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"We deserved to win": England head coach Southgate on Euro 2024 semi-final win

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Dortmund | July 11, 2024 3:11:33 PM IST
Jubilant after their semi-final victory, England head coach Gareth Southgate said that they deserved to win against the Netherlands and reaching the Euro final for the second consecutive time ranks as one of his best achievements.

With the game level on 1-1, Ollie Watkins fired a late strike to send the Three Lions to Berlin for the final of Euro 2024 against Spain.

The Durch side took an early lead through Xavi Simons' early strike but once again found themselves on level terms after the referee awarded England a penalty.

Despite Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk questioning the referee's decision to award the penalty in the 14th minute of the game, which allowed England to level the game, Southgate believes that they deserved to win.

"We deserved to win. We were very fluid in our formation, it wasn't just a back three, we had to adapt all the time, and the players made so many good decisions," Southgate told ITV Sport as quoted by Sky Sports.

"This has to be the best [achievement]. It's another landmark, but the way we played, we played so well throughout the game. It was a complicated game, they kept changing, and we had to respond. We caused them problems all night, and the end is so special for the squad," he added.

With the scoreline reading 1-1 and the game almost heading towards extra time, Southgate took a gamble by replacing Harry Kane with Watkins in the 81st minute.

Nine minutes later, he reaped the reward for his decision as Watkins scored the decisive goal to fire England into the final.

"The most important thing is that the whole squad are ready to come into the game. We spend a lot of time with those guys [the substitutes], and I'm so chuffed for Ollie. We felt, energy-wise, we were starting to lose some pressure [in the second half]. Ollie can press well and make those runs in behind. We thought it was a good moment to try him," Southgate said.

In the last edition of the competition, England made it to the final but ended up losing the title to Italy. This time, England will be keen to change their fate and lift their first trophy since 1966. (ANI)

 
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