Euro 2024: Harry Kane full of praise for England’s semi-final hero Ollie Watkins – ‘What he’s done is outstanding’

Harry Kane was full of praise for “outstanding” Ollie Watkins after the striker’s late winner earned England a place in the Euro 2024 final.

Xavi Simons had given the Dutch the lead after just seven minutes, but captain Kane equalised from the penalty spot shortly afterwards.

And then with the game looking destined for extra-time, substitute Ollie Watkins swivelled in the box and fired a stunning effort into the far corner.

The goal led to delirium in the stands and on the pitch, with plenty of the England bench streaming onto the playing surface to celebrate, and Kane says it is reward for their hard work.

“Amazing achievement,” he told ITV Sport. “I’m so proud of everyone; every single player, every single staff, everyone.

“It’s been a real difficult tournament, and to do what we’ve done away from home is really special.

“There’s that feeling that there’s one more left, and we need to get that one on Sunday.

“I think we were the better team. Especially in the first half, we had a lot of control. Even going 1-0 behind, we didn’t panic. We stayed calm.

“Second half, there were a few tired legs out there, but overall I thought we deserved to win the game, and with a finish like that, he deserves it.”

Watkins struck just nine minutes after coming off the bench.

The goal is only his fourth for his country, while his sole previous appearance in the tournament was also as a substitute in the group game against Denmark.

“We talk about being ready,” Kane continued. “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.

“Ollie’s been waiting. He’s been patient. What he’s done out there is outstanding. What a finish.

“I’m so happy for him. He deserves it. We’re going to need everyone again on Sunday.”

Kane himself had got on the scoresheet earlier in the game, netting from the spot after being awarded a dubious penalty for a foul by Denzel Dumfries.

Gary Nevill described the decision to award a foul as “disgraceful,” but Kane was non-commital.

He smiled: “My foot’s hanging off, he definitely caught me! Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t.

“I was happy to step up and see that one go in the back of the net. It was a nice feeling for sure. I’m just happy to be through to the final.”

When Watkins struck the winner, it was the first time England had led a game within the regular 90 minutes since their opening group game against Serbia.

Indeed, their route to the final has been a tricky one, with substandard performances against Slovakia, Slovenia and Denmark meaning Southgate came in for criticism from pundits and players alike.

But he ultimately now has a shot at immortality, as the Three Lions target their second major trophy – and first on foreign soil.

Assessing the test ahead, Kane added: “It’s going to be really difficult, we know that. But we’re there. We got to the final.

“There’s one more game to make history. That’s what we’re excited about.

“It’s been a tough journey, but it’s one more. 90 minutes, 120 minutes, penalties, whatever it takes, we’ll be there. I’m looking forward to it.”

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