England hop on luck-train to Euro 2024 Final after 2-1 win over Netherlands

Euro 2024: England and Gareth Southgate's lucky run in Euro 2024 just doesn't seem to end after a goal from Ollie Watkins in the 90th minute sent the Three Lions to back-to-back finals after a 2-1 win over the Netherlands. England will now gear up for the Spanish challenge in the high-value Final.
England hop on luck-train to Euro 2024 Final after 2-1 win over Netherlands
Source: AFP

If you consider yourself "unlucky", it is in the best interest of your health to not switch on the TV when an England match is on. Gareth Southgate's Three Lions have just gone on and secured their seats in a consecutive Euro 2024 Final after a 2-1 win over Ronald Koeman's Netherlands, courtesy of a 90th minute winner from Ollie Watkins.

Another game and yet another time, we saw England concede first and then go on to win the match. To make the "luck" factor evermore prominent, England are the first ever side in the European Championship to trail in both the quarter-final and the semi-final, and then secure a spot in the final. An action-packed first-half and equally jaded second-half saw the patience tested of the orange-heavy Signal Iduna Park.

Xavi Simons had given an early lead to the Netherlands with a screamer of a long-range shot in the 7th minute of the game, only for Harry Kane to equalise from the penalty spot after a raised foot challenge from Denzel Dumfries. England dominated the attacking charts for the rest of the second-half, but a half-hearted Netherlands side did the same for the majority of the second. Ultimately, the lack of decisiveness from the Dutchman cost them a third straight loss in the European Championship semi-final.

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England hop on luck-train to Euro 2024 Final after 2-1 win over Netherlands

The evening at Dortmund saw three different shades of the 21-year-old Xavi Simons. After both sides started off the match on the top of their attacking gear from the opening whistle by the referee, one could easily understand that we would see a goal very soon. Before even the realisation could kick in, Xavi took a thunderous strike from 21 meters out and glided the ball into the top-left-corner. Jordan Pickford took most of his flight, but that just wasn't enough to save that screamer from going in.

But the second-half was an entirely different story altogether. Missing open gaps for through balls, lacking the obvious bit of decisiveness, Xavi just could not click into the same tempo in the second set of 45-minutes. However, one could easily blame that on the Netherlands' lack of urgency to make centre-focused attacking runs. Starting off with brilliance and seeing that die down right in front of his eyes, Xavi had a mixed evening, to say the least.

Another game, and Gareth Southgate has yet again given a long list of reasons for you to doubt your basic set of football knowledge. Starting from the top, dropping Ezri Konsa from the starting XI after the defender put in the best of shifts in the Switzerland quarter-final, is surely going to make your mind tingle with irritation.

Now the good part. Southgate left a lot of fans bamboozled when he took off his skipper, Harry Kane, and the best player of the evening, Phil Foden for Cole Palmer and, for the first time in Euro 2024, Ollie Watkins. Moments later, Watkins snatched away the tag of "Super-sub" from right under the nose of Wout Weghorst, and booked his side's tickets for Finals against Spain with his first strike of the match. 

Source: India Today

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