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Soccer

Watkins fires England into back-to-back Euro finals

───   MORGAN PIEK 08:09 Thu, 11 Jul 2024

Watkins fires England into back-to-back Euro finals | News Article
England- UEFA

“That's what we came for – it was an incredibly tough game. We're playing the best team in the tournament so far. But we're here still – we're fighting, on the back of a really good performance.”

England are through to the final of Euro 2024 following a late 2-1 win against the Netherlands in Dusseldorf during the second semi-final.

Xavi Simons opened the scoring for Oranje in the 7th minute, but the English soon equalised through a questionable penalty by the captain Harry Kane.

With the match deadlocked and the clock ticking down, England coach, Gareth Southgate, made a big call towards the backend by substituting Kane with Ollie Watkins, and it paid off.

Watkins, of Aston Villa scored the winner one minute into stoppage time to send England into back-to-back finals.

England will be playing in their first final on foreign soil and the coach Gareth Southgate said they are there to create history.

“That's what we came for – it was an incredibly tough game,” said Southgate.

“We're playing the best team in the tournament so far. But we're here still – we're fighting, on the back of a really good performance.

“I'm just so pleased for everybody back home.”

Speaking about the decision to bring Watkins on as a subs was because they felt they needed some more energy on the park.

“We felt we needed some more legs up front,” said Southgate.

“Harry Kane had taken a knock when he won the penalty in the first half. You know that Ollie can press a little better, and he will make those runs that are a problem for defenders early in a game but definitely later.

“There are moments when it comes off, and everybody is delighted.

“It's the mentality of the players who were all ready to deliver and all ready to contribute through the whole tournament. That's the bit that pleases me the most.”

In the first semi-final the three-time champions, Spain, beat France 2-1 to reach the final.

The final between Spain and England will be played on Sunday in Berlin and kick-off is at 21:00.

England captain Harry Kane reflects on the semi-final.


Morgan Piek OFM Sport

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