Ollie Watkins ‘lost for words’ after sending England to Euro 2024 final: ‘It’s the best feeling ever’

Ollie Watkins ‘lost for words’ after sending England to Euro 2024 final: ‘It’s the best feeling ever’

Ollie Watkins described England reaching the European Championship final as the “best feeling ever” after his dramatic injury-time winner secured a 2-1 victory against the Netherlands.

The Aston Villa striker, who replaced Harry Kane in the second half, scored in the 91st minute following an assist from fellow substitute Cole Palmer.

Watkins fired a low shot past goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen, ensuring Gareth Southgate’s side will face Spain this Sunday in Berlin.

“I’ve been waiting for that moment for weeks,” Watkins said to ITV Sport. “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to where I am today. I’m delighted. I swear on my life that I said to Cole Palmer that he’s going to set me up today and I’m going to score. It’s the best feeling ever.

“There’s been a lot of criticism but we’re in the final and that’s all that matters. We’ve got that bounce back factor. Going behind seems to kick us into gear. We’ve won on penalties and come from behind.”


Watkins sealed a place in the final for England (Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

Xavi Simons put the Dutch ahead after just seven minutes with a long-range effort, but England equalised 11 minutes later with a Harry Kane penalty.

Watkins, who scored 27 goals for Villa in all competitions last season, has seen his game time limited at the Euros.

It was only the second time he has featured this summer following his 22-minute cameo in the 1-1 group-stage draw against Denmark.

“Lost for words. When you score there are emotions that come through your body,” Watkins added post-match. “It was slow motion when I was running over to the boys to celebrate. I didn’t want to come off the pitch.

“I don’t think I’ve hit a ball that sweet before and especially at such an important moment.”

Kane, meanwhile, has started every single game for England at Euro 2024, and became became the all-time top scorer in knockout games at the Euros with six with his spot kick.

The England captain was replaced in the 81st minute for Watkins, but he expressed his delight at his match-winning contribution.

“We talk about being ready. We’re a big team at being ready. When it matters, you might get five minutes, one minute, but you can make a difference, you can win us a tournament. He’s been waiting, he’s been patient. What he did was outstanding and he deserves it,” Kane said.

England’s men will now play their first final on foreign soil after the 1966 World Cup and the Euro 2020 finals, both of which were held at Wembley.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

The Briefing: Netherlands 1 England 2 – Late substitute Watkins hits winner to set up Euro 2024 final with Spain

(Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images)

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