Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman says football is ‘broken’ after game-changing decision sees them lose to England

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RONALD KOEMAN has said “football is broken” after the Netherlands were defeated 2-1 against England in the Euro 2024 semi-final.

After a strong start with Xavi Simons’ opener, it seemed the Dutch were heading for a showdown with Spain in Sunday’s final.

AlamyRonald Koeman has claimed ‘football is broken’ after the Netherlands were defeated 2-1 against England in the Euro 2024 semi-final[/caption]

RexEngland were awarded an unexpected penalty after Denzel Dumfries challenge on Harry Kane[/caption]

But England received an unexpected opportunity to level the playing field just 10 minutes later when Kane successfully converted a controversial penalty.

Referee Felix Zwayer initially considered Denzel Dumfries’ challenge on Kane to be legitimate, but the VAR disagreed and overturned the match official’s decision.

The second half was closely contested but super-sub Ollie Watkins secured a thrilling victory with a winning goal during injury time.

In his post-match conference, Holland boss Koeman said: “This is not a penalty.

“His only attention was to block a shot. Harry Kane then shoots and their feet collide.

“Football is getting broken with these types of calls by VAR!”

The former Everton and Southampton manager added on his team’s performance: “First half yes, second half not. It was more 50/50.

“They created problems in our midfield in the first half. We didn’t control how they play between the line with Foden and Bellingham.

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“Our feeling was maybe in the last 20 minutes, we are more fresh. They scored a great goal in the final minute and that is football.

“Maybe we deserved an extra-time but it’s like that and we can be proud about our national team. We had a great tournament.”

Dumfries held his hands up for the foul that awarded England with a glittering chance to turn things around in Dortmund on Wednesday night.

He said: “I take all responsibility for the penalty moment. I didn’t do it on purpose. I just wanted to block the shot.”

Gareth Southgate’s squad is set to face Spain in the Euro 2024 final on Sunday at the Berlin Olympiastadion which marks England’s second consecutive Euros final appearance.

England ratings vs Holland

ENGLAND stormed into the final against Spain thanks to Ollie Watkins’ last-minute strike in the 2-1 win over Holland.

It was a brilliant team performance, but how did each player rate?

SunSport’s Tom Barclay ran the rule over Southgate’s boys, and here’s how he rated them.

Jordan Pickford: 7

Bigger goalkeepers may have got a stronger hand to Xavi Simons’ early stunner – though that was being hypercritical. Solid stop to deny Virgil van Dijk after the hour.

Kyle Walker: 7

Looked re-energised after some lumbering displays and bombed on at times in the first half, despite his role on the right of a back three. Last-ditch tackle on Cody Gakpo was spot on.

John Stones: 7

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Strong in possession. He looks to have benefited from regular game-time after rarely featuring for Manchester City in the last few months.

Marc Guehi: 6

Came back into the side after suspension ruled him out of the Switzerland game. Had an unenviable task of making the big man Wout Weghorst after the break.

Bukayo Saka: 7

Razor-sharp in the first half, winning tackles, making runs and dribbling the ball proficiently. Less of an impact after the break, had a goal ruled out for offside and was booked.

Declan Rice: 6

Lost possession for Simons’ thunderous opener but grew into the game, mopping up where necessary. Poor pass when Kane was open midway through the second half.

Kobbie Mainoo: 8

Was England’s youngest-ever player to play in a major-tournament semi-final, aged 19years 82 days, and had a stormer in the first half. Great bursts forward, vital tackles, and his interplay with Foden was a joy.

Kieran Trippier: 6

We all know by now that he is playing out of position, so again he was limited going forward and reliable defensively. Subbed at half-time for the more natural Shaw.

Phil Foden: 7

The first 45 minutes was by far and away his best half of the tournament. Thought he’d scored when his shot was cleared off the line by Denzel Dumfries, and cracked the post with a cracker. But was then surprisingly subbed.

Jude Bellingham: 5

Back at the ground where he made his name but struggled to make much of an impact on his old stomping ground. Fortunate it was not he that was subbed.

Harry Kane: 6

Won and dispatched the penalty to go joint top-scorer in the tournament with three goals. Had looked more mobile initially but still tired badly after the break and was taken off.

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Luke Shaw (for Kieran Trippier, half-time): 6

Looked assured for a man who has been out for so long.

Ollie Watkins (for Harry Kane, 81): 9 and STAR MAN 

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Surprisingly given the nod over Ivan Toney as striker sub as Southgate looked for more pace in behind. Brilliant finish into the corner to win the game – you could not ask more from him.

Cole Palmer (for Phil Foden, 81): 7

Had his big chance in the final minutes but shanked it horribly wide – but then fed Watkins for his wonderful winner.

Gareth Southgate: 8

His switch to a back three against Switzerland helped dig out the win there, and here it had his team finally playing some great football in the first half. The team went into their shells again as the game wore on and you feared the worst – but you have to say his decision to bring on Ollie Watkins was a masterstroke. 

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