Soccer-Reaction to England's 2-1 win over Netherlands in Euro 2024


Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Semi Final - Netherlands v England - Dortmund BVB Stadion, Dortmund, Germany - July 10, 2024 England's Ollie Watkins celebrates after the match REUTERS/Lee Smith

DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) -Following is reaction to England's 2-1 win over the Netherlands on Wednesday, which set up a Euro 2024 final against Spain in Berlin.

England goalscorer Ollie Watkins: "Unbelievable. I've been waiting for that moment for weeks, for weeks.

"It's taken a lot of hard work to get to where I am today, and grateful that I got the opportunity and I've grabbed it with both hands and I'm delighted.

"I swear on my life ... I said to Cole Palmer, we're coming on today 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 and you've got to be greedy, touch and finish and when I've seen it go in the bottom corner, it's the best feeling ever."

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk: "I have no words for this. When you concede so late, it's terrible. This hurts a lot. You give it your all and if it still turns out like that, it sucks.

"You have more possession and you want to take advantage of the little moments you get. It felt like we could make it 2-1. But that didn't happen and now we're standing here empty-handed."

England captain Harry Kane: "Amazing achievement, I'm so proud of everyone. Every single player ... It's been a real difficult tournament and to do what we've done away from home is really special, but there's that feeling that there's one more left and we need to get that one on Sunday.

"We talk about being ready, we're a big team on being ready, everyone being ready for when it matters. You might get five minutes, one minute, but you can make a difference, you can win us the tournament.

"And Ollie's been waiting, he's been patient and what he's done out there is outstanding. What a finish. I'm so happy for him, he deserves it."

"We were the better team ... Even going one nil behind, we didn't panic, we stayed calm."

England manager Gareth Southgate: "It's another landmark, but the way that we played as well. We played so well throughout the game. It was a complicated game. They kept changing. We had to keep changing.

"I thought we caused them problems all night. The end is so special for the squad. Again, it's an example of what the squad are giving to the cause."

"The most important thing is that all of the squad are ready to come into the game... Ollie can press well. He can make those little runs in behind that he did. So we thought it was a good moment to try it. But this is a team that's conjuring incredible moments, quality moments, defining moments at special times, as per Watkins tonight."

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman: "My feeling was last 20 to 25 minutes our team was a little more fresh than England but they scored a great goal in the last minute, but that's football sometimes. I won't say it was unlucky because it was a great goal.

"We can be really proud of our national team, the players we had a great tournament."

England's Jude Bellingham: "The most important thing is we come out with the win, finding a way, that character, mentality, that attitude of anyone can win us the game if they're given the chance. Ollie came on today and did that and we're really grateful.

"I think it's something that is built through failure, through the first few games that didn't go so well. Obviously we're going to get criticism when we don't play well, but it's important that you build that fire, you build that kind of resistance to it and understand that we can do better.

"These moments are great. It brings us together as a team and as a family, something we have in common when we've been here another day. It means that we live through these moments together and because of that you get stronger."

Britain's King Charles: "My wife and I join all our family in wishing you the warmest congratulations on reaching the final of the UEFA European Championship - and in sending our very best wishes for Sunday's match.

"If I may encourage you to secure victory before the need for any last minute wonder-goals or another penalties drama, I am sure the stresses on the nation's collective heart rate and blood pressure would be greatly alleviated!"

"Good luck, England."

(Reporting by Martin Petty, Lori Ewing, Mark Gleeson and Michael Holden;Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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