England to face Netherlands, face Spain in final – Redlands Daily Facts

England’s Ollie Watkins celebrates after scoring the decisive goal during the 2-1 semi-final win over the Netherlands at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament, Wednesday, July 10, 2024, in Dortmund, Germany. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

DORTMUND, Germany — England reached a second straight European Championship final by beating the Netherlands 2-1 thanks to substitute Ollie Watkins’ stoppage-time winner on Wednesday.

Watkins, who came on for captain Harry Kane in a bold call from manager Gareth Southgate, turned and smashed a fierce shot into the bottom corner in the first minute of added time.

England face Lamine Yamal and Spain in Sunday’s final in Berlin. It will be the country’s first title game on foreign soil, having won the 1966 World Cup and losing to Italy in the Euro 2020 final – both times at Wembley Stadium.

In an open first half, Harry Kane’s 18th-minute penalty canceled out Xavi Simon’s brilliantly struck seventh-minute opener for the Dutch.

Watkins had only made one previous appearance at Euro 2024 – as a substitute in the group stage against Denmark – so it was a surprise when he was introduced by Southgate in England’s biggest game to date.

The investment paid off.

The sea of ​​orange in the giant South Stand at the Westfalenstadion fell silent. It housed the loudest of the Dutch supporters who dominated the city center before marching in their thousands to the stadium ahead of the match. Police reported three separate clashes between fans from both countries in the city.

It gave the occasion the feel of a home game for the Dutch and England, who came from behind to progress to the last sixteen and quarter-finals, were up against it even more after 21-year-old Simons became the second-youngest goalscorer for the Netherlands against a Euro.

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder took out Declan Rice about 40 meters (yards) out, drove forward and fired a shot into the far corner from outside the area.

Compared to 16-year-old Yamal, Spain’s new superstar, Simons is a football veteran but this was another case of a young player shining on the big stage at the European Championships.

Kane has had many big moments at major tournaments and he had another when he slotted home a penalty after Denzel Dumfries’ outstretched leg made contact with Kane’s foot as the England striker attempted to shoot.

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