England secures another Euro final berth with a late goal, defeating Netherlands 2-1

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England players celebrates after the game

England has secured a spot in another European Championship final with yet another thrilling comeback victory that even had King Charles III on an emotional rollercoaster.

Ollie Watkins, brought on by England coach Gareth Southgate in a bold move for captain Harry Kane, scored in stoppage time to give England a 2-1 win over the Netherlands on Wednesday and a chance to face Spain in the final.

In the knockout stages of Euro 2024, England scored a late equalizer through Jude Bellingham before narrowly defeating Slovakia in the round of 16 and winning via a penalty shootout against Switzerland in the quarterfinals.

The English team is keeping their fans at home anxiously watching as they move closer to their first title since the 1966 World Cup — and that includes their monarch.

“If I might suggest securing victory without the need for last-minute heroics or another penalty shootout, it would surely lower the nation’s collective stress levels!” the king remarked in a congratulatory message shortly after the match in Dortmund.

Watkins’ goal was truly special.

Ollie Watkins celebrates after the game

Having only appeared once previously at Euro 2024 — as a substitute against Denmark in the group stage — Watkins’ introduction by Southgate in the 80th minute of England’s most critical match was unexpected.

But it paid off.

Assisted by Cole Palmer, Watkins controlled the ball with his back to the goal just inside the penalty area and unleashed a powerful shot from a difficult angle that found the bottom corner.

“It’s unbelievable — I’ve been waiting for this moment for weeks,” said Watkins, the Aston Villa striker who finished as the fourth-highest scorer in the Premier League last season. “It’s taken a lot of hard work to reach this point. I got my chance and grabbed it with both hands.”

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman expressed disappointment. “Towards the end of the match, I felt we could score,” Koeman said, “and I was certain we could do it in extra time.”

England will face Spain in Sunday’s final in Berlin. It will be their first championship match abroad, having won the World Cup in 1966 and lost to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, both times at Wembley Stadium.

Gareth Southgate talks to the players

“It’s going to be very challenging – a tough game,” Kane said about the final, with Spain seen as the tournament favorites. “One more game to make history.”

The sea of orange in Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion fell silent for the first time after Watkins’ late goal. The giant South Stand had been filled with Dutch supporters who dominated the city center before marching to the stadium in large numbers. Police reported three separate clashes between fans from both countries in the city.

This made it feel like a home game for the Dutch, and England faced an even tougher challenge after 21-year-old Xavi Simons became the second youngest scorer for the Netherlands at a Euros.

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder intercepted Declan Rice about 40 meters (yards) out, advanced, and scored with a shot into the far corner from outside the penalty area.

Compared to 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, Spain’s rising star, Simons has more experience in soccer, but it’s another instance of a young player shining on the big stage at the Euros.

Kane has experienced many significant moments in major tournaments, and he added another one by scoring a penalty after Denzel Dumfries fouled him in the box while he was attempting a shot.

Kane now has three goals in the tournament, putting him among the top six scorers.

Gareth Southgate celebrates after winning the match

The first half was exciting, with Dumfries and England’s Phil Foden hitting the woodwork, but the second half was tense. There was a critical two-minute period when Bukayo Saka had a goal disallowed, followed by substitutions of Kane and Foden.

Southgate’s decision to substitute Kane and Foden at that moment may be considered one of his best moves in his eight years as England coach. The fact that Cole Palmer, who came on as a substitute at the same time as Watkins, set up the goal adds to the satisfaction.

“We are creating some unforgettable nights … but our journey is not over yet,” Southgate said.


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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