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England storm into Euro 2024 final after Watkins' last-gasp winner sinks Netherlands, gear up to face Spain

England secured their place in the Euro 2024 final with a dramatic late victory over the Netherlands, thanks to Ollie Watkins' crucial goal.

football England storm into Euro 2024 final after Watkins' last-gasp winner sinks Netherlands, gear up to face Spain snt
First Published Jul 11, 2024, 2:34 AM IST

In a thrilling Euro 2024 semi-final clash at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, England edged past the Netherlands with a dramatic 2-1 victory, securing their spot in the final for the second consecutive European Championship. The match was a rollercoaster of emotions, marked by an early Dutch lead, a controversial VAR decision, and a last-minute winner from substitute Ollie Watkins. This hard-fought win sets up a tantalizing final showdown between England and Spain on Sunday, as the Three Lions aim to clinch their first European Championship title.

The match began with a shock for England, as Xavi Simons capitalized on a mistake by Declan Rice, firing a stunning 25-yard shot past Jordan Pickford to give the Netherlands an early lead in the seventh minute. Despite this setback, England showed resilience and determination throughout the game.

A pivotal moment came when a VAR review resulted in a controversial penalty decision in England's favor. Denzel Dumfries was judged to have fouled Harry Kane as the striker attempted a volley. Kane stepped up to the spot and confidently slotted the ball into the bottom corner, leveling the score and reigniting England's hopes.

Phil Foden had two close calls in the first half, with one effort cleared off the line and another hitting the woodwork. Dumfries also came close for the Netherlands, striking the bar in a tightly contested opening period.

In the second half, Ronald Koeman's adjustments to the Dutch midfield stifled England's attacking efforts, and the Three Lions struggled to create clear-cut chances. Bukayo Saka thought he had put England ahead, only for his goal to be ruled offside.

The breakthrough came in the 90th minute of the clash. Ollie Watkins, who had replaced Kane, received the ball with his back to goal, turned, and fired a low shot past Bart Verbruggen. The goal sent the England fans into raptures and ensured their team's place in the final.

As England prepares to face Spain in Berlin on Sunday, the focus will be on recovering and strategizing for the decisive match. The Three Lions will be aiming to build on their impressive performance and claim their first European Championship title.

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