The Notebook: Netherlands’ ‘Orange Army’ outnumbered by England fans, Man United duo left singing in the rain as Three Lions reach Euro 2024 final

The Notebook: Netherlands’ ‘Orange Army’ outnumbered by England fans, Man United duo left singing in the rain as Three Lions reach Euro 2024 final

Ollie Watkins fired England into the Euro 2024 final with a 90th-minute winner to hand Gareth Southgate’s men a famous 2-1 victory over the Netherlands.

The Dutch took the lead after seven minutes when Xavi Simons dispossessed Declan Rice and smashed his effort beyond Jordan Pickford.

But Harry Kane brought England level 11 minutes later from the penalty spot after being fouled in the box by Denzel Dumfries, before Phil Foden had a shot cleared off the line and hit the post.

Just as the game appeared to be heading to extra time, Watkins latched onto Cole Palmer’s through ball and found the bottom corner with a superb strike to send England into Sunday’s final against Spain.

Mail Sport’s Mike Keegan was on hand in Dortmund to pick out what fans may have missed. 

Ollie Watkins scored a 90th-minute winner to book England’s place in the Euro 2024 final

England celebrated wildly after coming from behind for the third time in the knockout stages

England celebrated wildly after coming from behind for the third time in the knockout stages

 

Dutch fan completes 140-mile journey to Dortmund

While the Dutch team had issues getting to Dortmund thanks to a blocked train line, it was nothing compared to the trek endured by one of their supporters.

Jeroen Van Veen decided to run from Amsterdam to the stadium after the Netherlands’ quarter-final victory over Turkey and set off almost immediately after the final whistle.

He duly completed his epic, 140-mile journey, carrying a 10kg backpack, and was given a precious ticket to the game by a sponsor.

Van Veen tragically lost his son Kasper to cancer at the age of four and subsequently ran more than 3,000 miles to raise around £2m for research.

 

Nandy gets straight to work

New culture secretary Lisa Nandy has wasted little time in getting to grips with her new role. 

Nandy, who was instrumental in the saviour of constituency club Wigan Athletic following its financial issues, was at the game as part of a fact-finding mission ahead of the staging of the next Euros in the UK and Ireland.

Culture secretary Lisa Nandy (second row, left) was in attendance in Dortmund

Culture secretary Lisa Nandy (second row, left) was in attendance in Dortmund

 

Orange army outnumber England

Dortmund turned orange throughout the day with Dutch fans vastly outnumbering those from England. 

The Londoner Bar, en route from the city centre to the stadium, was one of few places were those in white shirts were in the majority. Back in town, one group of Netherlands fans spotted a small number of England supporters outside the Little Italy restaurant and promptly launched into a chant of ‘Ten German Bombers’. 

On ticket resale sites sales to Netherlands fans outnumbered those to their England counterparts by 25 to 1. Elsewhere, England supporters clamoured for a selfie with a German police officer who bore an uncanny resemblance to Gareth Southgate.

 

Bellingham still loved in Dortmund

While most of those present were in the orange corner, it is safe to say that locals were backing Jude Bellingham. 

The midfielder was a star at Borussia Dortmund and failed to get the opportunity to say a fitting farewell. 

In the final game for his club an injured Bellingham was named on the bench as a morale booster for fans but could only watch his side draw at home to Mainz – a result which handed the Bundesliga title to bitter rivals Bayern Munich.

Jude Bellingham spent three years in Dortmund and is still very popular with the locals

Jude Bellingham spent three years in Dortmund and is still very popular with the locals

 

UEFA suits fill up seats

UEFA officials and dignitaries may have set an attendance record on Wednesday night. More than two sections of the stadium – bang on halfway, naturally – were exclusively populated by the suits.

 

Man United duo singing in the rain

A torrential downpour, which saw water cascading down from the roof, led some to joke that at least Manchester United pair Kobbie Mainoo and Luke Shaw would feel at home.

Kobbie Mainoo (left) and Luke Shaw (right) were singing in the rain after England's win

Kobbie Mainoo (left) and Luke Shaw (right) were singing in the rain after England’s win

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