch were in the ascendancy in the second period following those changes with Virgil van Dijk having an excellent chance when he met a free-kick on the right.

        There were still signs of England's danger going forward with Saka putting the ball in the net in the 79th minute when he collected Kyle Walker's cutback. The assistant referee quickly raised his flag though as the Manchester City defender had just strayed offside.

        Following that chance, Gareth Southgate made two changes with Cole Palmer and Ollie Watkins coming on for Phil Foden and Harry Kane.

        Southgate has been criticised for his changes and, at times, his lack of them during his tenure as England manager. This time, they were inspired.

        It was Ollie Watkins who put the Three Lions ahead virtually the exact moment the clock turned to 90 minutes. The Aston Villa striker received Palmer's ball, took one touch to go further wide and then finished low into the corner of the net to send England into raptures.

        Man of the Match: It's not easy to pick one player in what was an all-around team performance but we're going to give it to Phil Foden for an inspirational first 45 minutes. But part of us wants to give it to Watkins for that magic moment in his brief cameo.

        Big Picture: This is England's first major tournament final on foreign soil and their second European Championship final in a row. England were brilliant in the first half despite losing a lead early on and although the Dutch came back into it in the second period, they struck when it mattered most.

        Can they go one step further on Sunday against Spain?

        xG: Netherlands (0.67) 1-2 (1.38) England





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        2024-07-10 23h54m by eyoungs8
        Wow! What a game! Ollie Watkins coming in clutch with the 90th-minute winner for England against the Netherlands. Simons' goal was pure class, but let's not forget about that controversial equalizer. Referee needs to make those calls right.
        2024-07-10 23h46m by gkingsley
        Wow, what a game! As an England fan, I can't believe Watkins came on and scored the winning goal in the 90th minute. We never gave up and showed true determination. But let's talk about that equaliser. . . I have to admit, it was a bit controversial. But a goal is a goal and we'll take it! Bring on the final!
        2024-07-10 23h10m by l_10_brownfield
        What a game! Heart-stopping action from both teams, but of course England will come out on top! That last-minute winner from Ollie Watkins has sent us into the final of EURO 2025! The Three Lions never give up!
        2024-07-10 22h30m by sparkerfield
        Wow, what a game! Heart-stopping moments and a dramatic win for the Three Lions! Ollie Watkins, you are a savior!
        classic matches
        U Wednesday, 10 July 2024 - 20:00
        Signal Iduna Park
        Felix Zwayer
        Xavi Simons 7'
        Harry Kane 18' (pen.)
        Ollie Watkins 90'


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