Euros excitement reaches fever pitch as England prepare to take on the Netherlands in crucial semi-final in Dortmund

10 July 2024, 12:44 | Updated: 10 July 2024, 12:45

Euros fever is reaching fever pitch in Dortmund, where tonight's semi-final will take place
Euros fever is reaching fever pitch in Dortmund, where tonight's semi-final will take place. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Excitement ahead of tonight's crucial semi-final between England and the Netherlands has reached fever pitch, with the winner set to take on Spain in the final on Sunday.

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Spain progressed to the final last night after a sensational victory against France.

While Spain became the first team in history to win their first six games in a Euros tournament, England will fancy their chances against young side if they can make it past the Dutch tonight.

Excitement in Dortmund, where tonight's semi-final will take place, has reached fever pitch, with around 40,000 English fans in the German city.

They will be outnumbered by 100,000 Dutch fans, who have made the short journey over to Germany to will on their team to European glory.

One English fan, Olivia Elcock, 21, from Birmingham, told MailOnline how she paid ยฃ1800 for two tickets for the match.

"We have paid a lot of money, ยฃ900 each, but it will be worth every penny just to see England in this match that everybody really would love to be at," she said.

She continued: "I think it will go to penalties, but will win that way because we were so cool on Sunday night in the penalties."

Her partner added: "It's just an amazing feeling to be drinking beer, singing songs and supporting your team."

England's story so far

Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring a goal and his penalty against Switzerland
Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring a goal and his penalty against Switzerland. Picture: Getty

Both teams have had a mixed tournament so far, especially England, who have only won one game in 90 minutes.

Gareth Southgate's men got off to a strong start against Serbia, with Jude Bellingham scoring an emphatic header in the 13th minute.

But the team's performance dipped in the second half - and throughout the rest of the tournament.

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England were unable to recapture any semblance of a positive performance after the opening game, only managing a 1-1 draw against Denmark and lacklustre 0-0 stalemate against Slovenia.

Nonetheless, England progressed to the Round of 16 by finishing at the top of the group, setting up a favourable tie against Slovakia.

But things went from bad to worse when the Three Lions went 1-0 behind in the 25th minute.

The team looked certain to bow out of the tournament until a spectacular overhead kick by Jude Bellingham in the 95th minute managed to push the game to extra time.

Harry Kane then sealed his side's place in the last eight with a trademark header minutes later.

Saturday's game against Switzerland represented a marked performance from Southgate's side under a new system. While the game once again went to extra time and then penalties, England went five for five in the shootout.

How have the Netherlands faired?

Netherlands have also limped through the tournament
Netherlands have also limped through the tournament. Picture: Getty

Like England, the Netherlands have not had the best of tournaments, despite having a talented group of players.

They went behind against Poland after just 15 minutes in their opening game, but managed to come from behind to secure a 2-1 victory.

The Dutch side then managed a lacklustre 0-0 draw against a struggling French side, before losing their final group game 3-2 against Austria.

This pushed them into third place of the group, which still allowed them to qualify under the new Euro rules.

In their round of 16 game they cruised to victory with a 3-0 win against Romania, and came from behind to beat Turkey 2-1 in the last eight.

Southgate celebrates after reaching the semi-final of the European Championships
Southgate celebrates after reaching the semi-final of the European Championships. Picture: Getty

England are considered the favourites to go through and face Spain on Sunday, but Southgate's men are taking nothing for credit.

"Ronald is an experienced coach and could adapt in a different way to how they have been so far. We're prepared for anything," the England manager said.

"We need another step from what we showed in the last game, it's a step up in quality of opponents and we are ready for that."

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