They have been pilloried, questioned and insulted, but it’s England in the final | Barney Ronay

Passivity has been a strength for Gareth Southgate’s team, and they keep on winning, slowly

Put out more flags. Dig out the George Cross jester’s hat from behind the sofa. At the end of a Euro 2024 campaign that has seen England’s footballers, questioned, written off, and even described in post-watershed terms by respected broadcasters, Gareth Southgate and his team will now contest the final of Euro 2024 in Berlin on Sunday after yet another thrilling moment of late drama in Dortmund.

The Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins scored the winning goal, playing at his first tournament, on here as a late sub for Harry Kane. With the game poised at 1-1 England and the Netherlands were already staring balefully at the prospect of extra time and beyond that the late-night horror of a semi-final penalty shootout. Watkins had been on the pitch for nine minutes. With his fourth touch of the ball he took a pass from Cole Palmer, another Southgate substitute, turned swiftly and simply hammered the ball low into the far corner.

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