Watkins fires England past the Netherlands into Euro 2024 showdown with Spain

England substitute Ollie Watkins produced a stunning last-minute strike on Wednesday night in Dortmund to sweep England into the final of the 2024 European championships against Spain on Sunday night in Berlin.

The Aston Villa attacker entered the fray in the 81st minute with Cole Palmer in place of skipper Harry Kane and Phil Foden as the England coach Gareth Southgate attempted to dynamise a front line that had lost its zip and verve.

At the time of their arrival, the Netherlands seemed the likelier of the sides to grab the winner before extra-time.

Wout Weghorst, who had come on at the start of the second-half for Donyell Malen, was a thorny presence among the England backline using his brawn – and his elbow as John Stones' face could testify.

The Dutch, seeking their first title since winning the 1988 European crown, took the lead in the sixth minute when Xavi Simons muscled Declan Rice off the ball 35 metres from the England goal. The midfielder advanced and unleashed a shot that flew past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

But 10 minutes later, England were level.

Netherlands defender Denzel Dumfries was adjudged to have fouled Kane in the penalty area.

The Bayern Munich striker dusted himself off after the collision and swept his penalty into the net to the right of the Netherlands goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen.

In one of the rare excursions into England territory, Dumfries' header from a corner grazed Pickford's crossbar before going out for a goal kick.

Change

That dud marked the end of Kane and Foden's involvement. Enter Watkins and Palmer for the duo.


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