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Super-sub Watkins sends England past Netherlands and into Euro final

Super-sub Watkins sends England past Netherlands and into Euro final

Photo BSS/AFP

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It was an incredible finish to an evening that began badly for England, as Xavi Simons gave the Netherlands an early lead in the semi-final in Dortmund.

BSS/AFP

Publisted at 7:21 AM, Thu Jul 11th, 2024

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Ollie Watkins struck a stunning injury-time winner as England beat the Netherlands 2-1 on Wednesday to set up a Euro 2024 final showdown with Spain in Berlin.

 It was an incredible finish to an evening that began badly for England, as Xavi Simons gave the Netherlands an early lead in the semi-final in Dortmund.

However, England were soon level through a Harry Kane penalty following a contentions VAR call by German referee Felix Zwayer, and the match looked set to drift towards extra time until Watkins struck.

On for Harry Kane, Watkins received a pass from fellow substitute Cole Palmer with his back to goal in the first minute of stoppage time, turned and fired low into the far corner to leave the Netherlands completely stunned.

To do that they will surely have to perform better than at any point so far in Germany as they face an outstanding Spain team.

Spain will also have had an extra 24 hours to prepare for the final, having defeated France 2-1 on Tuesday.

 The Netherlands had been hoping to repeat their triumph at the last Euros held in Germany, in 1988, but their current side lacks anyone with the star quality of Marco van Basten or Ruud Gullit.

A victory for them would have seen this Euros conclude with the same final as the 2010 World Cup. Instead they now go home.

England had got to this stage despite not winning any of their last four matches in 90 minutes, and having been taken to extra time by Slovakia and Switzerland.

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