Euro 2024: Ollie Watkins the hero for England in win over the Netherlands

The Aston Villa striker scored the winner in stoppage time to send England to the final
Netherlands v England: Semi-Final - UEFA EURO 2024
Netherlands v England: Semi-Final - UEFA EURO 2024 / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Ollie Watkins scored in the 90th minute to lift England past the Netherlands and set up a Euro 2024 final against Spain.

In what was arguably their toughest opponent in the Netherlands, England played perhaps their best first half of the tournament. However, they found themselves down early after a wonderful goal by Xavi Simons from outside the box.

But the Dutch lead wouldn't last long after a VAR review awarded England a penalty as Denzel Dumfries caught Harry Kane on the ankle as the English striker was taking his shot. Kane stepped up and converted the penalty.

Both sides had opportunities to take the lead with Dumfries saving a Phil Foden shot off the line. It wad Dumfries who would later on have a header hit off the crossbar.

The second half resembled more of what we've seen from England throughout the tournament. Gareth Southgate did make some subs, including bringing on Watkins for Kane. That substitution paid off in the 90th minute.

A pass was played to Watkins inside the box and was given too much space by Stefan de Vrij as the Aston Villa's striker's shot went through the legs of De Vrij and past the goalkeeper.

"I'm lost for words," Watkins said after the match. "I didn't want to come off the pitch at the end because I wanted to soak it all in.

"As soon as Cole [Palmer] turned, I made the move; I knew what was coming. I don't think I've ever hit a ball that sweet. I never thought I'd play at a EURO with England, but I've put in a lot of hard work to get to this point."

England have underwhelmed throughout but they've managed to do just enough and now find themselves in the final. They've found themselves down in the scoreboard in every match of the qualifying round and overcame the deficit each time. It's no surprise then that England are the first team to reach the final despite being down in every knockout match.

"In these games, we come together like no other team," Jude Bellingham said. "We've delivered again. These moments are great. The bring us together as a team and a family. It's about bringing that into the final."

Spain now await England in the final. A Spain side that has been the best team in the tournament. Spain will be the favorites but as England have shown, it doesn't take much for them to score and then see the game out.


"To be able to take England to a first [major] final overseas, I'm immensely proud of that," Southgate said. "Now we want to win against a Spain team that has been the best of the tournament. It'll be hard."