EURO 2024: Palmer and Watkins combine to fire England past Netherlands and into the final

EURO 2024: Palmer and Watkins combine to fire England past Netherlands and into the final

Faruq Ibrahim 21:55 - 10.07.2024

Inspired substitutions from Gareth Southgate helped the Three Lions beat the Netherlands and make consecutive European Championship finals.

Thanks to goals from Harry Kane and Ollie Watkins, England came from behind to beat the Netherlands 2-1 and advance to the European Championship final.

var widgetLoaderConfig = widgetLoaderConfig || { CDN_URL: '', APP_LINK: 'desktop', API_URL: '', API_KEY: '2f852b4de2f3a5cf3188e74b33087bb4:2c18422f8e826a7d11aeed52edb2449e', LANG: 'en', REQUEST_INTERVAL: 30, ENABLE_BET_SLIP: false, AUTHOR: false, THEME: "light", TOURNAMENT_ORDER: "pulse_nigeria", LINK_OPTIONS_V2: { 'player' : { 'url': '/football/player/{playerId}' }, 'team' : { 'url': '/football/{teamId}' }, 'tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}' }, 'match': { 'url' : '/football/match/{matchId}', 'sort': { 'criteria': 'alphabetically', 'direction': 'asc' } }, 'configuration': { 'newWindow': false }, 'standings_tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}/standings' } } }; if (!document.querySelector('script[src=""]')) { window.setTimeout(function () { let scriptCss = document.createElement('link'); scriptCss.href = ''; scriptCss.rel = 'stylesheet'; scriptCss.type = 'text/css'; document.body.appendChild(scriptCss); let scriptTag = document.createElement('script'); scriptTag.src = ''; scriptTag.defer = true; scriptTag.onload = function () { window.setTimeout(function () { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }, 200); }; document.head.appendChild(scriptTag); }, 0); } else { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }

Xavi Simmons handed the Netherlands an early lead, but Harry Kane wiped off the advantage from the penalty spot 11 minutes later. With the game seemingly headed to extra-time, Watkins struck late to send England through.

How it happened

Gareth Southgate trusted his 3-4-2-1 set-up that triumphed against Switzerland, while Ronald Koeman replaced Steven Bergwijn with Donyen Malen from the team that beat Turkey in the quarter-finals. 

The game burst into life early on, with both teams getting chances in the opening exchanges. The high tempo of the game started with deserved at least a goal, and in the seventh minute, Xavi Simmons provided it. 

The former Barcelona academy star nicked the ball off the usually solid Declan Rice before rifling the ball across Jordan Pickford and into the net.

England responded admirably and started to dominate play in search of an equaliser. They were handed an opportunity midway through the half when Denzel Dumfries caught Kane in the box; VAR awarded a penalty for infringement, and the Bayern Munich man made no mistake, exploiting the advantage to pull England level. 

Both teams had chances to go in front before the half ended. For England, Phil Foden’s left-footed bullet from range rattled the crossbar, and on the other hand, Dumfries came close to ratifying his error when his header found the upright.

The second-half did not have the sparks of the first. It was a more tempered performance from both teams, as they were more cautious than adventurous. 

Both teams exchanged spells of dominance, with England having the better, but the goal was lacking for either side. With the game seemingly headed for extra time, Southgate's substitutes combined to send him to the final. 

Cole Palmer and Ollie Watkins were part of a substitution package that saw Harry Kane and Phil Foden leave the pitch. Ten minutes after the pair came on, Palmer threaded the ball through to Watkins in the box, and the Aston Villa man created space for himself before firing across the goalkeeper and into the net.  

The goal came on the 90th-minute mark, and with five minutes added on, the Netherlands hurried for an equaliser, but England held on to book a final with Spain. 

Related content