Holland defeated 2:1

LIVE from 9pm: Netherlands meet England

10.07.2024 05:12

After all, they can roar like lions and not just purr like kittens - after their less-than-stellar performances at Euro 2024 so far, England's Three Lions have actually made it to the final of the finals! Harry Kane and Co. beat Holland 2:1 - keeping them on course to win their first title since 1966 ...

A match between Holland and England in Germany? Wasn't there something? Yes, the last time the two teams met on German soil, the "Elftal" with libero Ronald Koeman beat the "Three Lions" 3:1 - and went on to win the tournament. Perhaps a good omen for the team of Gareth Southgate, so controversial in his home country, who emerged victorious from the direct duel this time ...

(Bild: Associated Press)
(Bild: Associated Press)

Starting line-ups without any major upsets
After there had been a great deal of excitement in Dortmund city centre during the day due to wild rioting by groups of fans of both teams and just under an hour and a half before kick-off due to a thunderstorm warning for the semi-final venue, both Koeman and Southgate made their starting line-ups without any major upsets.

Neither the Dutch nor the English made more than one change from their quarter-final appearances: For the "Three Lions", who started in a 3-4-2-1 formation, Marc Guéhi, who had been suspended recently, returned to the left of defense for Ezri Konsa and for the "Elftal", Donyell Malen replaced the recently disappointing Steven Bergwijn as right winger in a classic 4-3-3.

(Bild: Associated Press)

Lots of pace, lots of drive towards goal, courageous early approach
Less of an excitement and more of a (big) surprise were the characteristics of the game, which emerged quite soon after the whistle was blown by German referee Felix Zwayer: unlike in previous European Championship matches involving England, there was a lot of pace on the pitch, a lot of movement towards goal, a bold, early approach, quick switching and generally few pauses for breath.

While the "Three Lions" had been the subject of much ridicule and malice in the preliminary round clash against Slovenia on June 25, "because England defended as if they had just learned to walk and had to work hard to learn to run", it was now actually possible to concede: England had arrived at the European Championship finals late, but nevertheless ...

(Bild: AFP)

Not entirely unstoppable 116-km/h banger
Curiously, however, it was the Dutch who suddenly took a 1:0 lead: Xavi Simons, who at 1.79 meters tall and officially weighing 58 kilograms cannot even be described as "half a portion", won the ball from the comparatively beefy Declan Rice (1.85/80) in midfield, made an energetic run towards the England goal and then unleashed a not entirely unstoppable 116-km/h shot from 17 meters for "Oranje" bliss (5th).

(Bild: Associated Press)

Kane sole record holder with 6th goal in European Championship knockout matches
But Gareth Southgate's team were not shocked and continued where they had left off before conceding the goal - with a focus on possession (63% compared to 37% for the Oranje in the first half). Goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen was able to turn aside a Kane shot from distance in the first top opportunity (13') - but a minute later, disaster struck for Holland.

#Bukayo Saka dribbled through the penalty area from the right and took off - but his shot was blocked, ended up with Kane and Denzel Dumfries hit him on the foot with an open sole - after a VAR check, a penalty was awarded! The fouled player stepped up himself and equalized for England (18th) - incidentally with a veritable record goal, as he is now the sole record holder with his 6th goal in European Championship knockout matches ...

(Bild: Associated Press)

Koeman's team can still pose a threat
Not a record, but at least the 1-2 from the "Oranje" point of view was prevented a little later by Dumfries, who was so unlucky with the penalty foul and was able to clear Phil Foden's shot on the goal line for the beaten Verbruggen (23rd). Admittedly, Koeman's team may have fallen behind at times, especially visually, but they were still able to create danger in the person of corner taker Xavi Simons and header "monster" Dumfries (30th / crossbar!).

Foden twice misses the 2:1 for England
Foden could have made it 2:1 for England twice with similar offensive actions when he shot left-footed from the right half-field - but neither in minute 32 (aluminum!) nor in minute 39 (Verbruggen saved) did the ball find its way into the Dutch goal. There was a moment of shock for the Dutch side in the meantime, as star striker Memphis Depay had to be substituted due to injury and was replaced by Joey Veerman (35). Break!

(Bild: Associated Press)

Teams take a more leisurely approach in half 2
The teams continued with one change each after the restart, with Luke Shaw replacing Kieran Trippier at left-back for England and Wout Weghorst coming on for Donyell Malen for the Netherlands. Even if the substitutes probably had little to do with it: In terms of tempo, going for goal, courageous early attacks and quick switching, both Holland and England now took things a little more leisurely, allowing themselves the odd breathing space.

(Bild: Associated Press)

The game was far from bad or even unattractive, but it took around 20 minutes of the second half before the Oranje had their first top chance. After a free-kick from Veerman, Virgil Van Dijk got on the end of it at the five - but England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saved for a corner (65').

An exclamation mark from the Dutch, who were now preparing to take control of the game for the remainder of normal time, seeking more possession and not just transitional play. For the most part, however, the Three Lions defended well, although Pickford was lucky that Xavi Simons' volley from a Gakpo cross was not particularly well placed and went straight at him, the England goalkeeper (78'). On the other hand, England once again made their presence felt offensively - the beautifully executed 2:1 by Saka was rightly disallowed because Kyle Walker, who provided the ideal pass to Saka, was just offside (79').

(Bild: Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Shortly afterwards, England boss Southgate surprised everyone by taking off his captain Kane and Foden, who had long been his most eye-catching attacking player, and replacing them with Aston Villa man Ollie Watkins and Cole Palmer (80'). What caused one or two England fans to frown was to prove to be a double stroke of gold around ten minutes later ...

England win because Southgate's joker stings
Just as millions of viewers in front of their screens at home, at public viewings or in the stadium were already expecting extra time, joker Watkins, of all people, struck: with exactly 90 minutes played, the ball came into the penalty area via Palmer on the right to Watkins, who was given too much space by defender Stefan de Vrij.

The Villa striker took advantage of this to score between the legs of the Dutchman and into the far corner to make it 2:1 for England (90'). The decider in a semi-final match that was no longer as high-class in the second half, but was nonetheless extremely exciting ...

The result:
Netherlands - England 1:2 (1:1)
Dortmund, Signal-Iduna-Park, 60,000 spectators, referee Felix Zwayer (GER)

Goals: 1:0 (7') Xavi Simons, 1:1 (18') Kane (penalty), 1:2 (91') Watkins

Yellow cards: Dumfries, Van Dijk, Simons or Bellingham, Saka, Trippier

Netherlands: Verbruggen - Dumfries (93. Zirkzee), de Vrij, Van Dijk, Aké - Schouten, Reijnders - Malen (46. Weghorst), Simons (93. Brobbey), Gakpo - Depay (35. Veerman)
England: Pickford - Walker, Stones, Guehi, Trippier (46. Shaw) - Mainoo (93. Gallagher), Rice - Saka (93. Konsa), Bellingham, Foden (81. Palmer) - Kane (81. Watkins)

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