10 July 2024

Euro 2024 day 27: Ollie Watkins strikes to send England into final against Spain

10 July 2024

England will face Spain in the Euro 2024 final after a dramatic last-gasp Ollie Watkins winner against the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the latest from the tournament.

Watkins snatches it

Watkins was the hero for England as he snatched a 2-1 victory in their semi-final with a superb last-minute strike just minutes after coming off the bench.

Extra time was looming in Dortmund when fellow substitute Cole Palmer threaded a ball into the box and Watkins turned to smash home a low shot.

England had fallen behind early to a Xavi Simons thunderbolt but hit back with a controversial Harry Kane penalty as they dominated the remainder of the first half.

Phil Foden also hit the woodwork but the second period proved more cagey.

Bukayo Saka did have a goal disallowed for offside but it was not until the introduction of Palmer and Watkins that England broke through.

Match-winner saw it coming

Watkins said he had visualised combining with Palmer for the winner before the pair came on.

“I’ve been waiting for that moment for weeks,” he told ITV. “I’m grateful I got the opportunity and I grabbed it with both hands and I’m delighted.

“I swear on my life, on my kids’ lives, I said to Cole Palmer, ‘We’re coming on and you’re going to set me up’ and that’s why I was so happy with Coley.

“I knew as soon as he got the ball he was going to play me in.”

England ride luck again

Amid all the jubilation, there was also some acknowledgement that England, after their late equaliser against Slovakia and penalty shoot-out win against Switzerland, had enjoyed more good fortune.

Their penalty, awarded for a foul on Kane by Denzel Dumfries after a VAR review, was widely viewed as a bad decision.

“I think it was an absolutely disgraceful decision,” said pundit Gary Neville. “It’s nowhere near a penalty and I don’t think there were many England players claiming for it either.”

Yamal wants sweet 17

Spain’s teenage sensation Lamine Yamal is hoping to make his 17th birthday weekend one to remember by leading his side to glory on Sunday.

The Barcelona starlet became the youngest goalscorer in Euros history at 16 years and 362 days with his stunning equaliser in Spain’s 2-1 defeat of France in Tuesday’s semi-final.

“I came here to win all the matches so that I could celebrate my birthday (on Saturday) here in Germany with all of my team-mates,” Yamal told UEFA.

“I’m thrilled that we are in the final but we still haven’t done the most important thing, which is win this.”

Spain wait on Morata

There have been no updates on the fitness of Alvaro Morata since the Spain captain was injured in a freak incident whilst celebrating Tuesday’s victory.

Morata, who had been substituted in the 76th minute, had rejoined his victorious team-mates after the final whistle when he was struck by security guard who slipped in attempting to intercept a pitch invader.

He appeared in pain after the collision and limped away.

Manager Luis De la Fuente played down the seriousness of the matter, saying “we don’t think it’s anything” but the player was due to be assessed on Wednesday.

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What’s next?

Sunday – Final: Spain v England, 8pm, BBC & ITV

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