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Ollie Watkins predicted England’s winning goal against Netherlands

Ollie Watkins has claimed he knew that Cole Palmer was going to assist his winning goal in England’s Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands.

The Three Lions prevailed 2-1 in Dortmund on Wednesday night to book their place in a second-successive European Championship final.

Xavi Simons gave the Dutch an early lead before Harry Kane swiftly equalised from the penalty spot. With the clock winding down in the second half, the game seemed to be heading to extra-time.

But just as the clock struck 90, Watkins scored the winning goal, taking the ball in his stride after a fine pass from Palmer and firing beyond goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen.

Speaking post-match, Watkins insisted he knew that he and Palmer, both brought on as 81st-minute substitutes by Gareth Southgate, would combine for a goal.

“I said to Cole that we were both going to go on the pitch and that he was going to set me up at half-time. It happened. I manifested it,” Watkins said.

“As soon as he turned, I knew to make the move. You don’t get that opportunity often, so I had to be greedy, I had to take it. I’ve just seen it go into the bottom corner, I don’t think I’ve hit a ball that sweet before, obviously in such a special moment as well.

“I’m lost for words, really. I was just trying to describe it. When you score, there’s emotions that run through your body but this is just a different feeling, it was slow motion when I was running towards the boys and celebrating.

“I didn’t want to get off the pitch, I just wanted to soak it all in because it doesn’t happen often obviously.”

Ollie Watkins, Stefan de Vrij

Watkins’ winner came out of almost nothing / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Watkins also admitted he wasn’t happy after dropping down the England pecking order as Euro 2024 has gone on, seemingly losing his spot as Kane’s backup to Ivan Toney.

“To be honest, recently I’ve obviously got frustrated, I don’t like to be on the bench, I’ve had the best season of my career,” he continued.

“I’ve had messages from my friends just saying, ‘Be patient’. I’m going to get an opportunity and they feel like I’ve got a big part to play at the tournament.

“The amount of people that have messaged me today saying I’m going to score tonight when I came on was ridiculous. They’ve put it out in the universe so hopefully they can do the same for the final or even give me the lottery numbers!

“I didn’t dream about that to be honest. I can’t lie and say I’ve dreamed about that. Obviously scoring for England is amazing, but I didn’t think I’d be doing it in a tournament like that. Don’t get me wrong, when I’ve been on the bench I’ve definitely said to Dean Henderson I can make a difference today, I need to get on that pitch.

“I’ve taken my chance when I’ve got on and scored. Now we’re in the final, one last game.”

England will face Spain in the Euro 2024 final on Sunday at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.


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